Sunday, May 20, 2012

KISStory, On this Day, UNMASKED Released, 1980

UNMASKED:  May 20, 1980

May 20, 1980 marks the release of UNMASKED, the eighth studio from KISS. Produced, in a secod outing,, by Vini Poncia who also produced DYNASTY and PETER CRISS' 1978 Solo Album . The album's cover featured a "comic strip" painted by artist Victor Stabin. The band's identities were never revealed on the on the cover, back and inner sleeves, making a joke in the last frame with a man saying, "I Still Think They Stink!"
The disc, released by Casablanca Records, featured 11 songs, mostly in the pop-rock vein, a strong departure from the Kiss sound, scored a hit single with Shandi.  Two single releases followed with Talk To Me and Tomorrow throughout the summer. There was no US tour to support the album, however, Kiss toured Europe and Australia, whereas Kissteria reach tall heights compared to Beatlemania. The Australian tour along with album were a huge success for Kiss.

Peter Criss did not play on the album even though he appears on the album's cover, inner sleeve poster and credited. Ace Frehley brought in his drummer from his 1978 Solo Album, Anton Fig, into playing all the drum parts unacredited.

As the band finished shooting the video for Shandi it would be the last time Kiss (Peter, Gene and Paul) would appear together again until June 17, 1995 at the Official KISS Conventions date in Burbank, CA.

UNMASKED was certified Gold by the RIAA.

US Billboard Top 200 Chart: #35
Canada Chart: #12

SHANDI (single)
US Billbord  Pop Singles Chart:  #47
Australian Singles Chart: #10
Canada Chart: #28
Norway Chart: #4


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