Above is a one-man cover of one of my favorite KISS songs (“Under The Rose”), albeit a somewhat obscure one to most. For those interested in brushing up on their KISStory, the original version of the track is the first we hear of a Gene Simmons / Eric Carr collaboration on vinyl, with Carr on drums, backing vocals, and acoustic guitar. It was Eric’s first record with KISS and no doubt the reality of the band’s first “concept album” — replete with operatic choruses, an orchestra, and songs about swords, oaths and ancient fire — must have taken him somewhat by surprise. Still, The Fox shines on his fledgling effort and later brings a metal sensibility to many of the following KISS records — notably, Creatures of the Night and Lick It Up.
This concept album, known as Music From “The Elder,” was not exactly successful. In 1981, it was mostly panned (and even blasted) by critics and fans alike. Being fairly misunderstood and oft-considered a mistake by some of those involved, The Elder had the opposite effect on me when I bought it: I found it so weird, bold and unexpected that I really gravitated to it and still find it to be a jewel in the rough, to use the KISS parlance. I’ve even played it for friends of mine who hate KISS, not letting on to what band it is. You’d be surprised how many of them LOVED it… until I showed them the cover bearing the KISS logo. I still might do this on occasion.
Feeling nostalgic about the track, and the album in general, I did a little Googling. Turns out that there are folks actually working to make a movie based on The Elder’s story… an idea originally tossed around by KISS during the time. Director/Writer Seb Hunter discusses his project below, including a showing of its trailer at clip’s end.