KISS - New Odyssey Book To Offer Definitive Examination Of 1981’s Music From The Elder Album; Video Trailer
January 4, 2016, 2 years ago
Odyssey, the latest book from KissFAQ Publishing, will spotlight arguably the most controversial album in the KISS catalog, 1981's Music From The Elder. Co-authored by Tim McPhate and Julian Gill, the book will be published in September 2016 to coincide with the album's 35th anniversary.
Through a series of long-form interviews and topical features, Odyssey will offer the definitive examination of KISS' lone concept album, which has attained cult-classic status among a segment of diehard fans. A video trailer can be found below.
Ranging from legendary producer Bob Ezrin to "Elder" door maker Bill Finneran and spoken word contributor Christopher Makepeace, the book's long-form interviews were conducted with individuals who either worked on the project or have a connection of sorts, including professionals who have never told their "Elder” story. These interviews provide unique perspectives regarding the album's creative process and legacy, in addition to fun anecdotes and personal recollections. A full list of book interviews will be announced at a later date.
The book's topical features will shed more light on KISS' activity in 1981 and early 1982 and dissect the album further with in-depth musical analysis, a comprehensive summary of the album, biographical information on the album's participants, details on the aborted companion "Elder" film, and much more.
While Music From The Elder has been mentioned in various music publications and KISS-related books, there has never been a published work that has put this album under a historical microscope. Odyssey will offer readers a complete synopsis of Music From The Elder and an unobstructed window into this fascinating period in KISStory.
Book pre-orders will be available in the spring. For news and updates, visit kissodyssey.com.
In 1981 KISS teamed with legendary producer Bob Ezrin, five years after the release of the platinum-plus Destroyer. Originally, KISS intended to record a traditional hard-rock album, but ultimately the group and Ezrin veered into unchartered concept album territory. The resulting Music From The Elder tells the tale of the recruitment of the Boy by the Council of Elders, a mythical secret society dedicated to combating all that is evil in the world. Guided by the caretaker Morpheus, the Boy sets out on a personal odyssey as he weathers self-doubt and hardship to find his true destiny as the chosen one. Along the way, he encounters evil in the form of the album's antagonist, the sinister character Mr. Blackwell. Can the Boy steer his ship through the stormy sea, take on this sacred duty and ultimately ascend to the Order of the Rose?
Musically speaking, Music From The Elder is KISS' most ambitious recording. Spirited performances by band members Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Eric Carr are supported throughout by lush orchestration courtesy of the American Symphony Orchestra, a choir ensemble and various sonic textures masterminded by Ezrin and conductor Michael Kamen. Songwriting contributors include Ezrin, Tony Powers ("Odyssey”, "The Oath") and Lou Reed ("A World Without Heroes”, "Mr. Blackwell”, "Dark Light").
Released in November 1981, Music From The Elder peaked at #75 on the Billboard 200 in early 1982. The album's lead single, "A World Without Heroes”, reached #56 on the Billboard Hot 100.