On This Day In METAL History – May 20th… KISS “Unmasked” Was Released To The World

Kiss - Unmasked - promo album cover pic - 1980 - #052080KMO

On May 20th, 1980KISS released their eighth studio album: Unmasked. Shocking Fact Alert #1: Although not credited, the drummer for this entire album was Anton Fig and not Peter Criss. Now that the shock has hopefully subsided, onwards we go. Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley do play on every song on Unmasked. I just had to reinforce that info, just in case someone was wondering and started to panic. (I pause to laugh and quickly regain control).

This album was released via Casablanca Records, with a large poster inserted inside the album’s jacket. My two favorite songs from this album are: Is That You? and What Makes The World Go ‘Round. I even dig the song Shandi. Truth be told, I really like this KISS album and have no problem recommending it to anyone. This isn’t the greatest KISS album ever and it isn’t the worst either. The Elder will always be the freaking worst KISS album ever recorded; that is a fact and tell ’em Stone says so.

Kiss - Unmasked - Stones used vinyl pic - #05339MOK

Above: The front cover to my KISS Unmasked album. Some years ago I had flood waters destroy my record collection, save for a dozen or so. Yes, that life event super-sucked infected goat testicles. However, this album was one that was elevated above the water. Go figure.

Billy Squier - Emotions In Motion - promo album cover pic - #00993MOBSCR83

My first copy of Unmasked was an 8-track version. I bought this 8-track, with loot from my mother, from a (now defunct) department store called Caldor. Around 1983, I traded my Billy Squier Emotions In Motion vinyl for a used copy of Unmasked on vinyl, while in high school. A decent trade, I believe. Long ago trade aside, Billy Squier is alright in my Metal book. The 8-track and 8-track player I had are long gone. That kinda sucks. Some years ago, I finally upgraded to CD, with Unmasked. Why it took me so long to upgrade Unmasked to CD? I just don’t know, go figure.

Village People - Macho Man - promo album cover pic - #3993MOVPOMG

Shocking Fact Alert #2: Did you know that the Village People were signed to Casablanca Records too? KISS and The Village People shared the same record label. That should keep you up at night tossing and turning. WTF!?

KISS "Unmasked" Poster

That’s me holding my Unmasked poster, above! Whoa!

I’ve always enjoyed looking at the album artwork for Unmasked. Who was the artist? Victor Stabin. You can learn more about this exceptional artist and view his works by clicking here: http://www.victorstabin.com.

Kiss - Unmasked - CD - back cover - track listing - 1980 - #33MOAF0520

Above: The back cover to the KISS Unmasked CD, with track listing. Whoa!

This KISS album has always reminded me of Summer. Once again, I just don’t know, go figure. I have traded away many, many terrific items, throughout the years. My vinyl of Unmasked and its poster I could never think of parting with. Then again, who knows? Go figure and Metal be thy name. – Stone


Stone - 2011 Photo #1




10 Responses to “On This Day In METAL History – May 20th… KISS “Unmasked” Was Released To The World”

  1. Deke over at Arena Rock – Thunder Bay and Beyond reviewed Unmasked earlier this week as part of his special Kiss filler week! I’m so torn on the album. I love it because it’s Kiss, but….

  2. Unmasked is my favorite Kiss album, I did not know that Peter did not play on it though….interesting…..I actually seen Ace with Frehley’s Comet and Anton was with him.

    • That’s awesome. Anton also played on most of Dynasty and one or two tracks on the Elder too.

      • Yeah, you’re right! I “think” Peter Criss played on just one song, on “Dynasty”? I wonder if Anton Fig gets any royalty money from sales? Unreal. You ROCK, Mike! \m/

        • I don’t think that he does, I think he got paid a flat fee for appearance (but I don’t know).

          Yeah Peter played on Dirty Livin’, the one song that he wrote and sang on.

          • Excellent info! I’ll believe it was a flat fee, just based on how shrewd a businessman Gene Simmons is, from what I’ve read and heard him say in interviews over the years.

            Know what is incredibly funny? I already knew and (duh) forgot that Anton Fig was the long-time drummer for Paul Schaffer’s CBS Orchestra on The David Letterman Show! LOL! David Letterman thanked EACH band member last night, at the end of his final show… and there was Anton Fig! It’s funny how that all came into play with us blabbing about him the past 2 days! LOL!! \m/

    • Yeah, Peter Criss was battling drugs big time during this time period. The Peter Criss autobiography “Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss” has Peter really detailing when he was struggling with his addictions. Anton Fig is not even on any “official” KISS (member) timeline on their Facebook. Sad.

      I bought the Peter Criss and Ace Frehley autobiographies and passed on any Paul Stanley or Gene Simmons books. At this point, I’ve “read it all” and heard it all from interviews a million times over, from Paul and Gene. It’s like they are both “right” and everyone else is wrong; an attitude that just doesn’t seem to add up. You ROCK, man! \m/

    • Whoa! I remember seeing Frehley’s Comet back around 87… that’s damn cool that Ace Frehley had Anton Fig as his drummer. That goes to show you the good character that Ace has… and knowing that Anton Fig is a very fine drummer too. \m/

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