Music / Music from "The Elder"
Music From "The Elder".

Music From "The Elder" is the ninth studio album by KISS, released in 1981. It was an attempt at a Progressive Rock Concept Album that came out around the time when the band's fortunes were slipping following the releases of the four solo albums, Dynasty, and Unmasked, and after the replacement of drummer Peter Criss with Eric Carr. The album would cause the band to eventually replace lead guitarist Ace Frehley with Vinnie Vincent in 1983, as Ace only contributed to a few tracks on the album. Ace wanted to create a much harder rock album, but was outvoted by the band's two other founding members and Eric Carr had no say in the matter. (Some of the songs that were demoed before this album's release would find their way onto the 1982 Europe-only release of Killers.) It is considered an Old Shame even by a seemingly shameless band as very few songs from the album were ever performed live by the band.

Tracklist (International Version, 1997 CD Remaster):

  1. "Fanfare" (1:22)
  2. "Just A Boy" (2:25)
  3. "Odyssey" (5:37)
  4. "Only You" (4:17)
  5. "Under The Rose" (4:52)
  6. "Dark Light" (4:19)
  7. "A World Without Heroes" (2:41)
  8. "The Oath" (4:33)
  9. "Mr. Blackwell" (4:49)
  10. "Escape From The Island" (2:51)
  11. "I" (5:04)

Tracklist (US and European Version):

Side One

  1. "The Oath"
  2. "Fanfare"
  3. "Just A Boy"
  4. "Dark Light"
  5. "Only You"
  6. "Under The Rose"

Side Two

  1. "A World Without Heroes"
  2. "Mr. Blackwell"
  3. "Escape From The Island"
  4. "Odyssey"
  5. "I"
  6. "Finale"

Principal Members:

  • Eric Carr - drums, percussion, vocals, guitar
  • Ace Frehley - guitar, backing and lead vocals, bass
  • Gene Simmons - lead vocals, bass, guitar
  • Paul Stanley - lead vocals, guitar

A world without tropes is like a world without sun.

  • Absentee Musician: Ace Frehley, appearing only on a few tracks. He would be entirely absent in the following album Creatures Of The Night.
    • Absentee Actor: Christopher Makepeace is supposed to have a speaking part on the album as The Boy, but has been left out.
  • All There in the Manual: The story of The Elder leading up to the events that take place in the album are in the liner notes.
  • Ancient Order of Protectors: The Elder (a.k.a. The Order Of The Rose).
  • Angst: Expressed by The Boy in "Just A Boy"
    I'm just a boy
    And my future is unveiling,
    And I'm so frightened of failing.
  • Artifact Title: The music on the album was originally meant to be the soundtrack to a film called The Elder.
  • As the Good Book Says: "Dark Light"
    Sodom and Gomorrah, the malevolent order.
  • Badass Creed/Heroic Vow: "The Oath".
    Your glory, I swear I ride for thee
    Your power, I trust it rides with me
    Your servant, I am and ever shall I be.
  • Big Bad: Mr. Blackwell, from the eponymous song.
  • The Chosen One: The Boy, who is addressed in the song "Only You".
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: An unofficial comic book adaptation of the album's story appeared in a 1998 KISS-related magazine.
  • Cover Version: "Odyssey" was originally by Tony Powers.
  • Crapsack World: "A World Without Heroes" tries to describe such a world as this.
    In a world without heroes
    There's nothing to be
    It's no place for me
  • Dark Is Evil/Light Is Not Good: "Dark Light".
  • Determinator: The Boy, in the song "I".
  • Drugs Are Bad: In "I": "Don't need to get wasted, it only holds me down." (Also a Take That to Ace Frehley.)
  • Fading into the Next Song: In the original 1981 album release, it's "Just A Boy" —> "Dark Light". In the 1997 Remaster, it's "Just A Boy" —> "Odyssey".
  • Fanfare: The titular second song from the original 1981 album, the first on the 1997 Remaster, both preceding "Just A Boy"
  • I'm Not a Hero, I'm.../Just a Kid: "Just A Boy".
    But I'm no hero
    Though I wish I could be
    For I am just a boy
    Too young to be sailing
  • Instrumentals: "Fanfare" and "Escape From The Island".
  • New Sound Album: See the description in the intro.
  • One-Letter Title: "I".
  • One Man Song: "Mr. Blackwell".
  • One-Word Title: "Fanfare".
  • Pep Talk Song: "I"
    Now I, I believe in me
    And I, I believe in something more
    Than you can understand
    Yes, I believe in me
  • Power Ballad: "Odyssey".
  • Record Producer: Bob Ezrin, who also worked on Destroyer and later Revenge.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Implied in "Odyssey":
    Once upon not yet, long ago someday, countless times we met, met along the way.
  • Rite of Passage: The quest that the Boy undertakes is implied to be one in "Under The Rose".
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Finale" closes out the album with The Order speaking to Morpheus about The Boy.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: "Mr. Blackwell", sung from the POV of his underlings who don't like him.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons on "I".