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 by a seemingly shameless band, as they performed very few songs from the album live.
Tracklist (International Version, 1997 CD Remaster):
- "Fanfare" (1:22)
- "Just A Boy" (2:25)
- "Odyssey" (5:37)
- "Only You" (4:17)
- "Under The Rose" (4:52)
- "Dark Light" (4:19)
- "A World Without Heroes" (2:41)
- "The Oath" (4:33)
- "Mr. Blackwell" (4:49)
- "Escape From The Island" (2:51)
- "I" (5:04)
Tracklist (US and European Version):
- "The Oath"
- "Just A Boy"
- "Dark Light"
- "Only You"
- "Under The Rose"
- "A World Without Heroes"
- "Mr. Blackwell"
- "Escape From The Island"
- 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.
- 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 boyAnd 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 theeYour power, I trust it rides with meYour servant, I am and ever shall I be.
- Big Bad: Mr. Blackwell, from the eponymous song.
- Call-Back: Gene does one to "Rock 'N Roll All Nite" from Dressed to Kill near the end of "I".
- 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 written by Tony Powers, as a guest contribution.
- Crapsack World: "A World Without Heroes" tries to describe such a world as this.In a world without heroesThere's nothing to beIt'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.)
- Epic Rocking: "Odyssey" and "I" are both over five minutes long.
- 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 heroThough I wish I could beFor I am just a boyToo young to be sailing
- Instrumentals: "Fanfare" and "Escape From The Island".
- Miniscule Rocking: "Fanfare" is under a minute and a half long.
- New Sound Album: See the description in the intro.
- One-Letter Title: "I".
- One-Man Song: "Mr. Blackwell".
- One-Word Title: "Fanfare", "Odyssey" and "Finale".
- Pep-Talk Song: "I"Now I, I believe in meAnd I, I believe in something moreThan you can understandYes, 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".
- Special Guest: Lou Reed co-wrote "Dark Light", "A World Without Heroes" and "Mr. Blackwell".
- Spoken Word in Music: "Finale" closes out the album with The Order speaking to Morpheus about The Boy.
- Step Up to the Microphone: Ace sings lead on "Dark Light".
- "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".