Black Diamond II

Let me start of by saying one thing: "I'M PISSED"! For quite a while I had been working on a project which was very similar to what Dale Sherman has published as Black Diamond! Great minds think alike, and Black Diamond 2 is the ultimate reference for the KISS fan. Like the first book it is well written and thoughtfully presented. I'm jealous! As the writer of the KISS F.A.Q. II, there is a plethora of material in the book which will be included FAQ! But I can also happily suggest that there are things on the FAQ which are not included in the book (LOL, toot-toot), but this obviously results from the fact that the FAQ is "real-time" and can be updated regularly while a book is static, once it's published it can only be updated when new editions are published. Dale Sherman is the ultimate KISS fan, and myself being very much interested in simialr subjects can appreciate the care and time-consuming effort it took to research the information in the book. It is absolutely chock full of pictures (damn, I wish I still had my scanner!).

The writing style is again informative and relaxed, just the facts. And the scope is amazing. Singles, CDs, Promo Radio Cassettes and Radio shows. This is THE definative reference book covering the solo careers of the KISS members, and Australian, Japanese, UK & US releases (plus cool cover scans from else where, check out the alternative Argentine Hotter Than Hell). The American discography is everything you'd expect, and it's nice to see scans of The Platinum and Solo samplers. I like the touch of including pictures of both pressings of "The Originals", nice! Then we get to page 87. Eric Carr & Lightning... admitedly, this has been a very difficult topic to research (for myself, it's take years to track down the album). But I can confirm that the Lightning album (known incorrectly in fan cicles as "Lightning Disco Symphony", Bionic Boogie is not mentioned anywhere on the album) was indeed released by Casablanca Records in November 1979, though the copy I have is a Promotional issue so it may have only seen limited promotional release (this month date is conjecture comparing the release code to other known releases of that year: i.e. 7152 was released in May, 7183 was released in December). It's code is 7170, so its quite interesting that the album was issued soon before Bionic Boogie/Mother Nature Father Time disbanded in December 1979 (infact, full color scans of the album are available at the FAQ II site). It is also interesting to note that there is a also Promo only 12" single for the album, particularly the track "Disco Symphony" backed by "Baby Without Your Love" (Casablanca NBD-20205DJ) which was released around the same time. All tracks on the album feature Eric Carr (then known as Paul Caravello) on drums and backing vocals. But that is not a criticism, just a clarification.

P. 111, as for Crazy Joe, a second single was issued from the album, Ice Cream (Casablanca/PolyGram NB-2334), though Ace is not involved in the track and as I've only seen this as a promo the B-side is unknown. The associated discographies are brilliant and encompass a wide range of material. The same goes for the Compilation section, damn I'm going to be busy making additions to the FAQ! Bootlegs, both audio and video, comics, books, videos... it's all covered here, but I'd be pedantic. All I can say is that you've got to see this book! Great stuff! Hell, I'm impressed, the accuracy is very good - as are the details about each issue. There's a story about most releases. I only spotted a couple of things which it would be useful to mention (apart from the stuff I've already mentioned). The Japanese single for Rock And Roll All Nite (Jet-2318) has two variations of the cover design, one with the song title listed, the other without. There is also the existance of a British version of the Destroyer Summer Tour EP, which is only avaialble as a White Lable 7" Demo pressing on EMI/Casablanca (SPSR-398) which features identical tracks and which only saw extremely limited promo release. This wasn't mentioned because it's existance was really proven (I believe), but it does exist (I own it) and it's the ultimate UK KISS rarity. Apart from my trivial additions, the book is well worth obtaining!

I've enjoyed this book more than Black Diamond, because of the material! 10/10