Being in a band is hard work. Even when a label is floating you money and your job is to do things in excess and play music for an hour a day, rock stars are still human. Despite the money and fame, the biggest bands feel neglected at times and have something to prove. Several high profile acts have felt inclined to title their albums Revenge. Maybe it’s to send a message to critics who said they were washed up, or just a cool word, but in reviewing the results it’s usually a terrible idea.
Kiss – Revenge
The 90s were really fucking weird. In 1992 a post-make up Kiss released Revenge. Once thought to be Knights In Satan’s Service, the album featured the hit song “God Gave Rock And Roll To You II”, which was also in Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. The song was their first successful US hit in years, but was actually a reworking of an Argent song, which was pretty much the same thing minus Paul Stanley’s emotional mid-song rant.
Gene Simmons served up the single “Unholy”, which contains the line “I’m suicide and salvation/ The omen of nations”, proving Kiss hadn’t gone soft. The certified Gold album’s fourth single “I Just Wanna” embarrasses like only Kiss can. The song’s chord progression is lifted from Blue Cheer’s “Summertime Blues” and in the chorus Paul let’s all the women of the world know that he doesn’t want to dance or romance, but rather he just wants to “Fuh…Fuh…Forget you!”
T.S.O.L. – Revenge
On their fourth album T.S.O.L. drifted even further from their punk roots and caught the Sunset Strip cock rock bug. Joe Wood’s singing on Change Today? fit the band’s death rock direction, crooning like Danzig at times, but the teased hair on the record’s sleeve matches the music.
Ron Emory’s signature guitar style is still present but even the punkier tracks like “Nothin’ For You” are marred by sterile production and overly dramatic vocals, making the band sound L.O.S.T.
The video for the song “Colors” sums up every 80s cliché. A picked acoustic intro gives way to Joe’s headband holding back his hair sprayed mane, as cowboys appear on the desert horizon. He gestures dramatically on an empty stage until the distortion pedal is stomped and the band appears. He spends the rest of the video touching himself and a seducing a mediocre brunette.
Bill Cosby – Revenge
Before he sat around and complained about black comedians that are funnier than him, Bill Cosby actually had a career. On Revenge, Bill rambles about throwing snowballs, does all those wacky voices, and gets the crowd to roar with laughter without saying “filth and flarn-flarn filth.”
Don’t worry, he still manages to mock his wife and children, and even talks about how he ALMOST got suspended for smoking a cigarette in a high school bathroom. In his anti-smoking rant, Bill points out how it would be cool if you could suck in the smoke and make it disappear. Yeah, sounds awesome.
King Diamond – Abigail II: The Revenge
The King returns with another macabre tale featuring poor Abigail. When we first met Abigail on his first concept album in 1987, she was just born, her mother dying during the birth, and some horsemen showed up to kill her because she’s actually some evil spirit that is supposed to do some bad shit.
In the sequel, which takes place in 1863, Abby is now 18-years-old and hanging out in a creepy mansion where her presumed dead father is living. Despite being in a wheelchair her dad manages to rape her. She gets revenge by slitting his servant’s throat, before putting shards of glass in her dad’s food and setting him on fire. The fire gets out of control though and she burns to death.
Eurythmics – Revenge
The Eurythmics drifted from straightforward electronic pop that made them famous, to more of a rock sound on their sixth album. The single “Thorn In My Side” even features saxophone, a sign of the 80s and failure. At least Annie Lennox ditched the red hair and went blonde, probably influencing homegirl in Yacht.
The album had a few hits, including "Missionary Man", which won a Grammy, but it’s hardly a classic or essential part of their catalog. Also a dude named Gully is credited for synthesizer noise on “The Miracle of Love.”