Today the man who was born Stanley Harvey Eisen and later became the Starchild Paul Stanley turns 60 years old. You are always defined by your favorites KISS member. If it's Stanley, like with us, then you're an outgoing, charismatic person who lives for fun. If it's Peter Criss, then you're a quiet lover with a big heart. If it's Vinnie Vincent then you don't exist.
Stanley's greatest contribution to the world of music has been in his full-time dedication to the empire that is KISS, and the demands that managing that huge endeavor have left him little time to pursue any other avenues of musical expression. However, we did find six non-KISS related gems to showcase as a present.
Recorded with Desmond Child under the name the Dudes of Wrath, the title from the Wes Craven flop is the best part of a really forgettable film. In fact, one look at the soundtrack leads us to believe that the whole thing was just an excuse to showcase some rock and metal rather than really scare anybody.
Stanley has been asked to produce albums for groups as big as Poison and Guns n' Roses, but has just never really had the time to do so. One exception to that was new England. He co-produced their debut album in 1979, spawning a top 40 hit in "Don't Ever Wanna Lose Ya."
Another behind the scenes treat from Stanley is a tune that he wrote with power poster Ben Roman of the Click Five called "Angel to You (Devil to Me)." Producer Mike Deneen introduced Roman to Stanley, who was quite impressed with the quality of music and lent his support to help launch the band.
In 1999 Stanley took the stage as the Phantom of the Opera in Toronto. By all accounts he did a fair job. We apologize for the quality of the song. We've only ever seen bootlegs from Stanley's portrayal, and there's even an "official" bootleg called You Can't Escape His Kiss which was the tagline used in his run.
Of note, we've heard two very different styles used by Stanley during his stint. The first sounds exactly like what you'd think Stanley doing musical theatre would sound like, but the second is a deeper, more subtle work that leans much more to the traditional interpretation you usually get in the show. This version of "Music of the Night" is definitely the latter.
Another Phantom alumni, no less a star than Sarah Brightman, invited Stanley to duet with her on her album Symphony in 2008. Like his more subtle portrayals in Phantom, Stanley really explores another side of his singing on the track, something that we really wish he'd do more of.
Then again, one of the things we love about Stanley is his complete lack of subtlety and his dedication to all things over the top rock and roll. Plus, the fact that somebody actually used this song in a training montage for World of Warcraft seals the deal. Thank you South Park.
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