NEIL DANIELS – Live to Win – A Casual Guide to the Music of KISS Frontman Paul Stanley
"Live to Win", one of the latest books by author Neil Daniels, focuses primarily on the two solo albums released by legendary KISS frontman Paul Stanley, namely his 1978 self-titled output and that rather nasty 2006 turd entitled "Live to Win". While it may seem somewhat ambitious on paper to write a book on merely two albums, Daniels has actually managed to compile quite a few interesting things regarding the aforementioned albums and compose a worthwhile read on Stanley’s solo career. Actually, there is a lot of stuff on KISS as well, but, as I stated before, the focus is primarily on Stanley’s own albums, his solo tours in 1989 and 2006, the DVD release entitled "One Live Kiss", his involvement in the theatrical production of "Phantom of the Opera", and his paintings.
What I enjoyed the most about this book was all the stuff relating to the excellent 1978 album and how that was recorded as well as who was involved and so on. There are a lot of interesting stories there, and it was very cool to read and learn how guitarist Bob Kulick, drummer Carmine Appice, producer Jeff Glixman, and some of the others involved view the album as well as how the creative process unfolded from start to finish. There were a lot of funny and fascinating stories that I had never personally heard or read anything about earlier on, so hats off to Daniels for bringing those to light for those of us who are not either possessed by or all-knowing when it comes to KISS. Daniels has also included a Paul Stanley trivia section, a discography, pictures, a timeline of events, reviews, and tributes to Stanley from various musicians and the likes.
I feel that some passages could have been elaborated on and discussed in more detail, and the typos throughout the book are really annoying. While I would not go so far as to deem the book a classic or all out brilliant, it is nevertheless an entertaining literary presentation on the Starchild’s solo endeavours and one that a lot of KISS fans, regardless of whether they are casual fans or of the hardcore variety, will devour in no time. I had fun reading it.