For the uninitiated, Music from “The Elder” was KISS’s greatest misstep in a long career with more than a few. After 1980’s Unmasked bombed (they didn’t even tour behind it!), the band decided it was time to get back to basics, working again with the producer who had given them their most successful album, Destroyer. Instead, Bob Ezrin’s cocaine habit talked Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley into a concept album to rival Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
This is hilarious for many reasons, but especially funny when you consider that 99.998% of previous KISS songs were about partying and getting laid. Even Ace Frehley, the crazy, off-the-rails alcoholic in the band, knew this was a terrible idea. It was conceived as a soundtrack to a movie that didn’t exist! Here’s the story, courtesy of Wikipedia …
The basic plot of “The Elder” involves the recruitment and training of a young hero (The Boy) by the Council of Elders who belong to the Order of the Rose, a mysterious group dedicated to combating evil. The Boy is guided by an elderly caretaker named Morpheus. The album’s lyrics describe the boy’s feelings during his journey and training, as he overcomes his early doubts to become confident and self-assured. The only spoken dialogue is at the end of the last track, “I”. During the passage, Morpheus proclaims to the Elders that The Boy is ready to undertake his odyssey.
How could this be anything but a cocaine album?