|Greatest hits by Kiss|
|Recorded||1974 – 1982|
|Producer||Michael James Jackson (new tracks)|
German release of Killers, featuring a modified band logo
Killers is the second compilation album by American hard rock group Kiss. The album was released only outside the United States, but quickly became available as an import. Of the twelve songs on Killers, four were new compositions recorded specifically for the album. These new songs were recorded at the behest of Phonogram Records in response to the commercial failure of 1981's Music from "The Elder".
By 1982, Kiss's commercial popularity was at its nadir. 1980's Unmasked barely achieved gold certification, and the band toured exclusively outside the United States for the first time in their career that year. 1981's Music from "The Elder" fared even worse—it failed to gain any certification and the band did not tour behind it at all. The album, released in November 1981, was off the charts by February 1982.
That month, Phonogram Records (the parent company of Kiss's label, Casablanca Records) requested that Kiss record four new songs, to be included in an upcoming greatest hits album. Phonogram requested hard rock songs specifically, in contrast to the progressive rock style of Music from "The Elder". The album cover, however, featured the same streamlined look the band had adopted during the "Elder" period.
Numerous outside songwriters and session musicians were employed for the writing and recording of the four new songs on Killers. Songwriter and musician Mikel Japp, who co-wrote three songs on Paul Stanley's 1978 solo album, co-wrote "Down on Your Knees" with Stanley and Bryan Adams. Adam Mitchell, another outside songwriter, was brought in by producer Michael James Jackson.
Despite being pictured on the album's cover art (from the photo-session for "Music From The Elder"), lead guitarist and co-founder Ace Frehley did not participate at all in the production of Killers. He had essentially ended his active involvement with Kiss in late 1981, although he would not officially leave the group until the end of 1982, after the release of this compilation. His replacement for the Killers sessions was Bob Kulick, who had previously subbed for Frehley on a handful of studio tracks on 1977's Alive II. However, whereas Kulick had been asked to mimic Frehley's playing style when recording for Alive II, he was permitted to employ his own techniques for Killers.
Due to the large volume of Kiss live albums and greatest hits albums already available domestically, Phonogram decided to issue the album outside the United States. The album sold in moderate numbers, reaching its highest chart position of #6 in Norway. Elsewhere, Killers peaked at #21 and #27 in Australia and Japan, respectively. In Sweden and the United Kingdom, it reached #41 and #42, respectively. None of the singles released from the album, however, charted in any country.
The release in Japan featured two additional tracks not found on the album as released in all other countries: "Escape from the Island" (Frehley, Eric Carr, Ezrin) and "Shandi" (Stanley, Poncia). Additionally, the version released in Australia consisted of the 12 tracks listed above and also included "Talk to Me" (Frehley) and "Shandi" (Stanley, Poncia). Also of note is the popular misconception that "Shout It Out Loud" on this release is a remixed version. This is not the case, however; it is the U.S. single version that merely fades out at the end rather than its abrupt album counterpart.