First things first; I love these books.
The extensive research behind these three volumes is mind blowing. 1,800 different variations of officially released Kiss LP's (and the odd counterfeit) are detailed on a level you'd never imagined possible. We get cover variations, label variations, the rare track list variation, inner sleeve variations, pressing plant variations and every single variation you'd ever think of. It's all great information that's been at least double checked. Shannon (or someone he really trusts) have submitted every single one of the pictures in this book. There shouldn't be a single fantasy release within these pages (well except for the counterfeits). Truly impressive work.
We get essays on each and every one of the official releases written by Julian Gill (well known for his work detailing the recordings of Kiss albums in the book series Kiss Album Focus). I really enjoyed reading them and picked up on things I wasn't aware of despite being quite well versed in the Kisstory of album releases. Hats off.
Unfortunately Tom Shannon has made it quite clear that he has no intention of releasing a digital version of this work. That's a damned shame if you ask me. How I wish I'd be able to zoom in on the details of the labels presented in this book. To me the beauty lies in the details and I'm afraid they're kind of lost when the labels are presented six a page. It makes them too small to fully enjoy. (Great idea presenting the labels on black pages by the way. I really dig that.)
How I'd love to get the third volume, the list of every single official release, as a Google Spreadsheet instead of on paper. Being able to sort the releases the way I want them, and rearrange them whenever I want to. Guess I'll have to put that work in myself.
Please, please, please reconsider releasing these fantastic books digitally. This information deserves to go digital.
I also wish as much effort had been put into presenting the information in the book as went into researching it. A few of the essays are cut short because of layout mistakes and there's quite a few more minor layout mishaps that should have been fixed before sending these books to the printers. I know Shannon was firmly set on getting the books out on time, but personally I would have preferred if they'd went through another round of proofing. That would have taken the books all the way to the top shelf of Kiss books.
My OCD alarm goes off when the first volume ends with the Gene Simmons solo album and the rest of the solo discs follow in volume two. That wouldn't have happened if I'd laid these books out myself.
Anywho, did I mention I love these books?