© (P) 1981 Casablanca Records; © 2014, The Island Def Jam Music Group. "Amazon" is a registered trademark of Amazon.com, Inc. "iTunes" is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.



Casablanca NBLP-7261 (US, 11/10/81)
Casablanca/PolyGram 824-153-1/4 (US Reissue, 1985)
Casablanca/PolyGram 824-153-1/2 (US Reissue, 5/23/89)
Mercury 532-390-2/4 (Int. Remaster, 10/7/97)
Casablanca/PolyGram 6302-163 (Australia, 11/81 w/ KISS Army & 12" picture insert)
Casablanca/Phonogram 6302-163 (Europe, 11/81)
Casablanca/Phonogram 6302-163 (Germany, 11/81 w/ 4-page lyric insert)
Phonogram PIC6302-163 (Holland, 1981 - Picture Disc)
Casablanca/Polystar 28S-23 (Japan, 1981 - Gatefold Cover)
Casablanca/Polystar R00C-2023 (Japan, 1984)
Casablanca/Polystar P33C-20011 (Japan, 1988 - CD Reissue)
Mercury PHCR-6112 (Japan, 1997 - CD Remaster)
Mercury PHCR-94052 (Japan, 9/19/1998 - Reissue)
Universal/Mercury UICY-3851 (Japan, 6/9/05 - Reissue)
Universal Music UICY-6425 (Japan, 9/27/06 - Reissue)
Casablanca/Phonogram 6302-163 (Norway, 11/81 w/ Poster)
Casablanca STAR-6001 (South Africa, Gatefold)


US/European Version:
A1. The Oath (4:32) - Stanley/Ezrin/Powers | LYRICS
A2. Fanfare (1:22) - Ezrin/Stanley | LYRICS
A3. Just A Boy (2:30) - Stanley/Ezrin | LYRICS
A4. Dark Light (4:12) - Frehley/Fig/Reed/Simmons | LYRICS
A5. Only You (4:19) - Simmons | LYRICS
A6. Under The Rose (4:49) - Carr/Simmons | LYRICS
B1. A World Without Heroes (2:40) - Stanley/Ezrin/Reed/Simmons | LYRICS
(USA #56, 12/12/81; UK #55)
B2. Mr. Blackwell (4:53) - Simmons/Reed | LYRICS
B3. Escape From The Island (2:50) - Frehley/Ezrin/Carr | LYRICS
B4. Odyssey (5:36) - Powers | LYRICS
B5. I (3:52) - Simmons/Ezrin | LYRICS
(AUZ #24; GER #62; HOL #48)

elder elder
Original Obi noting premiums, and standard obi without.

Japanese Version:
A1. Fanfare (1:22) - Ezrin/Stanley
A2. Just A Boy (2:36) - Stanley/Ezrin
A3. Odyssey (5:28) - Powers
A4. Only You (4:15) - Simmons
A5. Under The Rose (4:52) - Carr/Simmons
B1. Dark Light (4:17) - Frehley/Fig/Reed/Simmons
B2. A World Without Heroes (2:43) - Stanley/Ezrin/Reed/Simmons
B3. The Oath (4:31) - Stanley/Ezrin/Powers
B4. Mr. Blackwell (4:53) - Simmons/Reed
B5. I (3:53) - Simmons/Ezrin

International Remaster Version:
01. Fanfare (1:22) - Ezrin/Stanley
02. Just A Boy (2:30) - Stanley/Ezrin
03. Odyssey (5:36) - Powers
04. Only You (4:19) - Simmons
05. Under The Rose (4:49) - Carr/Simmons
06. Dark Light (4:12) - Frehley/Fig/Reed/Simmons
07. A World Without Heroes (2:40) - Stanley/Ezrin/Reed/Simmons
08. The Oath (4:32) - Stanley/Ezrin/Powers
09. Mr. Blackwell (4:53) - Simmons/Reed
10. Escape From The Island (2:50) - Frehley/Ezrin/Carr
11. I (3:52) - Simmons/Ezrin


Produced by Bob Ezrin. Associate Producer Brian Christian. Recorded at Ace In The Hole Studio, CT, January - July 1981; A & R Studios, New York City, NY, May 1981; Record Plant Studios, New York City, NY, May, July - September 1981; Ezrin Farm Studio & Sounds Interchange, Toronto, ON, Canada, March & May 1981; by Brian Christian, Rick Hart, Robert Hrycyna and David Brown. Additional Engineering by Rob Freeman, Corky Stasiak and Kevin Doyle. Mixed at Manta Sound Studio, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Japanese issue features paper-slip cover with band photo (same as the Oath single cover). There are two versions of the US cover, one with the intended (and Japanese) running order excluding "Escape From The Island", and the other with the US track order. Another one of the biggest KISS vinyl rarities selling for ever increasing amounts of money is the unofficial Turkish alternate "Elder" cover released on Dallas records (for which bootleg picture discs and counterfeit LPs now exist).

Performance credits:

The Oath - Paul Stanley on lead guitar, Ace Frehley on bass
Just A Boy - presumed session player on lead guitar
A World Without Heroes - Paul Stanley on lead guitar
Dark Light - Ace Frehley on bass
Escape From The Island - Bob Ezrin on bass
I - Allan Schwartzberg on drums
Odyssey - Allan Schwartzberg on drums, Tony Powers on keyboards
Only You - Gene Simmons on rhythm guitar
The Summoning - Robert Christie & Anthony Parr as spoken voices
** Bob Ezrin performs additional keyboards and percussion throughout.

Chart Action:

Chart Peak (USA): #75 (1/23/82) with 11 weeks on charts. Other countries: AUS #12; AUZ #12; GER #10; ITA #23; JAP #21; HOL #39; NOR #7; SWE #19; UK #51


"The Elder" remains uncertified by the RIAA. It has sold more than 110,000 copies since the Nielsen SoundScan® era commenced in 1991 and has been rumored to have passed the level needed for gold certification. However, recertification of the album seems unlikely.

Performed Live:

With the exception of "A World Without Heroes," which was performed regularly during the Unplugged era (along with brief bits of other songs off the album), material from this album has generally been ignored. The only contemporary live performance took place on Jan. 15, 1982, during the filming of the band's appearance on ABC's "Fridays" television show (a weekly late-night live comedy show). The band performed: "The Oath," "A World Without Heroes," and "I." KISS stunned fans on their third annual KISS Kruise in 2013 when they performed "The Oath" in full, October 29 - 30. More recently, the band performed "A World Without Heroes" at a special unplugged concert in Southern California in April 2014.


Album Gatefold

Original US Issue Plastic Inner Dust Sleeve
Original US Lyric Insert Sheet Page 1 | Page 2
US Issue Lyric Inner Dust Sleeve: Front | Back
US Rear Cover Credits Type I | Type 2
Center rings: USA Plant 72 | Plant 53 | Canada | UK
Turkish alternate Elder Cover (Note: This is a pirate release, heavily bootlegged)
Japanese Sticker Insert
UK Promo Stamp
Malaysia rear credits
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