Sean's Kanadian KISS
KISS Discography 1976-1978
I have rated each album
on a scale of 1 to 5 demon boots (5 being the best) according to my own
tastes. Remember, these are my own
and should be taken as such. Scroll down the page, or click on the
album title to go directly to the review.
Rock and Roll Over
The Originals II
Released March 15, 1976
Detroit Rock City/ King of the Night Time
World/ God of Thunder/ Great Expectations/ Flaming Youth/ Sweet Pain/ Shout
It Out Loud/ Beth/ Do You Love Me?
A great follow-up to the success of Alive!.
Detroit Rock City remains one of KISS' best
songs (I love the news/driving car intro). That opening guitar is
one of the most memorable riffs in music. And the crashing segue
into King of The Night Time World shows the creativity that Bob
Ezrin brought to the band. God of Thunder is Gene at his demonic
best (even though Paul wrote it). The whole gothic-theme of the song
epitomizes the image Gene was trying to create for himself as The Demon.
It Out Loud is basically Rock and Roll All Nite Part 2; Beth
is one of the best (but heinously over-played) power ballads to this day;
and Do You Love Me? is a great closer. Sweet Pain has
great lyrics with Gene reaching new levels of sleaze.
Bob Ezrin really took KISS in a different direction
with Destroyer. Rather than make another hard rock album,
Ezrin used a lot of studio effects and strange layering of songs to achieve
the distinct sound that made Destroyer special. The creativity
that was put into Destroyer doesn't always work, though. Flaming
Youth has its moments, but doesn't quite measure up to the caliber
of the rest of the material. The choir in Great Expectations
makes a bad song even worse. Fortunately, though, Great Expectations
is the only bad song on Destroyer. This is a great album and
it really got the ball rolling for KISS.
After the success of Alive!, KISS was now opening for bands that
were headlining for them only a year or two earlier. Examples include
Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult.
Word-of-mouth was very poor on the experimentation that KISS took with
Fans who were won over by the band's earlier hard rock sound were put off
by the choirs and unusual instruments.
King of the Night Time World is actually a parodied title of the
Elvis song King of the Whole Wide World.
The newscaster at the beginning of Detroit Rock City is actually
The kid in the recording of God of Thunder is Bob Ezrin's son, David.
Former Alice Cooper guitarist Dick Wagner actually plays lead guitar on
Pain and Great Expectations; this became a trend hereafter,
with Ace playing bass on many songs and other guitarists filling in for
Gene plays rhythm guitar on Great Expectations.
Two singles (Shout It Out Loud/ Sweet Pain and Flaming
Youth/ God of Thunder) were released and were poorly received
causing Destroyer to sell miserably until Detroit Rock City/
was released as the third single.
Beth, originally written in 1970 and titled "Beck", was actually
the B-side of the Detroit Rock City single but an Atlanta DJ began
playing the song and it took off.
Ken Kelly painted the cover for Destroyer. He would do the
cover for Love Gun the following year.
Destroyer's Japanese release is subtitled Army From/Of Hell.
Destroyer eventually peaked at # 11 on Billboard's album
The success of Beth translated into increased sales of Destroyer
and KISS began a massive world tour with a "wasteland" stage set-up.
KISS originally wanted a car crash like the one heard at the beginning
of Detroit Rock City to occur on stage at EVERY show on the tour;
plans for this were obviously nixed due to safety reasons and costs.
On the Destroyer tour, KISS used a string of soon-to-be-successful
artists as opening acts: Rush, Cheap Trick, Scorpions, and Bob Seger and
the Silver Bullet Band; later artists would include Judas Priest (1979),
Iron Maiden (1980), Motley Crue (1983), and Queensryche (1984).
Kim Fowley, who co-wrote King of The Night Time World and Do
You Love Me? was the sven gali behind such 70's groups as Slade and
The Runaways with Joan Jett and Lita Ford.
Songs such as God of Thunder, King of the Night Time World,
and Flaming Youth fueled rumors that KISS stood for "Knights/ Kids
In Satan's Service".
Detroit Rock City was based on an earlier song that KISS performed
only in concert called Acrobat.
Released July 21, 1976
A three-record compilation of KISS, Hotter
Than Hell, and Dressed To Kill released to capitalize on the
success of Alive! and Destroyer. This has never been
released on CD and is extremely rare; in fact, only 250,000 copies of the
album were pressed. KISS included some free stuff in the set including
a 16-page color booklet, a KISS Army sticker, and a set of six trading
cards showcasing each band member. If I ever get my hands on this,
my life could end then and there. The cover is one of KISS' best
as the band's first album cover is super-imposed on a giant, fiery mushroom-cloud
showing the members in the flames. AWESOME!!
The Originals was so successful that after Love Gun was released
in 1977, a second compilation called The Originals II, was released
in Japan and contained Destroyer, Rock and Roll Over, and
Gun. The Originals II is one of the hardest KISS sets
to find because of its foreign release and limited number of copies.
In Japan, The Originals was subtitled The Whole Picture of Hell.
Peaked at # 36 on Billboard's album chart.
and Roll Over
Released November 1, 1976
I Want You/ Take Me/ Calling Dr. Love/ Ladies
Room/ Baby Driver/ Love 'Em and Leave 'Em/ Mr. Speed/ See You In Your Dreams/
Hard Luck Woman/ Makin' Love
This is the second best KISS album of all!
With the exception of Baby Driver and
Love 'Em and Leave 'Em, every song is great. I will admit though
that for a Peter song, Baby Driver is probably my favorite. Calling
Dr. Love is the real standout here. It is one of Gene's best.
Luck Woman, is another good Peter song though the sappy ballads are
getting a little trying. I Want You and
2 of Paul's better songs from the 70's. The acoustic intro to I
Want You is a personal fave. One song that I seem to like more
and more each time I hear it is Mr. Speed. It is another one
of those songs that just was forgotten amongst the dearth of material the
band released in such a short period of time.
This has to be KISS' sleaziest album to date with
constant innuendo (See You In Your Dreams) or blatant sexual connotations
(Take Me, Ladies Room, Love 'Em and Leave 'Em). Not
that that's a bad thing! Ace's guitar work is fantastic here and
the band is at their musical peak. Even though they are churning
out the albums by this point, Rock And Roll Over is the best KISS
album of their peak period (1976-9).
KISS recorded Rock and Roll Over in the Star Theatre in Nanuet,
New York to capture a "live" sound.
After deliberating whether or not Rock and Roll Over should continue
in the experimental vein of Destroyer or return to their hard rock
roots, the band chose the latter.
Rock and Roll Over was the first KISS album to ship platinum--1,000,000
Hard Luck Woman was written by Paul for Rod Stewart but Stewart
showed no interest in recording the song.
Love 'Em and Leave 'Em contains the line, "You want to sit in my
driver's seat, if you do it's alright with me," which was originally a
line from the song Drive Me Wild, that became Rock and Roll All
Gene plays rhythm guitar on See You In Your Dreams.
More free stuff: this time a sheet where fans could order various KISS
paraphernalia, and a sectioned sticker of the album cover.
The Japanese release is subtitled Rock Fire From Hell.
Rock and Roll Over reached # 11 on Billboard's charts.
Three promotional clips were recorded for Rock and Roll Over--I
Want You, Hard Luck Woman, and Love 'Em and Leave 'Em.
December 12, 1976--Ace is electrocuted on stage in Lakeland, Florida after
he touches a metal handrail. Apparently, he sent a current through
himself after holding his guitar with one hand and the handrail with the
other; faulty wiring was blamed. After blacking out and tumbling
down the stairs unconscious, Ace is revived and after 20 minutes, comes
out and plays the show despite the fact that he can't feel his fingers.
What a trooper!
KISS tours Japan for the first time in March 1977 and is overwhelmed by
the frenzy that awaits them as hundreds of delirious fans throw themselves
on the limousine carrying the band. KISS played 4 Japanese cities
in a week to 48,000 fans and broke attendance records set by The Beatles
in the 1960's.
Released June 7, 1977
I Stole Your Love/ Christine Sixteen/ Got
Love For Sale/ Shock Me/ Tomorrow and Tonight/ Love Gun/ Hooligan/ Almost
Human/ Plaster Caster/ Then She Kissed Me
This being the last of KISS' studio releases during
their height of popularity, Love Gun does not quite live up to Rock
and Roll Over but is slightly better than Destroyer.
Two big disappointments here: Hooligan (do
you get the feeling that I'm not a big fan of Peter Criss) and Then
She Kissed Me (file this under the category "What Were They Thinking?!").
is too awful for words. Peter's crappy singing voice is really accentuated
on this song, proving why his material was never used by the band.
And Then She Kissed Me...come on, boys! What the hell are
However we finally get to hear the Space Ace belt
out a tune--Shock Me--and was it ever worth the wait! I wonder
if Ace was inspired by his electrocution 7 months earlier? Great
guitar work, great vocals, just an all-around great tune. Love
Gun is one of my top 5 KISS albums because of Shock Me, I
Stole Your Love, the title track, and Plaster Caster.
These are some of my favorite KISS songs ever and they really stand out.
Stole Your Love and Love Gun are in the same vein as Makin'
Love, C'mon and Love Me, et al, but this type of song is what Paul does
best. What can I say about Plaster Caster? It is truly
a Gene original and the tongue-in-cheek subject matter makes for an entertaining
song. Got Love For Sale is a bit weak, though. Christine
Sixteen is a bit of a departure musically (not lyrically, of course)
for Gene and one can see where his musical vision was headed (his solo
album exemplifies this same type of experimentation). I'm still up
in the air over the sound of Tomorrow and Tonight (I think its those
female back-up Motown-style singers) and the bizarre Almost Human
(but it's a Gene song so I like it nonetheless).
Shortly before Love Gun was completed, a Gallup poll indicated that
KISS was the most popular band in the US, beating Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin,
and the Eagles.
Love Gun was the second KISS album to ship platinum.
Love Gun was the first album to have all four members contribute
On the same day that Love Gun was released, Marvel Comics shipped
its first KISS comic which reportedly contained the blood of Gene, Paul,
Ace, and Peter in the ink. The issue would quickly sell 800,000 copies
and become Marvel's best-seller of all time.
KISS set a new record on the charts as they were the first band in history
to have 4 albums on Record World's top 100 at the same time: Alive!,
and Roll Over, and Love Gun.
Love Gun was the last album released by KISS to include all four
members in the recording studio together at the same time.
Paul plays bass and rhythm guitar on Love Gun and all guitars on
She Kissed Me.
Gene plays rhythm guitar on Almost Human and Plaster Caster.
Free stuff this time included a cardboard "Love Gun" that could be used
as a pop-gun when assembled, and another KISS order form.
Ace was so nervous when recording his vocals for Shock Me that he
sang them lying down in the studio so he wouldn't have to look at anyone.
A song written by Peter and Stan Penridge called Love Bite was rejected
for inclusion on Love Gun for being "too raunchy".
A sampling of Christine Sixteen is used in Tone-Loc's 1989 hit song,
Gene discovered Van Halen around this time and helped them get their first
recording deal. He produced the Van Halen demo in early 1977.
It contained two songs: House of Pain, which would later appear
on Van Halen's album 1984, and Runnin' With The Devil which
appeared on their first album. Rumors have circulated that Gene had
ulterior motives; with the problems surrounding Ace and Peter, a new guitarist
and drummer was being shopped around for by KISS and Eddie Van Halen and
Alex Van Halen fit the bill perfectly. This role would take on greater
significance ten years later as Gene moved into producing new acts and
away from his duties with KISS.
The guitar solo that Ace Frehley plays on Christine Sixteen is an
exact duplicate of the solo played by Eddie Van Halen on the original demo
he and his brother Alex recorded with Gene Simmons in 1977.
The Love Gun cover was done by Ken Kelly, the same artist who painted
the Destroyer album cover. Kelly also painted album covers
for Rainbow and Manowar.
Love Gun reached # 4 on Billboard's album charts--their highest-charting
release to date.
August 25-26, 1977--KISS records 2 shows at the LA Forum to be used as
live material for their next release, Alive II.
Released October 29, 1977
Detroit Rock City/ King of the Night Time
World/ Ladies Room/ Makin' Love/ Love Gun/ Calling Dr. Love/ Christine
Sixteen/ Shock Me/ Hard Luck Woman/ Tomorrow and Tonight/ I Stole Your
Love/ Beth/ God of Thunder/ I Want You/ Shout It Out Loud/ All-American
Man/ Rockin' In The USA/ Larger Than Life/ Rocket Ride/ Any Way You Want
Well, I guess it was inevitable that following the
success of Alive! and the three subsequent studio albums, Alive
II would be released. The first 75% of Alive II is packed
with live hits from Destroyer, Rock and Roll Over, and Love
Gun. Detroit Rock City, I Stole Your Love, and
Want You are the best songs on the album. Ace's guitar solo in
Me, and Peter's drum solo and Gene's bass thumping in God of Thunder
also stand out as highlights.
However the fourth side of this 2 LP/CD release
is mostly filled with rubbish; they are songs that the band churned out
to fulfill contractual obligations. Rocket Ride is a great
song and shows what we've missed by not having Ace Frehley sing until the
band's sixth studio album! Larger Than Life is your typical
Gene raunch but isn't too bad. The other three songs though
are just drivel!
Rating: Live Material--
The five new songs recorded for Alive II were done so partly due
to contractual obligations and partly because KISS didn't want to repeat
material from Alive! which was released only 2 years earlier.
The shows that were recorded for Alive II had the most special effects
and amplifiers ever used on stage.
Of the new tracks, Ace Frehley only played on Rocket Ride; Rick
Derringer played lead guitar on All-American Man and Bob Kulick
played lead on the other three tracks. Ironically, it was Bob Kulick
that was passed over for Ace to join the band originally.
Reached # 7 on Billboard's album charts.
Any Way You Want It, an old favorite of Gene's, is a remake of the
original Dave Clark Five song.
Rocket Ride is performed entirely by Ace and Peter.
Original promotional pressings of the Alive II album mentioned the
inclusion of the songs Take Me, Hooligan and Do You Love
Me on the album cover.
KISS originally wanted to record Jailhouse Rock as the fifth track
for Alive II, but reconsidered after Elvis' death only 2 months
Peter once reported in an interview that Hard Luck Woman and Tomorrow
and Tonight were not live recordings but were done in the studio with
crowd noises mixed in later.
KISS included a full-color book called "The Evolution of KISS" which chronicled
the ever-changing look of the band over the years, some removable tattoos,
and another merchandise sheet as bonus items in Alive II.
Released March 25, 1978
Released only in Japan, The Originals II is
EXTREMELY rare. I have never even seen a copy of this album.
It contains KISS' most commercially successful recordings: Destroyer,
and Roll Over, and Love Gun. Because the KISS catalogue
was so sparse in Japan, Casablanca decided to release The Originals
II exclusively in Japan to capitalize on the market.
Obviously, the content of the collection speaks
for itself. KISS was at their peak during 76-77 and the albums exemplify
what KISS wanted to do--play music and entertain their fans.
As with The Originals, if I ever find a copy
of this, I think my heart will stop beating permanently.
Included in the package was lyrics, a photo book, and 4 KISS masks.
The Originals II has fetched a price of $325 U.S.. It is highly
Overview of Hell, Part II is the subtitle of The Originals II
Released April 24,1978
Strutter '78/ Do You Love Me?/ Hard Luck Woman/
Calling Dr. Love/ Let Me Go, Rock N Roll/ Love Gun/ God of Thunder/ Firehouse/
Hotter Than Hell/ I Want You/ Deuce/ 100,000 Years/ Detroit Rock City/
Rock Bottom (Intro)/ She/ Rock and Roll All Nite/ Beth/ Makin' Love/ C'mon
and Love Me/ Cold Gin/ Black Diamond
Double Platinum is a fantastic collection
of KISS' greatest hits. However, the majority of the original songs
were remixed, and some were changed significantly.
The band recorded a new version of Strutter,
which is pithy compared to the original. It's been "grooved-up" with
a hi-hat and a swishy thing. The intro to Rock Bottom tagged
on at the beginning of She is a nice touch; Hard Luck Woman
has an extended acoustic intro which is kind of nice. Black Diamond
the droned ending of the original by repeating the opening verse at the
end. Calling Dr. Love has a nifty feel to it with the slurred
intro. I almost prefer this version to the original.
Only a KISS fan with the most acute knowledge (like
myself and those of you who have made it this far down the page) would
pick up on the majority of the retooling done to the songs on Double
Platinum. I can't say too many negative things about Double
Platinum; after all, it IS KISS' greatest hits!
It is a very comprehensive package of the big songs though, of course,
there are a few omissions that I would have liked to see included (Shock
Me, being the best example). My only complaint is the
weight of Paul material here versus that of Gene. They are all indisputably
grade A material but a couple of the rawer tracks like Goin' Blind,
and Watchin' You could have been added to rough things up a little.
After touring and recording constantly for nearly 4 years, KISS decided
to take a break so they released Double Platinum to fill the gap
between new material.
The remixes, done by Sean Delaney, a former KISS roadie, had the bass and
drums boosted and the vocals and guitars compressed to capitalize on the
popularity of the incoming dance craze--disco.
Peter and Ace were beginning to show their unhappiness at being in KISS,
so Double Platinum also gave the band members time to record their
respective solo albums.
Double Platinum reached # 24 on Billboard's album chart.
The original album, with a shiny silver embossed cover, was packaged with
a miniature "Platinum" award which read, "This Platinum Award Is Presented
To _________________ With Our Gratitude. Thank You For Helping Us
Make Double Platinum Success".
Included as well were embossed illustrations of the band members by Eraldo
Carugati, the same artist who would create the covers for the solo albums
released 5 months later.
Solo Albums 1978
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KISS Member Bios
My KISS Tattoo Library
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