Sean's Kanadian KISS Konnection
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 opinions and should be taken as such.  Scroll down the page, or click on the album title to go directly to the review.
 
  • Destroyer
  • The Originals
  • Rock and Roll Over
  • Love Gun
  • Alive II
  • The Originals II
  • Double Platinum

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    Destroyer

    Released March 15, 1976
    Tracks:
    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. Shout 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.

    Interesting facts:

    Rating: 
    The Originals

    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!!

    Interesting Fact:

    Rating: 

    Rock and Roll Over

    Released November 1, 1976
    Tracks:
    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. Hard Luck Woman, is another good Peter song though the sappy ballads are getting a little trying.  I Want You and Makin' Love are 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).

    Interesting facts:

    Rating: 
    Love Gun

    Released June 7, 1977
    Tracks:
    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?!"). Hooligan 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 you doing?!
        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. I 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).

    Interesting Facts:

    Rating: 1/2 

    Alive II

    Released October 29, 1977
    Tracks:
    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 It

        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 GunDetroit Rock City, I Stole Your Love, and I Want You are the best songs on the album.  Ace's guitar solo in Shock 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!

    Interesting facts:

    Rating: Live Material--
               New Material--1/2 

    The Originals 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, Rock 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.

    Interesting facts:

    Rating: 


    Double Platinum

    Released April 24,1978
    Tracks:
    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 loses 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, Parasite, and Watchin' You could have been added to rough things up a little.

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    Rating: 


    KISS Discography 1971-1975
    KISS Discography 1976-1978
    The Solo Albums 1978
    KISS Discography 1979-1982
    KISS Discography 1983-1987
    KISS Discography 1988-1993
    KISS Discography 1994-1997
    KISS Discography 1998-Present
    Ace Frehley Discography
    Peter Criss Discography
    Eric Carr Discography
    Vinnie Vincent Discography
    Union Discography


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