||From the Vault...
© Casablanca Records
I Stole Your Love
Got Love For Sale
Tomorrow And Tonight
Then She Kissed Me
Kiss related sites:
Kiss..The 1970s...The facial makeup...A band before its time...
Kiss was probably the one who really started the heavy
metal sound. Their 1977 release, Love Gun, has songs
that just rock. A few weeks ago, the
Gene Simmons solo album
was picked as the Album Pick of the Week, and comparing that
album to this week's pick, there is a big difference.
This release is the original Kiss, consisting of Simmons, Paul
Stanley, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. They had the facial
makeup, and the sound of practically every song on Love Gun
is two words: Hard Rock. These guys were more hard rockin'
than a Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath, two bands that were
popular during the 1970s. From the opening track, I
Stole Your Love and beyond, Kiss' hard rock style in
this album has you bouncing your head up and down to the beat
rather than just another band having a hard rock sound that
you couldn't find their somewhat 'rock/boogie' beat.
Tomorrow And Tonight you can't help but imitate an
air drummer, imagining twrling the sticks with one hand high
in the air between the beats. Christine Sixteen is
considered the only song that received any radio airplay.
(I remember having the single, and loving that song
every time I heard it.) Hooligan is a head-bouncing
rocker. Almost Human is LOUD; it's not a head-bouncer,
but DON'T have this one on too loud; you're head may just be bouncing
on the inside, rather than on the outside. Whatever the case, this album
you're either an air drummer, or most likely, an air guitarist.
Here's a surprise, the last song is a remake of The Crystals'
Then (S)he Kissed Me. This is a 60s tune, and it is
a different way to end this album, as comparing the past nine
hard rocking songs previously heard on this album.
Kiss was a band that never received alot of radio airplay,
unless there was an underground FM station that dared to play them
while others (mostly AM stations) couldn't or wouldn't.
Zeppelin, Sabbath, and other bands in that nature were in that
same boat. The only way (at least when I was growing up), in
hearing how great a Kiss album was, was by word of mouth
from friends at school. In fact, Kiss wasn't a regular favorite
until I grew older. I knew Kiss was out there, but radio
stations were only playing a small handful of their songs.
Of the radio airplay Kiss did get, they were probably best
known for their live version of Rock and Roll All Nite,
or in most cases, to satisfy the more mellow listeners, Beth.
But in my opinion, songs like Christine Sixteen, (from
Love Gun), Calling Dr. Love (from Rock And Roll Over)
were also great tunes. These two did get some radio
airplay, but album tracks like Black Diamond (from Kiss)
or Two Timer (from Dressed To Kill) could easily have been
favorites like say,
an album track like Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven.
I say this: Take a listen to Black Diamond, and unique as
that song is, it should of been recognized as a standard Kiss
The original Kiss or even the reshuffling lineups of Kiss
albums is an event to explore. Throughout their career, Kiss
may not be in a high caliber as other popular bands, but still,
their music is unique and enjoyable for the fans who like hard
rock/heavy metal. I don't think Kiss is in the Cleveland Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame, but it wouldn't surprise me if someday
they will. Uniqueness back in the Seventies was Kiss. Their
sound was different, and they looked different. And of course,
many music lovers/critics had different opinions about the band.
But looking back, Kiss has defined a sound that many other bands
would grow on the term Heavy Metal. Kiss may not have been the
founding fathers of Heavy Metal, but somewhere in that list,
they would be considered an inspiration for many future rock acts and
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