From the Vault...



© Casablanca/Polydor Records

Year of Release: 1976

track listing
  • 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
  • Rock And Roll Party

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    Previous Review: #1797
    Ben Harper--Diamonds On The Inside
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    Point Of Grace--24

    On March 15, 1975, I was eleven years old (soon to be twelve in May), when the Kiss album Destroyer was released. During my teen years, and Kiss' 1970s decade popularity, I wasn't really into Kiss, as I was already interested in music. However, I did get into Kiss more, after high school. Destroyer was obviously one of the early popular Kiss albums. And, their song "Beth" was probably the beginning of what was to be called "Monster Ballads," where hard rock bands would record softer Rock songs. Not only was "Beth" was recorded by the band's drummer Peter Criss, it proved to be one of the most popular songs by Kiss, and possibly THE biggest hit by the original group members of Kiss: Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehey and Peter Criss. Destoyer was the band's fourth studio album of their career.

    "Detroit Rock City" was another Kiss favorite, and most likely, Kiss wasn't heard on AM radio during their 1970s prime, as I would listen to the recent music of the day on AM radio. "Kin Of The Night Time World" definitely has a good hard rock sound, and as I listen, I can see that Kiss may have been ahead of their own time, with their sound, and how Rock music was heard back in the mid-1970s when this album was released. It had a much harder edge, and obviously, not ready for AM radio. FM radio was perfect for this sound, as FM would acheive Rock music of different sounds, and you would never hear on AM.

    "God Of Thunder" continues that unique Rock sound, and again, it had a unique Rock sound, and would establish Kiss' own Rock style. Having a much more darker sound, this song was (if not the start of it in the 1970s), defined as "heavy Metal." "Great Expectations" is softer than the first two songs, as it reminds me of how the Kinks sounded during their 1970s output. "Flaming Youth" again, continues that "Kiss sound"; it's another good (hard) Rock tune. "Sweet Pain" rocks it out - another great hard rocking Kiss song. Likewise, "Shout It Out Loud" keeps that great hard rock rocking.

    Then, when you least expect it, from hearing all that great hard rock sound from Kiss, "Beth" is heard. I'm saying that, as if we were listening to this album when it was first released. Maybe when this album was first released, "Beth" just may have been a song where many hard rock fans would give it a thumbs down, but, as this song became more well-known, this song would not only be one of the biggest of their career, this song (and probably the only one) would definitely fit the AM radio format. "Do You Love Me" ends with the hard rock sound again, the way Kiss was always remembered for. At the end of this track, is the mysterious "Rock And Roll Party." Is it sounds from a concert? Or something heard on a horror movie soundtrack? It's less than a minute and a half of sound effects, and it matches the uniqueness of Kiss, and their sound.

    Kiss' Destroyer was described as "a ridiculously over-the-top party-rock album that just gets better with age." True. This album received mixed reviews after it was released. As mentioned, Kiss I believe was ahead of their time when they burst on the scene, with their unique hard rock style. Saying this album "gets better with age" does good have a point. Hard Rock music got better throughout the decades, and listening to this album 45 years later, it easily fits the Hard Rock genre. And possibly, Heavy Metal as well. The Destroyer album cover is also pointed out, as it has to be one of the greatest Rock album covers of all time. This album cover was painted by fantasy artist Ken Kelly. He was invited to a Kiss show, and given a backstage pass. Kelly was impressed of the band's performance - "it blew me away.' Kelly was later commissoned by the band to draw the cover of Kiss' 1977 album, Love Gun.

    Kiss is now performing their last tour (2021). They have done this before, just as the Rolling Stones. This will probably be their final tour, as the band members are in their late 60s/early 70s. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have been the two original members throughout the band's history (or KISStory). Ace Frehley and Peter Criss have reunited back into the band, off and on. If they do perform for the last time this time around, their music will always be remembered. Many, many studio albums and live albums from the band's 40+ year history, their legacy will continue, making them one of Rock's great (hard) rock bands. Not only that, their unique Rock sound, and of course, their face makeup, which they would be "unmasked" throughout the career. Kiss will always be a great rock band, and they were inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame, in 2014. Destroyer is an album that was during their prime. And decades later after it's release, it is still classified as a great Rock album. Ahead of it's time, maybe. But it's KISS. And that name itself in Rock music, says it all.

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    Previous Review: #1797
    Ben Harper--Diamonds On The Inside
    Next Review: #1799
    Point Of Grace--24