KISS is currently gearing up for their 40th Anniversary tour alongside Def Leppard. The band has seen highs and lows in their many years in the music industry. From the very bottom to conquering their adversaries at the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame and Rolling Stone magazine. KISS’ discography spans from 1973 to 2014. The following three albums are the top “must haves” for a hardcore member of the KISS Army.
KISS, the self-titled debut album of the band really shows how the band wanted to portray themselves in the beginning. The band was the hard rock equivalent to the Beatles. You can see how they wanted to conquer the world through the tunes on the album. The swinging drum stylings of Peter Criss and guitar driven melodies led by Ace Frehley gave the band a rather unique sound in the early 1970’s. Many of the band’s signature tracks came from this album. “Black Diamond”, “Strutter”, “Nothin’ To Lose”, “Deuce” and “100,000 Years” are all featured.
Creatures of The Night was KISS’ attempt to get back to their hard rock roots. After many albums that were vastly different from the band’s usual work, they decided to go for a heavier sound. Accompanied with the heavier drums of Eric Carr, the band forced itself into a heavy sound. Tracks like “I Love It Loud” and “War Machine” still prove to be the hardest tracks in KISS’ history. The album also features the power ballad “I Still Love You” which shows off Paul Stanley’s true vocal abilities.
KISS 40 is a compilation album compiled of tracks from all of the band’s history. From super hits like “Heaven’s of Fire” and “Forever” to super rare tracks that had been largely unheard such as a version of “God of Thunder” with Paul on vocals and live performances of “Firehouse” and “Deuce”. KISS 40 is essential for any long time KISS fan. The booklet featured on the CD version boasts rare pictures of the band and credits to every member of KISS including Eric Carr and Mark St. John.
The average KISS fan may only be interested in the international super hits but any die hard fan should own these records. These albums all show us a different side to the band and prove that they are much more than stage antics and weird makeup. KISS has been a functioning unit driven by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons for forty years and these albums feature the very best of the band’s work.