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Articles Home » 1974 Articles » Kiss - 1974 Kiss
Kiss - 1974 Kiss

LABEL: Casablanca
YEAR: 1974
CD REISSUE: Reissue List


LINEUP: Paul Stanley - guitars, vocals * Gene Simmons - bass, vocals * Ace Frehley - guitars * Peter Criss - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Strutter * 02 Nothin' To Lose * 03 Firehouse * 04 Cold Gin * 05 Let Me Know * 06 Kissin' Time * 07 Deuce * 08 Love Theme From Kiss * 09 100,000 Years * 10 Black Diamond



Let's face it from a fan's perspective. This is the first Kiss. As such it is far from perfect, nervous, shaky and sticky. However it is unforgettable, fresh as a summer peach, naive, unrepeatable and not only rock'n'roll but also pure amazing in your face kick-ass rock'n'roll. Want some background on Rainbow, Wicked Lester, the truth about Peter's Rolling Stone ad, Ace stepping into Bob Kulick's audition wearing multicoloured shoes or the kabuki makeup? Go to Kisstory. Let's talk about the music. The only thing that matters for true fans, especially true Kiss fans.

The Songs
All songs were meant to be played live. Matter of fact: all of them have been played live as witnessed by countless bootlegs. Moreover, the vast majority of Kiss's first 6 studio album songs deserve live treatment. 'Strutter' begins with Peter's drum fill and two rocking guitars (the 'big guitar' according to Paul). Stanley singing lower than his eighties register, two 'obstinato' guitar solos courtesy of Ace and a great riff after the choruses. Lyrics about NY women. A delicious glam rocker. 'Nothin To Lose', a rocker on backdoor sex, has a distinctive riff and a 50's feel with acoustic piano underneath the chorus, a Q&A singalong between Gene and Peter. 'Firehouse' is a timeless classic with Paul's signature riff and Ace's solo, allowing Gene's fire-breathing stunt live. 'Cold Gin' is the heaviest song, proto-metal, Black Sabbath overtones and Gene's fiery vocals. The interlude is classic Ace. 'Let Me Know' is a helluva rock'n'roll plenty of Ace's licks and the source of his early years' live solo. 'Kissing Time' is a Bobby Rydell fifties cover recorded and added months after the first release of the album to boost sales. Funny but out of place. Notice how its sound differs from the other songs and it's closer to the overall sound on the next album, 'Hotter Than Hell'. 'Deuce' is Gene's signature song, it became an all time concert opener. The starting riff unforgettable as is Ace's solo. After the instrumental 'Love Them From Kiss', the album finishes with the hypnotic '100,000 Years', tailor-made for audience participation and Ace's showcase, and the melancholic 'Black Diamond', the story of a lonely black prostitute heartfully sang by Peter, traded solos and a delayed ending on a single power chord.

In Summary
Album sales were less than expected and 'Hotter Than Hell' would be released the same year to collect funds for touring. 'Kiss' is an all time American hard rock classic. IMO, US hard rock starts getting its own identity with Kiss. Blues and rock and roll were born in America, hard rock in Great Britain, Kiss took the english influence, 'Americanized' it, and brought it back to their country... and later to the world, starting with 'Kiss Alive!'.

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#1 | sabace on February 29 2016 21:04:08
excellent review - there's no doubt they had their own sound .drummer
#2 | rkbluez on March 01 2016 00:37:47
A true classic album!! The one that started it all.
#3 | TheSubhuman on March 04 2016 17:13:52
Its still worth digging out for a listen all these years on score 8
#4 | Explorer on March 07 2016 18:24:05
The fact that so much of this album is still given an airing live by the band is testament to it`s greatness.
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