I have been known to partake in a drop of the hard stuff on the odd occasion. In fact, one of my darkest secrets is that my initial foray into rock started (and almost ended) with Kiss. Of course it had nothing to do with their records, heck I didn’t even know any of their songs! Like a lot of other kids my age, I was well and truly suckered into their tacky, cartoon gothic universe by the face paint, the spitting of blood, the breathing of fire and most of all by the action figures, the Marvel comic book and a worn out VHS copy of Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park. At 12 years old I thought they were cool as fuck. Only then did I start listening to the music!
Disappointingly, all I found were nine vintage seventies albums of ultra-simplistic hard rock, mid-tempo power chords and stupid sexist lyrics. I made a huge effort yet couldn’t help feeling that the whole Kiss concept and the surrounding myths were a lot more interesting than the laughably bad reality of their music. Rumours like Ace Frehley regularly masturbating in public, Paul Stanley being nicknamed He She by the rest of the band because of his raging androgyny and effeminate stage persona, Gene Simmons having his tongue surgically extended and the Marvel Kiss Comic using their blood instead of red ink! No album could possibly compete with such stories but that didn’t seem to stop them selling by the bucket load.
When their hit factory eventually dried up in the eighties, Kiss removed their makeup, replaced their lead guitarist about fifty times and pushed on despite a lack of interest. I’d had the sense to stop at Dynasty so was blissfully unaware of all their later nostalgia bollocks. Embarrassed by my early fandom, I had successfully exorcised them from my memory before revisiting them again for this playlist. I probably expected them to have improved with age. But once again I was disappointed and finally realised that beyond the wide eyed wonder of the kiddie years, Kiss had always been just another artistically corrupt, corporate, money making machine that had more to do with pro-wrestling showbiz than rock’n’roll.
1. Firehouse / Kiss / February 1974
2. 100,000 Years / Kiss / February 1974
3. Got To Choose / Hotter Than Hell / October 1974
4. Hotter Than Hell / Hotter Than Hell / October 1974
5. C'mon And Love Me / Dressed To Kill / March 1975
6. Deuce / Alive! / September 1975
7. Parasite / Alive! / September 1975
8. Black Diamond / Alive! / September 1975
9. King Of The Night Time World / Destroyer / March 1976
10. Flaming Youth / Destroyer / March 1976
11. I Want You / Rock And Roll Over / November 1976
12. I Stole Your Love / Love Gun / June 1977
13. Christine Sixteen / Love Gun / June 1977
14. Got Love For Sale / Love Gun / June 1977
15. Shock Me / Alive II / October 1977
16. Rocket Ride / Alive II / October 1977
17. Snow Blind / Ace Frehley / September 1978
18. 2,000 Man / Dynasty / May 1979