Friday, January 05, 2007

FDF Volume 1 Issue 42: Kiss - Rock and Roll Over

Album - Rock and Roll Over
Artist - Kiss
Key Players - Gene Simmons bass, Paul Stanley guitar lead vocals, Ace Frehley guitar, Peter Criss, drums
Produced By - Eddie Kramer

Release Date - November 11, 1976

What caused me to blow off the dust? A buddy of mine and I were talking about how awesome Kiss are/was. This particular album is one of my early favorites.

Overview - This is the fifth studio album from the band. It is one of two studio records they released in 1976 (Destroyer was the other/earlier) This was the first Kiss album that would "ship" gold (500,000 Copies in the USA). The album would sell over two million copies very quickly but the highest chart position it would acquire would be #11.

Check out some neat images of the covers of the record from around the world as well as the insert on how to join the Kiss Army. Check that out here

FDF Comments (aka the songs). This goes pretty quick since a "long song" for Kiss is 3 minutes 30 seconds. Paul Stanley is the primary vocalist on the record and the first two tracks "I want you" and "Take Me" he does take the lead vocal duties. "I Want You" starts off with an acoustic guitar and soft spoken vocals before the band kicks in. The cheezy phase on the drums and guitar had to have had the stoners at the time calling it "ground breaking". "Take Me" follows the same vein with regard to the desire of a woman's attention. With perhaps the best line "EVER" in any song the line "Put your hand in my pocket and grab on to my rocket". Holy cow..who comes up with this stuff? Kiss that's who..and it rules. "Calling Dr. Love" is sung by Gene. "Ladies Room", which is also sung by Simmons, these two tracks in particular are the backbone of this record. "Dr. Love" was still performed in the recent tours. The music is beyond basic with a simple 4/4 drum beat and simple guitar chords. The song sung in the trademark Gene growl. After the first wave of chorus (they do it about 15 times) there is some ungodly low vocal line sung simple "Doctor Love" that is lower than the Gyoto Monks meeting Wolfman Jack. "Baby Driver", if you will, showcases Peter on lead vocals. His raspyness New York drawl adds something to the sound as well as the outer space guitar work of Ace. "Love 'Em and Leave 'Em" is sung by Gene. Paul returns to the lead vocal duties on "Mr Speed". Gene is back on "See You in Your Dreams". The story behind "Hard Luck Woman" is that Paul wrote this for Rod Stewart but Peter heard it and all but begged to keep it as a Kiss song and sing it himself. The record closes out with "Makin Love"

Where are they now? - The band has played as Kiss since the 1970's but have been inactive as touring act since 2004. Gene Simmons has a reality show on A&E and has kept busy with various project. Paul Stanley released a solo album in 2006. Peter Criss and Ace Frehley have battled substance abuse problems in the past and have come and gone as members of the band. Ace last performed with the band in 2002 and is back working as a solo artist. Peter has had "contract" issues with the band. He was back until 2001, was gone..was back in 2002 but was gone again in 2004.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - If you were a young teenager in the 1970s' (or had older siblings) chances are there is a picture of you (or them) in Kiss makeup. For a long time this band could no wrong. They were releasing 2+ albums a year at one time. The first time I saw Kiss was in the "non makeup phase" That show was June 29, 1990. The coolest part of this show (on top of it being my first Kiss show) was that I went to a backstage BBQ and Gene and Paul were there. I got to meet both of them and it was very cool to say the least. The next time was July 31, 1996 on the "first" reunion tour. It was over the top and absolute schlock..but man it ruled. One more time was the charm on yet another makeup tour in November 98 which seemed to be the "same old same old" but I did it one more time June 12, 2000. By this time it was just the theater and the experience. New stuff was totally omitted and the same lines were used before each song..still I threw up my "devil horns" and rocked out.

FDF Overall Take - Looking back at this record you can tell that these guys were thinking with their crotches. Just look at the song titles and innuendos. That out of the way leaves some pretty catchy tunes. It is also hard to escape the bands merchandising, but someone somewhere is buying it. That aside Kiss were and are an important part in how every rock concert is and should be. Theater, escapism and a massive party. For 2 hours you would escape into their world. They may no longer be the "Hottest Band in the land..." but these early albums are hidden classics.


At 4:11 PM, Blogger emetic sage said...

kiss kicks ass.

At 5:15 PM, Blogger Jenny G said...

Bwahhahaha!!! I had this album but I sold it. I LOVE "I Want You" though.

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Kris said...

oh man...I must be the only guy my age who loathes Kiss...the music is just lame and no amount of makeup can get me past it....I had Kiss toys, etc growing up but I never listened to the music until I was an adult....ugh.

At 8:18 AM, Blogger Sammy and Joe said...

Visions of jumping off the bed with air guitar in hand!
Hope Sean does not catch you with that Album.... He gets mad you know!


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