|Studio album by|
|Released||March 15, 1976|
|Recorded||3–6 September 1975 at Electric Lady Studios and January–February 1976 at Record Plant Studios, New York City|
|Singles from Destroyer|
Destroyer is the fourth studio album by American rock band Kiss, released on March 15, 1976 by Casablanca Records in the US. It was the third successive Kiss album to reach the top 40 in the US, as well as the first to chart in Germany and New Zealand. The album was certified gold by the RIAA on April 22, 1976, and platinum on November 11 of the same year, the first Kiss album to achieve platinum. The album marked a departure from the raw sound of the band's first three albums.
After attaining modest commercial success with their first three studio albums, Kiss achieved a commercial breakthrough with the 1975 concert album Alive! . It was the first album by the band to be certified gold.The success of Alive!, which spent 110 weeks on the charts, benefited not only the struggling band but also their cash-strapped label Casablanca Records. Kiss signed a new contract with Casablanca in late 1975, partly because the label had been very supportive from the start of the band's career. The contract was for two albums, an indication that Casablanca was unsure if the group could duplicate the accomplishments of Alive!.
Bob Ezrin, who had previously worked with Alice Cooper, was brought in to produce the album. Ezrin introduced to Kiss sound effects, strings, screaming children, reversed drums (on "God of Thunder") and a children's choir. The song "Great Expectations" uses the first phrase of the main theme from the second movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 (known as Sonata Pathétique), but songwriting is credited to Simmons and Ezrin.
Destroyer is the first Kiss album to prominently feature outside musicians, such as members of the New York Philharmonic. One musician not credited was Dick Wagner, from Alice Cooper's band, replacing Ace Frehley on the track "Sweet Pain". Wagner also played the acoustic guitar found on the song "Beth".The success of Alive! and Destroyer enabled the band to embark on their first tour of Europe.
Rehearsals for Destroyer began in August 1975, while the group was embarked on their supporting tour for Alive!. The band felt that Bob Ezrin was the right person to help them take their sound to the next level and to maintain the commercial success they had achieved with Alive!
The first recording sessions for the album took place in September 3–6, 1975 at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, during a brief break between the Dressed to Kill and Alive! tours. The basic album tracks were recorded during this time.The majority of the recording sessions for Destroyer took place in January 1976, after the conclusion of the Alive! tour.
The first demo recorded during the Destroyer sessions was "Ain't None of Your Business"featuring Peter Criss on vocals. The plodding, heavy song, written by country songwriters Becky Hobbs and Lew Anderson, was rejected by the band and later appeared on the 1977 debut album by Michael Des Barres' band Detective. Although this song was rejected, other outside songs and suggestions were accepted by the band. In particular, Kim Fowley and Mark Anthony became important contributors during the songwriting process., bringing in the title and basic structure of the song "King of the Night Time World" from their previous band Hollywood Stars' then-unreleased 1974 album Shine Like a Radio (which also featured the original version of the Alice Cooper song "Escape" from Welcome to My Nightmare ).
During the recording sessions, Ezrin resorted to numerous tactics designed to increase the quality of music Kiss recorded. Because none of the group were trained musicians, Ezrin halted the sessions at one point to provide lessons in basic music theory.In an effort to instill a sense of discipline, he wore a whistle around his neck and exhorted the band with sayings such as, "Campers, we're going to work!". When Simmons stopped playing during the recording of an outro, Ezrin yelled at him, saying, "Don't you ever stop a take unless I tell you!"
Paul Stanley later compared the experience of working with Ezrin as "musical boot camp" but said that the group "came out a lot smarter for it."Simmons echoed the sentiment by stating, "It was exactly what we needed at the time."
The cover art for Destroyer was painted by fantasy artist Ken Kelly. Kelly was invited to a show and given a backstage pass. He said of the performance, "It blew me away."Kelly was later commissioned by the band to draw the cover for 1977's Love Gun .
Kelly's original version of the album cover was rejected by the record company because they felt the scene was too violent looking with the rubble and flames. Also, the original version had the members of Kiss wearing the Alive! costumes. The front cover shows the group striding on top of a pile of rubble, and a desolate background spotted with destroyed buildings, some of which are engulfed in flames. The back cover shows a similar scene, but with more buildings on fire. The front of the inner sleeve featured a large Kiss logo and the lyrics to "Detroit Rock City". The other side displayed the lyric "SHOUT IT OUT LOUD", as well as an advertisement for the Kiss Army fan club.
In anticipation of the 35th anniversary of the release of Destroyer, producer Bob Ezrin approached Simmons and Stanley about doing a remix and re-release of the original album. With their approval, Ezrin acquired the original 16-track analog master tapes and had them digitally transferred for remixing. In addition to re-equalizing elements of each song, Ezrin also added in some parts of tracks that had been omitted from the original mix. These include some additional vocals on "Detroit Rock City" and "Beth", and the substitution of a guitar solo by Frehley on "Sweet Pain" for the one from the original that had been performed by Wagner (a version of "Sweet Pain" with Frehley's solo was included as track 6, while the original version with Wagner's solo is appended as a "bonus" track at the end of the new CD).Ezrin also used digital manipulation to fix an incorrect lyric (changing "down 95" to "doin' 95") on "Detroit Rock City". The resulting album, titled Destroyer: Resurrected, was released on August 21, 2012. It featured Ken Kelly's original cover artwork prior to alteration by Casablanca for the 1976 release.
Destroyer: Resurrected met with mixed critical reception. William Clark of Guitar International wrote: "Each track sounds crisper, clearer and louder, which are always welcome qualities when you’re listening to a classic album of the likes of Destroyer".However, Circus magazine in a joint review with Aerosmith's contemporary release of Rocks praised Rocks while stating that Destroyer "stinks." The album returned to the Billboard charts, debuting at #11 the week after its re-release.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|
|The Village Voice||C+|
Destroyer sold well upon its release on March 15, 1976 and was certified gold on April 22. Although exact sales figures are not known, Stanley stated that the album initially sold 850,000 copies in the US, well in excess of any of Kiss's first three studio albums.After peaking at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 album chart on May 15, Destroyer quickly fell and by August was at No. 192. The first three singles—"Shout It Out Loud", "Flaming Youth" and "Detroit Rock City"—failed to ignite sales any further, though "Shout It Out Loud" did give the band their first No. 1 record, in Canada. The band and Ezrin cited fan backlash as the reason Destroyer did not meet sales expectations. Ezrin also stated that the "grassroots rock press" was particularly critical of the album.
Rolling Stone referred to "bloated ballads", "pedestrian drumming" and "lackluster performances" in its review.Robert Christgau, writing in The Village Voice , felt that it was Kiss's "least interesting record" and criticized producer Ezrin for adding "only bombast and melodrama". It was not until radio stations started playing the B-side of the "Detroit Rock City" single "Beth", that the album started to sell as expected. The ballad, which according to Simmons was deliberately put on the B-side to force stations to play "Detroit Rock City", started receiving numerous listener requests and became an unexpected hit. "Beth" (co-written and sung by Peter Criss) was re-released as the fourth single in late August, and it peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on September 25. It was the group's first Top 10 song and reignited sales of the album. On November 11 Destroyer became the first Kiss album to be certified platinum.
The album has received recognition in later years. In 1989, Kerrang! magazine listed the album at No. 36 among the "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time".In 2012, it was ranked No. 489 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2006, it was placed at No. 60 on Guitar World magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time. The album was also featured in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die . In The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), Rob Sheffield referred to Destroyer as "the inevitable arty concept album, from the drink-smoke-drive-die saga 'Detroit Rock City' to the touching 'Do You Love Me?'". Pitchfork's Jason Josephes said that it is "easily one of the best albums in the Kiss canon" and credited Ezrin for ushering along "even more of an art/hard rock album than Kiss's previous efforts."
|1.||"Detroit Rock City"||Paul Stanley, Bob Ezrin||Stanley||5:17|
|2.||"King of the Night Time World"||Stanley, Kim Fowley, Mark Anthony, Ezrin||Stanley||3:19|
|3.||"God of Thunder"||Stanley||Simmons||4:13|
|4.||"Great Expectations"||Gene Simmons, Ezrin||Simmons||4:24|
|5.||"Flaming Youth"||Ace Frehley, Stanley, Simmons, Ezrin||Stanley||2:59|
|7.||"Shout It Out Loud"||Stanley, Simmons, Ezrin||Stanley, Simmons||2:49|
|8.||"Beth"||Peter Criss, Stan Penridge, Ezrin||Criss||2:45|
|9.||"Do You Love Me"||Stanley, Fowley, Ezrin||Stanley||3:33|
|10.||"Rock and Roll Party "||Simmons, Stanley, Ezrin||Instrumental||1:25|
|1.||"Detroit Rock City"||Paul Stanley, Bob Ezrin||Stanley||5:15|
|2.||"King of the Night Time World"||Stanley, Kim Fowley, Mark Anthony, Ezrin||Stanley||3:21|
|3.||"God of Thunder"||Stanley||Simmons||4:17|
|4.||"Great Expectations"||Gene Simmons, Ezrin||Simmons||4:24|
|5.||"Flaming Youth"||Ace Frehley, Stanley, Simmons, Ezrin||Stanley||2:59|
|6.||"Sweet Pain" (solo by Ace Frehley, previously unreleased)||Simmons||Simmons||3:21|
|7.||"Shout It Out Loud"||Stanley, Simmons, Ezrin||Stanley, Simmons||2:51|
|8.||"Beth"||Peter Criss, Stan Penridge, Ezrin||Criss||2:49|
|9.||"Do You Love Me?"||Stanley, Fowley, Ezrin||Stanley||3:40|
|10.||"Rock and Roll Party"||1:26|
|11.||"Sweet Pain (Original Guitar Solo)" (solo by Dick Wagner, from original release)||Simmons||3:18|
|United States (RIAA)||2× Platinum||2,000,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
The following information regarding list placements attributed to Destroyer is taken from Acclaimed Music.
|Rolling Stone||U.S.||The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time||2003||496|
|Blender||U.S.||The 100 Greatest American Albums of All Time||2002||50|
|Guitar World||U.S.||The 100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time.||2006||60|
|United States||March 15, 1976||Casablanca Records||LP||NBLP-7025|
|United States||July 1987||Casablanca/PolyGram||CD||824 149-2|
|United States||August 12, 1997||Mercury Records||Remastered CD||532 378-2|
|Worldwide||August 21, 2012||Universal Music Group||Re-release||—|
|Worldwide||2014||Universal Music Group||Remastered LP||B0019818-01|
Kiss is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley. Well known for its members' face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid-to-late 1970s with their elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics. The band has gone through several lineup changes, with Stanley and Simmons being the only members to feature in every lineup. The original and best-known lineup consisted of Stanley, Simmons, Frehley, and Criss.
George Peter John Criscuola, better known by his stage name Peter Criss, is a retired American musician and actor, best known as a co-founder, original drummer, and occasional vocalist of the hard rock band Kiss. Criss established the Catman character for his Kiss persona. In 2014, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Kiss.
Paul Daniel "Ace" Frehley is an American musician and songwriter best known as the original lead guitarist and co-founding member of the rock band Kiss. He invented the persona of The Spaceman and played with the group from its inception in 1973 until his departure in 1982. After leaving Kiss, Frehley embarked on a solo career, which was put on hold when he rejoined Kiss in 1996 for a highly successful reunion tour.
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Killers is the second compilation album by American hard rock group Kiss. It was released only outside the US, but quickly became available as an import. Of the album's twelve songs, four were new compositions recorded specifically for it: "I'm a Legend Tonight," "Down on Your Knees," "Nowhere to Run" and "Partners in Crime." These new songs were recorded at the behest of Phonogram Records, in response to the commercial failure of 1981's Music from "The Elder".
Kiss is the debut studio album by American rock band Kiss, released on February 8, 1974. Much of the material on the album was written by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, as members of their pre-Kiss band Wicked Lester. Simmons estimated that the entire process of recording and mixing took three weeks, while co-producer Richie Wise has stated it took just 13 days.
Love Gun is the sixth studio album by American hard rock band Kiss, released on June 30, 1977. Casablanca Record and FilmWorks shipped 1,000,000 copies of the album on this date. The album was remastered in 1997 and again in 2014. It was their first album to feature a lead vocal performance from Ace Frehley, making it the first Kiss album to feature lead vocal performances from all four band members. It was also the last studio album to feature Peter Criss on every song, as he was replaced by session drummer Anton Fig for all but one song on 1979's Dynasty. Love Gun was certified platinum on June 30, 1977.
Alive II is the second live album by American hard rock band Kiss, released on October 14, 1977 by Casablanca Records. The band had released three albums since the previous live outing, the 1975 release Alive!, and the band drew upon the variety of new tracks, with Eddie Kramer producing.
Double Platinum is the first greatest hits album by the American hard rock band Kiss, released in 1978. Many of the songs on Double Platinum were remixed and differ from their original versions: in the case of "Strutter," it was re-recorded with a slight disco beat and dubbed as "Strutter '78." Other songs had sections completely removed, while the beginning of "Black Diamond" was repeated at the end, fading out at the start of the first verse and giving the song a "wrap around" feel. The overall sound of the album is slightly flat and compressed, to give a similar sound to the varying productions of each track which are taken from the albums between the years 1974 up to 1977.
Music from "The Elder" is the ninth studio album released by American rock band Kiss.
Creatures of the Night is the 10th studio album by American rock band Kiss, released in 1982. It was the band's last for Casablanca Records, the only label for which Kiss had recorded up to that point. The album was dedicated to the memory of Casablanca founder and early Kiss supporter Neil Bogart, who had died of cancer during the recording sessions. It is also the band's last album recorded with Ace Frehley credited as an official member and their first album with Vinnie Vincent as the initially-uncredited lead guitarist. It was also Kiss' last album to feature the band with their trademark makeup until the 1998 release, Psycho Circus.
"Beth" is a song by American hard rock band Kiss, originally released on their 1976 album, Destroyer. To date, it is their highest-charting single in the US, reaching #7 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. It is one of only two gold selling singles for the band, and their first of two Top Ten singles in the US. "Beth" ranked #3 in VH1's 25 Greatest Power Ballads.
"Rock and Roll All Nite" is a song by American hard rock band Kiss, originally released on their 1975 album Dressed to Kill. It was released as the A-side of their fifth single, with the album track "Getaway". The studio version of the song peaked at No. 68 on the Billboard singles chart, besting the band's previous charting single, "Kissin' Time" (#89). A subsequent live version, released as a single in October 1975, eventually reached No. 12 in early 1976, the first of six Top 20 songs for Kiss in the 1970s. "Rock and Roll All Nite" became Kiss's signature song and has served as the group's closing concert number in almost every concert since 1976. In 2008 it was named the 16th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.
Alive! is the first live album, and fourth overall, by American hard rock band Kiss. It is considered to be their breakthrough and a landmark for live albums. Released on September 10, 1975, the double-disc set contains live versions of selected tracks from their first three studio albums, Kiss, Hotter Than Hell and Dressed to Kill. It was recorded at concerts in Detroit, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; Wildwood, New Jersey; and Davenport, Iowa on May 16, June 21, July 20 and July 23, 1975.
"Detroit Rock City" is a song by the American hard rock group Kiss, featured on their 1976 album Destroyer. The song was written by Paul Stanley and producer Bob Ezrin.
"Flaming Youth" is a song by the American rock band Kiss. The song is featured on their 1976 album Destroyer, and was the first Kiss single to feature a picture sleeve. The single reached number 74 in the U.S. and 73 in Canada. Although the full album version only ran 2:55, the song was still edited to 2:39 with an earlier fade.
"Strutter" is a song by the American rock band Kiss, released in 1974 on their self-titled debut album, Kiss. It was the third single released from the album and failed to chart.
"Shout It Out Loud" is a song by the American hard rock group Kiss originally released on their 1976 album, Destroyer. It was released as the lead single off the album, and it proved to be successful, breaking the Top-40, the second Kiss single to achieve that. Also, it is the band's first single to top the charts, as it was number 1 hit in Canada on May 22, 1976. The song was performed on almost every tour for many years, and is one of the most played songs in the Kiss catalog, having been played over one thousand and four hundred times as of June 2014.
"God of Thunder" is a song by Kiss from their album Destroyer. The song has also been featured on many of Kiss' live albums, including an up-tempo version on Alive II. Many various sound effects were used to make the song including explosions, clapping, zippers, overdubbed audience chatter and screaming children. The song was written by Paul Stanley, who intended to sing it on the album, but producer Bob Ezrin suggested slowing down the tempo and handing the lead vocals over to Gene Simmons.
"Modern Day Delilah" is a song by the American hard rock band Kiss, released on their nineteenth album Sonic Boom, in 2009. It was released on August 19, 2009 as the first single off the album and the band's first single in eleven years. The song charted on US Mainstream Rock Tracks and Swedish Sverigetopplistan.