Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Kiss (1975)

Kiss was my first favorite band. I still remember where in my yard we were when my next-door neighbor, best friend, and the older brother I never had, Rob, asked me if I wanted to go listen to his new Kiss records. I think I probably looked at him funny. I had no idea what he was talking about, but we went next door and listened to Kiss Alive!, which, I must say, is the perfect introduction to this band.

I can't say for certain that it was love at first hear. In fact, I find it hard to believe that this is the type of music that an 8-year old would instantly take to, but it wasn't long before they became my first musical obsession. My first LP purchase was The Originals, a three record set containing their first three studio albums: Kiss, Hotter Than Hell, and Dressed to Kill.

I was sometimes the object of ridicule, some of it friendly and harmless, for being such a huge Kiss fan. In third grade, I would walk around playing air guitar to the Gene Simmons-penned classic, "Calling Dr. Love" from Rock and Roll Over. One of my classmates would joke that I was playing my zipper, which sounds weirder today than it did to me then.

Three quality albums (Destroyer, Rock and Roll Over, and Love Gun) later, they released the less celebrated Alive II, then it was all downhill from there. I still ended up buying the four ridiculous "solo" albums, of which Ace Frehley's was surprisingly the best, then Dynasty and Unmasked. Fortunately, I came to my senses after that. Unfortunately, I later decided I was so over Kiss that I gave away all of my records to the kid across the street, who was five years, to the day, younger than I. Wow, that kid's turning 35 this year.

I'm not sure Kiss gets enough credit for the strength of their early body of work, six really good studio albums and a live album that is, to this day, their defining moment. I know I'm not embarrassed to say they were my first favorite band.

No comments:

Post a Comment