With their 1976 album Destroyer
, the band's fifth release in two years, Kiss began to expand their fan base by shedding a bit of their edge, taking on a more melodic sound and a less menacing image. The Peter Criss ballad "Beth," written for his wife, is the most sentimental love ballad the group ever recorded, and songs like "Detroit Rock City" and "Shout It Out Loud" had the kind of arena-rock punch that kept subscriptions to the Kiss Army at an all-time high. Despite, or because of, the blatantly commercial direction the band seemed to be heading in, 1976 was the most creatively rewarding period in its lengthy career. In addition to releasing Destroyer
, the band pumped out the equally touted album Rock and Roll Over
, which included the pounding "Take Me" and the groovin' "Calling Dr. Love." The only finer year was 1978, when the band starred in the classic B-grade flick Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park
. --Jon Wiederhorn
Kiss's heavy glam sound expanded with choirs, strings and sound effects on this 1976 album (a #11 LP). The ballad Beth was the smash, but Detroit Rock City ; the hit Flaming Youth , and God of Thunder gave fans more raging rockers to love!