Face paint and fake blood aside, KISS proved they had the hooks and the raw rock power to rule the world right from the word "go." Their amazing 1974 debut features the hit Kissin' Time and fan faves Cold Gin; Deuce , and Strutter .
Kiss's self-titled debut manages to simultaneously represent what rock & roll in the 1970s was all about, and stand up as a classic recording without sounding dated. That's a rare trick, even for Kiss (whose efforts after, oh, 1977 didn't do much more than tread water), and one that should be appreciated even as listening to the album brings back misty-eyed visions of high school. (It doesn't matter if you were in high school in the '70s, something about this album just screams late adolescence.) Kiss
is, of course, crammed full of songs that would become concert favorites (most of this album appears on Alive!
) and classics--who hasn't heard "Strutter" or "Deuce"? It's a slab of pure, unadulterated rock & roll. While this isn't especially thought-provoking stuff, it's arguable that rock ever should be. --Genevieve Williams