The other make-up era studio album I consider hallowed KISS is their followup to the experimental Destroyer, Rock And Roll Over. It's tighter, harder-edged, more energized, and their closest to metal at that point (Lick It Up was still seven years away). This helped solidify their reputation into the rock and roll pantheon of all-time greats. The intensity of Ace's guitars and Paul's vocals on "I Want You" and "Take Me" confirm this. Heck, Ace does it again and I've never seen his guitar more hard-edged than on this studio album. The live albums, now that's a different story. The hard chords ringing out for the intro of "Calling Dr. Love" are classic. Key lyric: "And even though I'm full of sin/in the end you'll let me in." Gee, guess who sings THIS song? And one doesn't have to be Einstein to wonder what "that cure you're thinking of" is. The lyric "What follows me is my fame" from "Ladies Room" applies to all four members, who had their full share of groupies during their peak days, but most applicably to Gene, who sings this number. Ditto for the hard-driving "Love'Em And Leave'Em" with more great guitar from Ace. The subject is explicit without being raunchy. Gene's clearly in control here rather than the woman mentioned in the song. After all, she's the one who's begging for it. Basically, this album might as well be a musical coffee table album of female conquests. The same topic is explored in Paul's "Mr. Speed," and the relentlessly slamming "Makin' Love." Peter Criss has two songs here: first up is the hard-rocking "Baby Driver" "Ooh what a rider/push that pedal to the floor" might as well apply to him, as he really lets loose in this song. "Hard Luck Woman" is the sequel to "Beth," and features a nice acoustic guitar. His talent at slower songs would later feature prominently on his first solo album. "See You In Your Dreams" is faster-paced and thus better here than the version on Gene Simmons' solo album. Eddie Kramer produced this album and also cut his teeth on their debut album and Alive! and would help them with Love Gun. Small wonder that three out of the four rank high on my list. Rock And Roll Over needs no further elaboration--it features KISS doing what they do best.
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