Knights in Satan’s Service is what some Christian’s in the 70’s tried to create a rumor that the band was Satanic. The closest thing to Satanic from KISS, was Gene Simmons Demon persona
KISS doesn’t really stand for Knights in Satan’s Service, but I wanted to poke fun at a band that I once had nothing but love for until I spent $1000 on what was supposed to be their final tour back in 2003 ya know three years after their aptly named final tour. Yeah, I was a fool. But here is a look at the tunes I dig.
KISS (SELF TITLED DEBUT FROM 1974) This is a stellar debut. Eight of ten songs are incredible. But I’d say of those eight my favorites are: Nothin’ to lose (in hindsight a pretty fucked up song about pressuring a groupie for anal sex) This song also rocks 21 years later on The MTV Unplugged Album. Black Diamond (Peter Criss sung song about prostitution) and in my opinion the best track on the album goes to the instrumental Love Theme from KISS (The only song in the bands history to have a writing credit by all 4 original members.)
HOTTER THAN HELL (1974) This album is my favorite KISS album. All 10 songs rock ! Of the 10, I’d say my top four are Goin’ Blind, Parasite, Hotter than Hell and Strange Ways. Of the four, my top pick is Goin’ Blind (Which again is a really fucked up underage romance song by everyone’s favorite scumbag Gene Simmons)
DRESSED TO KILL (1975) I’m not a huge fan of this album. Of the 10 songs, 7 of them pretty much suck. The only songs I like are Rock and Roll all night, She and Rock Bottom. I was introduced to KISS in 1975 because a grade school friend had Rock and Roll all night on a 45 rpm. Another friend dressed and mimicked Space Ace at a school talent show. I was in Kindergarten in 1975. Of the three songs, Rock Bottom is my favorite.
KISS ALIVE ! (1975) Even though this album has a lot of songs I really like, I never really got into this live album.
DESTROYER (1976) Half of this album is decent. Of the 14 songs, I like Detroit Rock City, King of the Night time world, God of thunder, Shout it loud, Beth and Do you love me. Narrowing down those my top 2 are the creepy God of Thunder and the incredible ballad Beth.
ROCK AND ROLL OVER (1976) Eh, another crap album. Of 14 songs I only like 4 of them, Calling Dr. Love, Ladies Room, Hard Luck Woman and Makin’ Love. Of the those 4, Makin’ Love is my favorite.
LOVE GUN (1977) Yet another crap album. Ya know looking back I really didn’t like a whole lot of their music, wait till the later years. Of the 15 songs, I really only like three of them. I stole your love, Christine 16 (What the hell Gene, another fucked up underage groupie song!) And Shock Me. Hands down my favorite of the three is Shock Me. This song is the singing debut of lead guitarist Ace Frehley.
1977 Was the year I became a serious KISS fan
This was the year I had the Meego Gene Simmons (on the left) Doll as pictured below. I totally regret not holding onto that doll, that I see in great condition on eBay, can fetch for $850! The same can be said for the KISSTORY book, I no longer have. The Gene Simmons bear was a 1999 exclusive to Spencer Gifts in the 1979 Dynasty Outfit. It’s my favorite thing I’ve held onto. The lunch box I have is from 2000. The Comic is from 1976 with bands blood in the ink, concert tickets from 2000 & 2003, a backstage pass from 2003, a long since expired KISS VISA, and a photo of me and my wife the very last time I saw KISS on a double bill with Def Leppard in 2014, I will say DL was 100 times better.
At my 7th Birthday party my next door neighbor Joey gave me his KISS ALIVE II record. Horror fan me thought Beth was a song called Death till I was told otherwise. I wore the hell out of that record. Full of scratches and what not, ALIVE II next to Hotter than Hell is my second favorite album. I even dig side 4 which was all in studio tracks.
KISS ALIVE II (1977) This live album on the other hand is what started it all for me. After I was given this record I asked my parents to buy me all the previous records and they obliged. Unlike the first live album, I love this album. All 30 live songs kick ass and of the studio tracks on side 4, four of five rock. My favorite song of these tracks is “Larger than life” (a song about having a big dick lol)
Double Platinum (1978) The bands first best of album featuring a few discofied versions of their songs, despite that a decent collection of tunes.
In 1978 each member of the band released a solo album under the KISS moniker. Each album sold pretty poorly. Being that I was primarily a Gene Demon Simmons fan, I only had his record growing up. Although I have had a chance to hear the other albums and I will say my favorite is the RNB tinged Peter Criss solo album.
GENE SIMMONS (1978) Eh out of 16 songs, only 5 are worth listening to. Out of those five my top two are Radioactive and Living in Sin. I foolishly also bought Simmons 2004 solo album “Asshole” an appropriate title and out of that album I only care for two songs The Cover of the Prodigy song Firestarter and the ballad Waiting for the Morning Light (co written by Bob Dylan !!!)
Dynasty (1979) The Disco Album. The album where original drummer Peter Criss was replaced by session drummer Anton Fig, despite Criss being on the record cover. Criss does do vocals on one track. 6 Of 13 songs are decent, of those 6 my favorite is Sure know something. When my brother was in College in 1983, he was studying the bass and learned the bass line of Sure Know Something.
Unmasked (1980) The beginning of the downfall. Peter Criss was fired, Anton Fig played drums on the entire album without credit. This is a pretty lousy pop album. Out of 16 songs I only like one, the Paul Stanley sung Shandi.
The 1980’s to present day takes us into a lot of disappointments
Music from The Elder (1981) By far the very best KISS album of the 1980’s. I realize other people would beg to differ in regards to this concept album, but all 18 songs rock. This would be the last album original guitarist Ace Frehley would play on despite being pictured on the next album cover. My favorite songs on this album are Under the Rose and Mr. Blackwell. This album also featured new drummer Eric Carr.
KISS Killers (1981) Their second, best of, compilation featuring 4 new songs that all suck ass
Creatures of the night (1982) A bizarre album in regards to the line up of the band. Ace is credited as a member but didn’t play on the album. Gene was interested in starting a movie career despite the original band appearing in the abysmal best left unsaid Kiss meets the phantom of the park from ’78. Four people played lead guitar on the 14 track album mostly newest member Vinnie Vincent and two more people played bass while Gene was scouting out Hollywood. Of the 14 songs, 5 are pretty decent, my favorite being I love it loud. I love it loud has the best sounding drums of any KISS album. Carr beat the hell out of the drums.
The Band in make up for the tour featuring Eric Carr as the Fox and Vinnie Vincent as the Egyptian Ankh
Ugh The Band takes off the cool make-up only to go pop rock glam
Lick it up (1983) Ugh…Awful. Out of 15 songs. I pretty much only like one. Of all things, the rap-rock hybrid, All hell’s breaking lose.
Vincent is fired and we usher in new Lead Guitarist Mark St. John for one album before arthritis derails his career.
Animalize (1984) More shit. 9 Songs, the only one worth a listen Heaven’s on Fire.
The line up pictured above would last until the untimely death of drummer Eric Carr from Cancer.
Asylum (1985) More crap. Out of 15 songs, I only like 2. The barely passable single Tears are falling, and rocking Radar for Love.
Crazy Nights (1987) And the crap continues. I distinctly remember buying every album in the 80’s feeling super excited that perhaps every song would be as good as the singles released, but every album got worse and worse. It amazes me that
I remained a fan for so long. Of 17 songs I only like Crazy Nights and Reason to live.
Smashes, thrashes and hits (1988) Another best of album, this time with two new forgettable songs and classic songs remixed with new drums and vocals provided by Eric Carr.
Hot in the shade (1989) Hands down WORST ALBUM EVER.
During the making of the next album, Eric Carr succumbed to heart cancer. He would contribute backing vocals to one song.
Revenge (1992) Again another stinker despite going for a return to a heavier edge. The only song I like on the album is the song Carr lends backing vocals to, God Gave Rock and Roll to you II.
Alive 3 (1994) Eh..Next !
KISS Unplugged (1996) Classic ! Acoustic versions of KISS Classic tracks with the added bonus of Peter & Ace playing and singing on a few songs. All 15 songs are fucking incredible. The best is the double drumming/lead guitars on Nothing to lose.
YOU WANTED THE BEST, YOU GOT THE BEST !! (1996) lame repackaged live hits…NEXT !
Greatest KISS (1997) ugh yet another best of NEXT!!
With the KISS reunion tour in full swing, the band released no new material until late 1997.
Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions (1997) Gene and Paul didn’t want to release this but hot damn this is a great fucking album. KISS goes grunge. I love this album, all 12 tracks rock. Had the reunion never happened and they continued down this road I would still be a fan to this day.
Psycho Circus (1998) This was supposed to be the return of the original band but Ace & Peter didn’t play on every track and there was a lot of drama during the making of this album and it is obvious. This album sucks ! To me the title track is only good song on the album and Ace & Peter aren’t playing on that track 😡
The Final Version of the band consisting of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy “Fake Ace” Thayer, and Eric “Fake Peter” Singer in Full Makeup wouldn’t release a new album until 2009’s Sonic Boom and their final 2012 album Monster. Between 1998 and 2009 there were 7 live albums and yet another best of. I didn’t bother with any of these. I did on the other hand buy the box set from 2001 which has a lot of rarities on it.
In total I saw the band live six times. Asylum Tour (1985–1986), Crazy Nights World Tour (1987–1988), Alive/Worldwide Tour (Reunion)(1996–1997), The Farewell Tour (2000–2001), World Domination Tour (2003) (the tour I met 1/3 of the original band, Gene was an asshole, Paul was an asshole, Tommy was quiet, Peter was the sweetest most lovable guy) and Kiss 40th Anniversary World Tour (2014) Where they were completely upstaged by Def Leppard
I also read all four memoirs of the original band. From best to worst: No Regrets by Ace Frehley, Face the music: a life exposed by Paul Stanley, Makeup to Breakup by Peter Criss, Kiss and Make Up by Gene Simmons
Goodbye KISS it’s about fucking time
**despite your second Vegas residency for financial reasons