YEAR RELEASED: 1974
CHART ACTION: #87
SINGLES: Nothin’ to Lose, Kissin’ Time (#83), Strutter
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Firehouse, Cold Gin, Deuce, 100,000 Years, Black Diamond
LINEUP: Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The Kiss army begins to assemble, even with some record company induced mis-steps.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Kiss grew an army, but you’d never believe it after the sales of their first album. While the album had a couple of duds (especially “Kissin’ Time”, which wasn’t on the album to begin with, but Casablanca wanted a hit so pushed them to record it as a single), most of it is pretty good 1974-era hard rock.
The production is a bit muddy, but they took about two weeks to get it down and mastered. Kiss was a road band at this time, and that didn’t leave a lot of time for the studio.
Now, we know a lot of these songs by heart. Yes, there’s probably no singles on it, really, but that’s OK. Kiss didn’t need pop singles to become KISS.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Warner Brothers was distributing Casablanca records at the time, and wanted Kiss to tone down their show and take off the makeup. As if. Soon, Casablanca needed a new distributor.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B: A couple of meh tracks, one real clunker and muddy production. But I’m gonna play “Strutter”, “Deuce”, “Cold Gin”, and “Black Diamond” as loud as I can until the day I die.