Kiss: Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley (vocals, guitar); Gene Simmons (vocals, bass); Peter Criss (vocals, drums).
Recorded between 1974 & 1979. Includes liner notes by Jeff Kitts.
Liner Note Author: Jeff Kitts.
Recording information: Bell Sound Studios, New York, NY (10/??/1973-05/23/1979); Cobo Hall, Detroit, MI (10/??/1973-05/23/1979); Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY (10/??/1973-05/23/1979); Nanuet Star Theatre, Nanuet, NY (10/??/1973-05/23/1979); Record Plant Studios, New York, NY (10/??/1973-05/23/1979); Village Recorder, Los Angeles, CA (10/??/1973-05/23/1979).
Photographers: Bob Gruen; Fin Costello; Neil Zlozower.
This anthology's focus is on Kiss's rich, '70s period, serving as an excellent sampler for neophytes curious to find out how Kiss has managed to invoke such slavish devotion from their fans. If one is willing to look past the make-up and hoopla, the success of these New York City natives is founded on what is essentially basic rock & roll packed with hooks, straightforward subject matter (i.e. sex), and killer guitar solos provided by one Ace Frehley.
Among the band's classic numbers included here are songs about streetwalkers ("Strutter") and teen ingenues ("Christine Sixteen"), and plenty of cuts loaded with the aforementioned sexual innuendo ("Love Gun," "Calling Dr. Love"). There are stabs at country-flavored melancholy, ("Hard Luck Woman," which was later covered by Garth Brooks), disco opportunism ("I Was Made for Lovin' You"), and the seed of the power-ballad movement that erupted in the '80s ("Beth.") Last but not least is "Rock and Roll All Nite," a quintessential rock and roll anthem in its own right.