Kiss turns 40.
As Kiss goes on tour this year to celebrate 4 decades of decibels, I decided to break down the rankings of their albums into three categories. Category 1: The Essentials - the albums that you should listen to first. Category 2: The Next Best Thing - for those who still have a need for more Kiss. Last but not least, category 3: For The Extreme - for those that Kiss has become a way of life and cannot get enough. Please send in your list to us, we would love to see them.
So go put on your face paint and Shout it out Loud!!!…. You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best! The Hottest Band In The World - KISS!
Alive (1975) - It is the closest that you are going to get to experiencing a live show. This is the album that made Kiss the phenomenon they are today.
Destroyer (1976) – You cannot deny that with tracks like Detroit Rock City, God of Thunder, Shout it out Loud and Beth, that this is the studio album that solidifies their superstar status.
Lick It Up (1983) - Even without the make-up Kiss can release a killer album. With the great tracks like Exciter, Lick It Up, and All Hell’s Breakin’ Loose, Kiss shows that they still got what it takes.
Rock And Roll Over (1976) - The follow up to Destroyer, a straight up, back to basic’s rock record.
Kiss (1974) – The album that started it all. It may have gone under the radar upon its initial release, but with the Kiss Klassics like Strutter, Deuce, Cold Gin and Black Diamond, this should be on the top of any Kiss’ fan list.
Creatures of the Night (1982) - One of their most underrated releases of their career. This album is killer and has the loudest drum sounds that I ever heard put onto record.
Alive II (1977) - A great second live album with four underrated studio tracks.
Love Gun (1977) - A good no non-sense rock record with Klassics in the making like, I Stole Your Love & Love Gun.
Revenge (1992) – With this one, Kiss shows that they can still rock with the best of them. Tracks like Unholy and Domino make this album and it brings “The Demon” back into the spotlight.
Monster (2012) – The second album with its current line-up. It is another back to basics rock record with a “tip of the hat” to some of the bands that have influenced them.
Dressed To Kill (1975) – With stand-out tracks of C’mon and Love Me, Rock Bottom, She and of course Rock and Roll All Nite, this is another must have.
Sonic Boom (2009) - Kiss fans had to wait 11 years for this studio album but Kiss delivered a solid and fun return to the 70’s sound that we missed.
The Next Best Thing
MTV Unplugged (1996) – Even without all the lights and explosions, Kiss showed the world that everything starts with a good song.
Hotter Then Hell (1974) - There are some really good songs on here like Got to Choose, Coming Home & Goin’ Blind, but the production on this album is horrible.
Psycho Circus (1998) - Not a bad album, just not the great reunion album we were hoping for.
Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions (1997)- Kiss find their inner Alice In Chains and deliver a dark, grunge sounding album. Not a bad album, just not a Kiss album.
Unmasked (1980) - It may sound way too pop for some, but there are some really catchy songs on here such as, Talk to Me, Shandi and Easy at it Seems.
Alive III (1993): A no make-up era album showing what it’s got…Live!
Animalize (1984): A good melodic record with one of the catchiest singles ever…Heaven’s on Fire.
For The Extreme
Dynasty (1979) - Kiss starts to embrace pop and disco.
Crazy Nights (1987): Kiss replaces guitars for keyboards.
Alive IV Symphony (2003): A refreshing twist on yet another live album.
Hot in the Shade (1989): Kiss unleashes the power ballad “Forever”.
ALIVE: The Millennium Concert (1999): The original line up releases their third live album.
Asylum (1985) – A decent melodic rock record.
Music from “The Elder” (1981) – Kiss releases a concept album, a couple of good songs but they are overreaching on this one.