1976. I was 4 years old. I hadn't heard of Kiss yet. It would be another 2 years until that happens. Yes, I was 6 years old when I discovered Kiss and loved them ever since. When they all did solo records, I saw Ace's in a record store. I was drawn to it. I just saw this guy with long hair and make up and said "Mommy, I want this" and she bought it for me. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Anyway, in 1976 they unleashed their 4th studio album, which many consider their best record even to this day, "Destroyer". This year marks the 45th Anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, they have released a remastered edition in a couple different formats. There is the standard 2 disc set with some demos and alternate versions of some of the songs. Then, for the true collectors with deeper wallets than mine, there is the $200 epic 4-disc set, plus blu ray audio, plus a boatload of bonuses including flyers, stickers, an iron on, a hard cover book, the Kiss Army newsletter announcing "Destroyer", and much more. Who do I know with an extra $200 laying around? Anyone? Anyone? Didn't think so.
A little about this original release. They were already a huge success but this launched them even further. The unexpected hit "Beth" was originally a B-side to "Detroit Rock City" but radio stations started flipping the vinyl single over and playing this one becoming the bands highest charting song. So many classics on this album and some experimenting with different sounds. If "Beth" wouldn't have been played, I think "Great Expectations", which includes a choir, would have been the big hit.
(Melanie here - I picked the video because I love to see it with the Symphony and the choir!)
This isn't the first time it’s been re-issued. In 2012 Bob Ezrin remixed the songs from the original tapes for an updated sound under the title "Destroyer: Resurrected" with a new cover. Actually, more like the original cover. The painting was done but Kiss changed costumes so it was changed to show the new ones. Many have heard these songs have been played consistently on the radio, live in concert, re-released on greatest hits compilations, but this is a chance to shine a little lighter on the lesser-known songs-- "Flaming Youth", "Sweet Pain", and "Great Expectations". Remember the times, technology and recording was different back then. It wasn't uncommon for bands to release 2 records of new material every year. A few tweaks and turns and here we have another reason to revisit the classic songs.
The 45th Anniversary version brings some early demos. Paul lends his voice to "God of Thunder", which honestly, after hearing Gene sing it for so many years it sounds weird being sung a different way. After listening to other demos, a careful ear will hear a few lines of lyrics and some riffs that were later in future songs. A couple of Gene's demos actually ended up his 1978 solo record a couple years later. Just goes to show you, if something doesn't fit yet just put it on the back burner for future use. It can come in handy one day.
Being a fan for over 40 years, I am always excited to see new releases and some unreleased songs see the light of day. I hope they dig out more treasures for more releases. More anniversaries are on their way. If you can't make deluxe versions of everything like this, just throw up on YouTube. Fans will gobble them up.
The Code Word For This Article Is Kiss
Dave Christy loves horror, music, documentaries and more. He is also the co-runner of several fan based groups including Morningstars (THE Lucifer fan group also run by Melanie), and now is a member of the VIPers Spotlight Lounge team for Melanie's Muses. Other than "In The Spotlight" Features -check out his "31 Days Of Halloween Movies"
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