Part 7 of my series of Kiss reviews, leading up to the release of Monster!
KISS – Rock and Roll Over (1976)
After 1976’s Destroyer, Kiss had a choice:
a) continue down that road and see what they could see with the epic, orchestrated sound that Ezrin got out of them, or
b) return to their rock roots
On Rock and Roll Over (for better or worse) they chose b).
I love Rock and Roll Over, and I consider it a slightly stronger album than both Destroyer and Love Gun. Check out the tracks:
“I Want You” – Acoustic intro, electric riffage, classic song.
“Take Me” – Paul co-wrote this album cut with Sean Delaney. A lost klassic.
“Calling Dr. Love” – I was never a huge fan of this song, but obviously it always goes over well with the fans in concert.
“Ladies Room” – Peter Criss plays some fun drum rolls on this Gene rocker.
“Baby Driver” – The weakest song on the album, which Peter Criss claims is due to Kiss playing it at the wrong tempo. He does get to scream his butt off though.
“Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em” – Gene’s motto? Either way a great Kiss tune.
“Mr. Speed” – Another Stanley/Delaney classic. Best song on the album! I wish Kiss would play it again!
“See You In Your Dreams” – I prefer this version to the later one on Gene’s solo disc.
“Hard Luck Woman” – Peter Criss has never sounded so raspy and good. Truly, a song for everyone. Simply perfect songwriting courtesy of Paul, with some sweet 12 string.
“Makin’ Love” – Like a stick of dynamite in your ear.
Interestingly Ace had no songwriting credits on Rock and Roll Over. I recall reading that he did write a song called “Queen for a Day”, that he intended on singing, but it was dropped.
Kiss regrouped with Eddie Kramer (Led Zeppelin, Hendrix) to co-produce this album. Kramer previously did the original Kiss demo and Alive! They recorded it as live as possible in a theater. While it does not sound like a live album, it does have a lot more life than Destroyer.
Also, check out this weird bootleg I have from the Rock and Roll Over tour, simply titled Kiss Army! It’s obviously supposed to look official. Although no exact date is given, it purports to be recorded live at the Budokan Hall in Tokyo Japan, 1977. (Check out how “rhythm guitar” is spelled on Paul’s page.)