Rock History / KISS and the Destroyer 45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

Probably the biggest band in American rock history, KISS have been setting the world on fire since their first club days in 1973. It would be virtually impossible to go through life and not see their famous logo or their four make-up covered faces staring out of magazines and record covers all over the globe.

KISS – Destroyer 45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (UMC – Mercury)

Release Date: Out Now

Words: Paul Monkhouse

Known for their eye-popping and teeth-rattling shows, the first three rawer albums couldn’t capture the fire of their tours. Some of the buzz generated with the audience was missing, so the band did something almost unheard of at the time. The results are rock history.

Whilst the KISS – Alive album made a seismic impact, it’s arguably Destroyer that was the game-changer, lifting their studio work to new heights on the wave created by the double live set. Boasting some of the finest material they had ever written and a much-improved production, the album is one that constantly vies with Creatures Of The Night as the fan favourite, and one spin tells you exactly why. Whilst the album wasn’t embraced by critics at the time, it was the fans that understood and saw the gold in its grooves.

Kiss - Destroyer - 45 Anniversary Edition
Kiss – Destroyer – 45 Anniversary Edition – Vinyl

Celebrating a head-scratching forty-fifth anniversary, the band have released this monster back onto the public in some very special editions that include a gargantuan Super-Deluxe edition with four CDs, a blu ray disc, hardback book and a deluge of other bonus features but also a more wallet-friendly two-disc set.

The core of this latter version is, of course, the original album remastered at Abbey Road Studios, but you also get a disc of six demos from Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons and another half dozen rarities.

The album still stands as something that catches the visceral excitement of rock ‘n’ roll, the adrenaline rush of Detroit Rock City a nitro fuelled start that remains the propulsive start to their tours to this day as the guitars of Paul Stanley and Ace Frehley hit you like a body slam. The thrills continue with the preening and cocksure King Of The Night Time World and the heavyweight menace of Simmons’ anthem God Of Thunder, both showing the band firing on all cylinders and ready to fill stadiums.

With the same ’50s throwback glam feel that Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman would mine to great effect a little later, Great Expectations is full of a grandiose sweep, and Flaming Youth is pure glitter and muscle. Dipping into the more primal feel of previous albums, Sweet Pain blows in like a hurricane and Frehley’s guitar work has a gloriously strident edge about it before an anthemic Shout It Out Loud turns things up to 11 and kicks down the walls, as well as the doors.

Peter Criss takes centre stage in KISS Klassic Beth, a ballad that’s stayed with them through it all and remains a firm favourite in their (glitter) canon, and it’s just down to Do You Love Me to pull out all the bells and whistles, the track sums up all the hard rock passion and melody that saw them skyrocket into the firmament.

Onto the second disc, ten of the twelve tracks are previously unreleased, thus making it a fascinating historical artefact that all Kollectors will need to get their hands on. A mix of brand new tracks and different takes of some of the original album’s highlights, it’s the demos that reveal the most and show just how much the band had everything together before Bob Ezrin put the final polish on them.

Of the tracks, it’s probably Stanley’s high-speed demo romp through Detroit Rock City and the utterly gonzoid creation that is Simmons’ Rock N’ Rolls Royce that are the cream and worth the admission price alone.

Beautifully packaged to reveal the titanic artwork of Ken Kelly in its full glory, the set also includes a twenty-page booklet about the making of the album. With the discs themselves being in yellow vinyl for the main album and red for the second disc, it’s a thing of beauty that brings back that thrill of laying your hands on the original copy but turning up the heat to max.

One of the essential hard rock albums of the ’70s, this still sounds fresh today and should be in the collection of every self-respecting music lover.

You wanted the best: you’ve got the best.

KISS – Destroyer can be ordered from kiss.lnk.to/destroyer45thPR

Super deluxe edition

DISC ONE:
DESTROYER: Original Album Remastered
1. Detroit Rock City
2. King of The Night Time World
3. God of Thunder
4. Great Expectations
5. Flaming Youth
6. Sweet Pain
7. Shout It Out Loud
8. Beth
9. Do You Love Me?

DISC TWO
DESTROYER-ERA: Demos
PAUL STANLEY DEMOS
1. Doncha Hesitate
2. God Of Thunder And Rock And Roll
3. It’s The Fire*
4. Detroit Rock City*
5. Love Is Alright*

GENE SIMMONS DEMOS
6. Bad, Bad Lovin’
7. Man Of A Thousand Faces
8. I Don’t Want No Romance*
9. Burnin’ Up With Fever*
10. Rock N’ Rolls Royce*
11. Mad Dog
12. Night Boy*
13. Star*
14. Howlin’ For Your Love*
15. True Confessions

DISC THREE
DESTROYER: Outtakes, Alternate Versions / Mixes, Single Edits
1. Beth (Acoustic Mix)*
2. Shout It Out Loud (Single Edit)
3. Flaming Youth (Single Edit)
4. Detroit Rock City (Single Edit)
5. Shout It Out Loud (Mono Single Edit)
6. Flaming Youth (Mono Single Edit)
7. Detroit Rock City (Mono Single Edit)
8. Beth (Mono)
9. King Of The Night Time World (Live Rehearsal Instrumental)*
10. Do You Love Me? (Mono Instrumental)*
11. God Of Thunder (Early Instrumental Mix)*
12. Ain’t None Of Your Business (Instrumental)*
13. Detroit Rock City (Instrumental)*
14. King Of The Night Time World (Alternate Mix)*
15. Great Expectations (Early Version)*
16. Flaming Youth (Early Version)*
17. Do You Love Me? (Early Version)*
18. Shout It Out Loud (Alternate Mix)*
19. Ain’t None Of Your Business (Outtake)*
20. Beth (Take 6 – Instrumental)*
21. Beth (Instrumental)*
22. Do You Love Me? (Alternate Mix)*

DISC FOUR
LIVE IN PARIS – L’Olympia – 22 May, 1976*
1. Deuce
2. Strutter
3. Flaming Youth
4. Hotter Than Hell
5. Firehouse
6. She / Ace Frehley Guitar Solo
7. Nothin’ To Lose
8. Shout It Out Loud / Gene Simmons Bass Solo
9. 100,000 Years / Peter Criss Drum Solo
10. Black Diamond
11. Detroit Rock City
12. Rock and Roll All Nite

BLU-RAY AUDIO:
DESTROYER: *Dolby Atmos 48kHz 24-bit, *Dolby True HD 5.1 96kHz 24-bit,
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 96kHz 24-bit, PCM Stereo 96kHz 24-bit
1. Detroit Rock City
2. King Of The Night Time World
3. God Of Thunder
4. Great Expectations
5. Flaming Youth
6. Sweet Pain
7. Shout It Out Loud
8. Beth
9. Do You Love Me?

Bonus Tracks:
10. Beth (Acoustic)
11. Sweet Pain (Original Guitar Solo)

* Previously unreleased

DELUXE EDITION 2CD TRACK LIST:

DISC ONE
DESTROYER
Original Album Remastered
1. Detroit Rock City
2. King of The Night Time World
3. God of Thunder
4. Great Expectations
5. Flaming Youth
6. Sweet Pain
7. Shout It Out Loud
8. Beth
9. Do You Love Me?

DISC TWO
PAUL STANLEY DEMOS
1. God Of Thunder And Rock And Roll
2. Detroit Rock City*
3. Love Is Alright*

GENE SIMMONS DEMOS
4. I Don’t Want No Romance*
5. Rock N’ Rolls Royce*
6. Star*

RARITIES
7. Beth (Acoustic Mix)*
8. Shout It Out Loud (Mono Single Edit)
9. King Of The Night Time World (Live Rehearsal Instrumental)*
10. Detroit Rock City (Instrumental)*
11. Flaming Youth (Early Version)*
12. Shout It Out Loud (Alternate Mix)*

LIVE IN PARIS – L’Olympia – May 22, 1976*
13. Deuce
14. Strutter
15. Flaming Youth
16. Hotter Than Hell

*Previously Unreleased

DELUXE EDITION 2LP TRACK LIST:

LP ONE
DESTROYER
Original Album Remastered
Side One
1. Detroit Rock City
2. King of The Night Time World
3. God of Thunder
4. Great Expectations

Side Two
1. Flaming Youth
2. Sweet Pain
3. Shout It Out Loud
4. Beth
5. Do You Love Me?

LP TWO
Side Three
PAUL STANLEY DEMOS
1. God Of Thunder And Rock And Roll
2. Detroit Rock City*
3. Love Is Alright*

GENE SIMMONS DEMOS
4. I Don’t Want No Romance*
5. Rock N’ Rolls Royce*
6. Star*

Side Four
RARITIES
1. Beth (Acoustic Mix)*
2. Shout It Out Loud (Mono Single Edit)
3. King Of The Night Time World (Live Rehearsal Instrumental)*
4. Detroit Rock City (Instrumental)*
5. Flaming Youth (Early Version)*
6. Shout It Out Loud (Alternate Mix)*

*Previously Unreleased

DOLBY ATMOS – STREAMING

DESTROYER: *Dolby Atmos 48kHz 24-bit
1. Detroit Rock City
2. King Of The Night Time World
3. God Of Thunder
4. Great Expectations
5. Flaming Youth
6. Sweet Pain
7. Shout It Out Loud
8. Beth
9. Do You Love Me?

Bonus Tracks:
10. Beth (Acoustic Mix)
11. Sweet Pain (Original Guitar Solo)

* Previously unreleased

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