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KISS: Destroyer (remaster)

Destroyer is probably one of the most popular of all the KISS albums that has ever been released.. As the immediate follow-up to the juggernaut Alive, the larger public suddenly found themselves "KISS Crazy" and this album would prove to be an instant classic. Released in 1976, the original album took advantage of the momentum that was provided by the live album and delivered to their fans a solid record with many of the bands most popular numbers. Starting off with "Detroit Rock City" the group now had a concert opener that rivaled "Deuce". It remained an opening track for over a dozen years until the band would decide to change things up. Songs such as "King Of The Night Time World" and "God Of Thunder" were instrumental in bringing to life the over the top nature their individual personas had over their fans, while "Flaming Youth" and "Shout It Out Loud" became anthems that everyone would find themselves singing. The coin was flipped with "Beth" as the piano laden ballad was considered a throwaway track yet would become the bands biggest hit. Its contemporary radio friendly nature would find it outselling the mega-hit "Rock And roll All Nite" making the bands most popular song something completely devoid of their image and antics. Destroyer is not only one of the most popular albums in the fans eyes, but also one of the biggest sellers from their catalog overall. As a fan of KISS you can't go wrong with this album and if for some reason you are only the casual listener then this release is the perfect album for your collection. The cover depicting KISS rising among a ruined city was the perfect example of the group's new found power and appeal. It was time to enlist in the KISS Army.

The KISS remasters are excellent in their overall sound quality but do not offer any additional or unreleased songs outside of what was on the original album. The original artwork is replicated and features the interesting graphics that often made up a KISS Album. If the artwork was limited, this is of course reflected as well. Music History fans will appreciate the included historical liner notes on the CD's inner section. Each release has information that is topical to the album and the bands history.

Track Listing
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?

Added: March 29th 2006
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: KISS Online
Hits: 2457
Language: english

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KISS: Destroyer (remaster)
Posted by Hugh Dark on 2006-11-17 08:28:31
My Score:

This is the album that many consider their Sgt. Pepper's. I am sure that is how Kiss would view it. Well, these songs were originally being conceived and recorded in August 1975 along side Alive1 being mixed. Bob Ezrin entered the picture in mid August 75 and I am sure the proceedings took on a different feel. (this info was verified by assistant engineer for Alive, Neil Teeman) You can see that the liner notes for the Destroyer remaster are not entirely accurate, for Alive did not go gold until December! So there were other reasons why they had selected Ezrin to produce. At that time, Kiss was content to use Eddie Kramer for this release, but Neil Bogart thought Kiss was getting a little to cozy with that guy. You can see how much paranoia was involved when Eddie had only produced Alive and the original demo for the first album. Kiss was certainly justified in their desire as Alive was hitting it's peak at #9 in December, and who can argue with success. I believe that Ezrin was the splitting force that impacted the band the worst on a personal level for them. He made it okay for outside writers to come in and studio musicians as well. When Ezrin see's a conflict he likes to exploit it. This diminished the mutual respect the band members had for each other and dividing lines were drawn; two on each side. He tried this with Roger Waters, but Waters made it so miserable for him, he did not even want to come to the studio during the recording of The Wall. On a musical level, he was able to provide Kiss with some discipline(Destroyer is the first album that Kiss did not do live in the studio) and atmosphere. There is absolutely no doubt that this was the finest sounding and best performed recording that they had, up until that point and some time after! Initially, this album was not the success that they had hoped for and it was not until Beth was released (08-76) as a single that it went platinum(11-76). This is some 8 months after the release date in March. This clearly shows how the album had stalled for quite a while. In fact, other than Gene, no one in the band even liked the record!! Ezrin has said himself that he was "surprised" by the bands decision not to use him again.(Deep down they new Beth was the only reason Destroyer became a BIG success) Bill Aucoin was "concerned about the end quality of the product." One interesting story is: that immediately after the album was finished Ezrin disappeared on vacation and when he returned there were 20 messages waiting for him! The band was furious that the album was not going over well and wished to express their disappointment. You can also bet that production costs were much higher for the band and they were not getting a quick turn-around on their investment. The remaster series are rather disappointing in quality. If one looks closely at the covers you can see they were poorly reproduced. On many of them they are rather blurry cpompared to the original hue. The are no bonus tracks and the liner notes are not exactly accurate or that informative. Also, many of the original credits have been removed. The catalog has benefitted from a sonic volume enhancement and that is about it. This is not the fault of Kiss, but Polygram for trying to cash in on the reunion that was happening at the time. This album was an interesting turning point for the band on so many levels and it is always a fun listen. Note to Polygram: Put this one out in a digipack with at least 3 panels for the artwork, lyric/booklet with pictures of them during recording, pull-out original rendition of inner-sleeve with artwork-embossed cd and some bonus tracks. It will sell like hotcakes!!!!!!!

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