By Matt Silk
(from Something For The Weekend/The Sun/UK)
Gene and Paul's memories of some classic Kiss albums:
KISS (1974) - Gene: I no longer had to work for a living. I went on salary, I became the richest person in the world. Not only was I in a band, doing everything I wanted - I was getting $75 a week! Favourite track: Deuce.
DRESSED TO KILL (1975) - Gene: It was produced by Neil Bogart, our record company president, who couldn’t produce. We started attracting lots of groupies around this time. Mostly, I remember lots of girls. Favourite track: "Two Timer"
HOTTER THAN HELL (1974) - Paul: Difficult second album? No, we were all piss and vinegar - "If you didn't like the first album, here's another!" We were releasing them every eight months. Favourite track: Hotter Than Hell.
DRESSED TO KILL (1975) - Gene: It was produced by Neil Bogart, our record company president, who couldn't produce. We started attracting lots of groupies. Mostly, I remember lots of girls. Favourite track: Two Timer.
ALIVE! (1975) - Paul: A sonic souvenir of the live show. Was it enhanced? You bet! Who wants to hear a guitar string break every time they put on a song? One week it was gold, the next platinum. Our rollercoaster ride had begun.
DESTROYER (1976) - Gene: A coming of age, or perhaps just a coming. (Renowned producer) Bob Ezrin kicked us in the butt and made us do a record we couldn't do on our own. They were our songs and performances, but he brought it out of us. Favourite track: God Of Thunder.
ROCK AND ROLL OVER (1976) - Paul: Many said Destroyer wasn't raunchy enough for them. So we decided to go back to something a little more basic. It's a great album but, sonically, the songs didn't sound like they should have. Favourite track: I Want You.
LOVE GUN (1977) - Gene: Eddie Kramer produced but he was more an engineer so we took more control for this one. Ace and Peter started to become very difficult as alcohol and drugs began to take over. Favourite track: Love Gun.
ALIVE II (1977) -Paul: The companion piece to Kiss Alive! It couldn’t be an accurate representation of the live set then, there would be too may repeats. Just the gatefold image inside was worth the price alone. To this day, show that image to a band and tell them to top this!
THE SOLO ALBUMS (1978) -Gene: Our manager’s attempt to keep the band together. Ace and Peter wanted to do their own albums. Ace said: ‘I’m going to sell 10 million albums.” The drugs had taken full hold. Ironically. my favourite is Ace’s. Favourite track (from Gene’s album): "Radioactive"
DYNASTY (1979) -Paul: Peter was not up to the task and we had to bring in somebody else (Anton Fig) to play drums. I Was Made For Loving You was an undeniable hit - but we were going down a track it would have been better to avoid. We were lost. Favourite track: "I Was Made For Loving You"
CREATURES OF THE NIGHT (1982) - Gene: The (huge!) drum sound was my insistence. If any track led to that huge sound, which was recorded in a hall with doors open and the mics on a slight delay, it was I Love It Loud. I love the title track too. Favourite track: I Love It Loud.
LICK IT UP (1983) - Paul: Creatures was better, but we finally took the make-up off and Lick It Up sold three or four times as many copies. The first step in establishing another persona for the band. Touring without make-up was invigorating. An exciting time. Favourite track: A Million To One.
ANIMALIZE (1984) - Gene: I like a lot of the record but I was pre-occupied with Hollywood, doing my first movie, Runaway, for Michael Crichton. My songs weren't stellar. Favourite track: Heaven's On Fire.
ASYLUM (1985) -Paul: Animalize marked a return to very healthy record sales. We were back. Asylum was a good album but not as good as Animalize. This was (guitarist) Bruce Kulick’s debut. There were a few songs I didn’t even play on, they just weren’t my thing. Favourite track: "Tears Are Falling"
CRAZY NIGHTS (1987) - Gene: We were deeply in the out-of-make-up era and on a level playing field with all the other bands. Bruce was in and people showed up on time. No dark drama. This was a prime time for Paul, a very upbeat album. Favourite track: "Crazy Nights" HOT IN THE SHADE (1989) -Paul: It was very unfocused. A band’s album shouldn’t be an unloading place for everybody’s personal material. But the Hot In The Shade tour was one of the best we’d ever done, really grabbing our past and heritage by the balls. Favourite track: "Silver Spoon"
REVENGE (1992) - Gene: One of my favourites. We reunited with Bob Ezrin, and it's a very different time from Destroyer. I finally felt comfortable in my own skin. I stopped playing the Paul game, trying to look pretty with nice hair - I was never very good at that. Favourite track: Unholy.
PSYCHO CIRCUS (1998) -Gene: The reunion album but Peter and Ace are hardly on it at all. The same old self-destructive behaviour set in. Psycho Circus is Paul and myself and guest musicians, including Tommy Thayer. Favourite track: "I Pledge Allegiance To The State Of Rock & Roll"
SONIC BOOM (2009) - Paul: A culmination of everything, good and bad that went before it. It's a pure, honest album and I couldn't be more proud of it. We found our way home. Favourite tracks: Modern Day Delilah and Say Yeah.
SONIC BUSTS And here the pair recall some, er, not so classic ones:
UNMASKED (1980) - Gene: My fault. It was a strange period, with pop and dance dominating, and we lost our way. It was also the end for Peter Criss. Anton Fig's playing drums and the main memory is of protecting the fans from the news Peter was gone. Favourite track: You're All That I Want.
MUSIC FROM 'THE ELDER' (1981) - Paul: We all bought into Stonehenge and truly thought we were making a masterpiece, but we weren't - we were masturbating. A bloated, overblown, pompous piece of pap. Favourite track: I - because that's the last one and the album's over.
CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1997) - Paul: Tuning down to D and singing about the darkness of the world while living in mansions in Beverly Hills was a little absurd. We were no more from Seattle than from Saturn. Favourite track: I Will Be There.