Time for another Flashback. OK, so take a moment to realize that this next band is truly one of the great american rock bands. If you can look past the kitsch, the theatrics, the smoke, the pyrotechnics, the over the top outfits, and yes, the weird make-up, you can hear some really good hard rock tunes. Perhaps they felt they needed some gimmicks to get noticed, but the fact is, I think they would have been taken much more seriously if they just played music, but who can fault them for having fun and doing it their own way? Not I.
A few years back I played their first studio album, which I also own on CD, at a little party/get together with some of my old pals. No one knew who the band was, but everyone seemed to enjoy the seriously hard rockin' sounds the band recorded way back in 1975. Finally someone asked, "Who is that on the stereo?" I smiled knowingly, and answered, "Only the band that ruled the world for a few years in the late 70's, KISS."
If you take the stance that many of my peers did and still do, KISS might me considered child's play or throw-away pop rock. Wrong. For proof, here's a clip of them from 1975 playing a rock tune which was normally their show-stopper, Black Diamond, as sung by their original drummer, Peter Criss.
If you think KISS is just a bunch of silly dudes prancing about in make-up with gigantic boots, minimize this page and just listen to the music. You might change your mind about who they were in the early days. You'll hear a band that was performing edgy, raw, proto-Metal during their pre-mega stardom days, a damn good rock and roll outfit playing what is simply a classic song.
KISS in 1975: Gene Simmons: Bass and Vocals, Paul Stanley: Guitar and Vocals, Ace Frehley: Lead Guitar, Peter Criss: Drums (and occasionally Vocals).
~Sham, Quixotic Referee