You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best! The Hottest Band in the World — KISS!
Written by: Frank Iacono

KISS is an American rock band, formed in New York City in January 1973. The original lineup consisted of Paul Stanley (Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitarist), Gene Simmons (Lead Vocals/Bass Guitarist), Ace Frehley (Lead Guitarist/Vocals) and Peter Criss (Drummer/Percussionist/Vocals).


KISS | Photo by Ginny Winn/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Well-known for its members’ face paint and stage outfits, KISS rose to prominence in the mid-to-late 1970s with their elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits and explosive pyrotechnics.

On February 18, 1974, KISS released its self-titled debut studio album. KISS features several songs that both founding members Stanley and Simmons had written for their previous band, Wicked Lester.

Every song on this album is a very melodic, simple, fun-loving and hard-rocking tune. Among the 10 classic KISS tracks are some of my personal favorites such as “Nothing To Lose,” “100,000 Years,” “Firehouse,” “Deuce” And “Strutter”.

Despite the band’s promoting and touring schedule, KISS sold approximately 75,000 copies after its initial release without the presence of a hit single. However, on June 8, 1977 it was certified gold having shipped 500,000 copies.

Arguably, the album KISS could easily be considered a self-contained greatest hits package. In fact, it has been regarded as one of the classic hard rock debuts of all-time. Even Simmons also stated that this release is his favorite KISS album. In 2003, KISS was included in the Spin list of essential glam rock albums.


Album Details

  • Record Title: KISS
  • Record Label: Casablanca Records
  • Cover Design: Joel Brodsky
  • Recorded: Bell Sound Studios, New York City
  • Originally Released: February 18, 1974
  • Producers: Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise
  • Engineered and Mixed By: Warren Dewey
  • Mastering Engineer: George Marino


Track List

  1. Strutter – Written by Paul Stanley/Gene Simmons and performed by Paul Stanley
  2. Nothin’ To Lose – Written by Gene Simmons and performed by Gene Simmons/Peter Criss
  3. Firehouse – Written by Paul Stanley performed by Paul Stanley/Gene Simmons
  4. Cold Gin – Written by Ace Frehley and performed by Gene Simmons
  5. Let Me Know – Written by Paul Stanley performed by Gene Simmons/Paul Stanley
  6. Kissin’ Time – Written by Kal Mann/Bernie Lowe and performed by Gene Simmons/Paul Stanley/Peter Criss
  7. Deuce – Written by Gene Simmons and performed by Gene Simmons
  8. Love Theme From KISS – Written by Ace Frehley/Paul Stanley/Gene Simmons/Peter Criss and performed as an Instrumental
  9. 100,000 Years – Written by Paul Stanley/Gene Simmons and performed by Paul Stanley
  10. Black Diamond – Written by Paul Stanley and performed by Peter Criss with an intro by Paul Stanley

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