Episode 124 continues its Classic Albums series, this time around we focus on the 1974 self-titled debut by Kiss. This episode contains interviews from a bunch of different musicians, show hosts, and journalist. Among those you will hear are Roch from Radioactive Metal, Chris and Aaron from the Decibel Geek Podcast, Mitch Lafon of One On One With Mitch Lafon, Racer X’s Jeff Martin, author Martin Popoff, Josh Christian of Toxik, Carl Canedy of The Rods, former Megadeth guitarist Glen Drover, Joe Stump, Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer, Sharlee D’Angelo of Arch Enemy, Ross The Boss of Death Dealer, Gene Hoglan, Jason McMaster of Dangerous Toys, Charlie Benante of Anthrax, Doro Pesch and courtesy of Talking Metal, Ace Frehley.
You will find the podcast at the bottom of this post. You will also find links to the album on Spotify, or you can purchase the album from here.
Remember that you can go here index page to find out further details on everyone involved in the column.
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal – I LOVED this album. I was literally hypnotized by the end of Black Diamond, slowly slowing down and fading out, I’d keep turning up the volume to hear every final sound to the very end…
Greg Prato – Such an underrated album. Whenever people discuss “greatest rock debuts” in mags or on TV, this one always seems to get overlooked. Meanwhile, I’d say it’s my favorite all-time Kiss studio album! Due to all the make-up and stage tricks, the fact that Kiss were such great songwriters (particularly in the 1970’s) often gets lost in the shuffle. This was the first Kiss album I ever owned as well (a kindergarten graduation present from my mom – thanks mom!).
Dave Starr – Big KISS fan here! In 1976, I discovered KISS with the ALIVE! album and then went back and got the first 3 records. Production is very stiff, but there are some great tunes on the debut record like: Black Diamond, Deuce, Firehouse, and Strutter.
Jon Leon – This band is all about the live show. Kiss is theatre and the albums are just there to support the live act. That said….they are a marketing genius and this album has a lot of catchy tunes. Black Diamond is a winner. Kiss has a few really good songs and a lot of filler…but the good songs are so good live you can forgive this. Further…Paul Stanley is the best performer I have ever seen live.
Erik Kluiber – favorite studio album. Solid collection of songs as opposed to all their releases afterwards which were filled with filler.
James J. LaRue – This just makes me think of a couple friends of mine who are huge kiss fans, Daniel Krantzburg and Jonathan Fenno, the latter being the “Paul Stanley” in a Kiss tribute band. Ace always seemed like a nice fellow I could talk about guitars with or something, but I wasn’t into them until they got Kulick. I think Kulick and Singer were some of the best musicians that played for Kiss. And I prefer the song writing on Animalize and Crazy Nights, etc. Not sure which albums had Vinnie and which were Kulick.
JL – This is your typical classic album, you listen to it for the first time, and it turns out you already know most of the songs. You’ve surely heard classics like Deuce, Strutter, Cold Gin or Nothin To Lose at any rock bar you may have frequented.
John Nymann – I remember being on a date with my high school sweetheart on June 1, 1974. She had just graduated from high school and I had just bought her a gold dress for a present, and we were headed to see Manfred Mann’s Earth Band at Winterland in San Francisco. This weird-ass clown band was the opener…their name was Kiss. Me and my girl were standing right under Gene Simmons as he spit blood all over her dress. After their funny performance, the road crew assured me the red stuff would wash right out. Wow! What a crazy night! Thinking back to having witnessed them on their first tour. My friend bought their album and played it for me, and I was impressed with their ability to write straight ahead simple rock hooks. These songs, Strutter, Nothing To Lose, Firehouse and Cold Gin have stood the test of time. They still hold up as classic rock and roll and with zero production. Kiss had a plan and the world bought it. And the rest is fucking R&R history. And who was I calling weird ass clown band? Lol!
Will Carroll – Kind of a sleeper of an album. The songs on it can’t be denied considering KISS still do more than half this album live. Great tunes-shitty production. My favorite make up album is Rock And Roll Over.
David Ellefson – Most know I’m a huge Kiss fan and probably wouldn’t’ be here to write this if it weren’t for their influence on my life. As much as I wish I could hear the demos for this album, the record does have a very haunting sound about it…something cold, dark and lonely, probably much like their early days struggling as a New York band.
Bruce Moore – In my opinion this is the best Kiss record ever. The track listing on this record is unbelievable; there is no filler to be found at. Some of the most timeless iconic Kiss songs were introduced on this record; I mean Strutter, Nothing To Lose. Cold Gin, Black Diamond and 100,000 Years; come on man it does not get much better than this.
Patrick Kennison – Kiss I remember as a kid being confused by the studio versions of classic live songs like Cold Gin & RNR All Night. I thought the studio versions sounded slow & boring. Nonetheless they had to start somewhere.
The episode can be streamed or downloaded from here: