March 1976 saw Kiss release their 4th studio album, Destroyer, a slow starter which then took when the ballad Beth(originally a b-side) became a hit in its own right. The album was the band’s first to go platinum.
This reissue is a remix by original producer Bob Ezrin who found the original tapes. Because some parts (eg the drums) had been mixed down to stereo, it was hard to tamper too much, but the sound here from the outset is wonderful and there are snippets of extra overlays originally left off the original. Bar the aforementioned Beth, Simmonds and Stanley share lead vocals.
The album opens with the classic Detroit City, the sound of a tuning radio with a burst of Rock’n’Roll All Nite before the rumble comes in,and a track most will (or should) recognise and enjoy. King Of The Night Time World follows in similar fashion. Then it’s the Kiss signature tune in God Of Thunder, a slower darker chunkier riff to the fore.
The underrated star of the original Kiss line-up was lead guitarist Ace Frehley, who is primarily known for his riffage – he is one of the best, but does provide a decent solo or two too. And it is easy to overlook the guitar work given the marketing and image of the band both then and now.This was Kiss at their best.
This is truly a classic album, mixing glam rock, classic rock and proto glam metal, with Sweet Pain, Flaming Youth, Shout It Out Loud and Do You Love Me all standing out. Ezrin’s original production adding special effects, extra guitar work and strings. And then the Peter Criss written / sung Beth – an acoustic number that was a big world-wide hit.
The remix here brightens things and while the tracks are not greatly different but the extra mix and additions do add an extra dimension.
There is a bonus track – Sweet Pain, with the original guitar solo, and Ezrin penned sleevenotes.
A wonderful release, well packaged. But the original plan was for a 2CD, there is that much extra material about. More of these releases,however, more than welcome. 9.5/10