KISS-Rock and roll over, 1976
Probably one of the first bands you think of when the 1970's is mentioned. And why not? They had a big stage show, the make-up, the costumes and the whole image that went with it. Yet it's the music that matters and KISS had that as well or at least at one time they did. Maybe it's silly to say that an album made in the middle of their hay day was overlooked, but I think this album is at least a little bit overlooked at times. Released just months after Destroyer and before Lovegun, Rock and roll over has perhaps less known songs than those two albums which is why it may be overlooked. However the tracks that here are largely solid and the album as a whole is as good of an example of KISS in their prime as any other release. Let's face it, no one in the original line-up was that great of a musician and the lyrics were pure cheese. Yet they sold it and sold it well because they tried hard and didn't pretend to be anything other than entertaining. Changing singers was also a big plus at times as it helped them to do different styles of songs and pull them off. Here are a few of the tracks that stand out to me. "I want you" is a real direct rocker with a good intro. "Love 'em and leave 'em" has a big thick sound and chugs along nicely. "Baby Driver" is fairly energetic with lots of squealing guitars and a good control of the pace. "Hard luck woman" is easily better than "Beth" from Destroyer and it seems much more suited to the style of the band. Of course "Makin' Love" is a giant in your face rocker. "Mr. Speed" might be the only song on the album that's a little under par. It's not bad when I hear it, but once the album end I can't ever quite remember how it went. Anyway this is a good slab of rock music from KISS. I also commend Eddie Kramer for the production job that manages to capture a sound that has enough of an edge on it. Certainly one of the top KISS albums I reach for.