I was listening to KISS’ Asylum one day when I noticed something: KISS songs have almost no subtext whatsoever. Virtually any song in their discography can be taken at face value; in fact they pretty much demand to be taken completely literally. And then I had an idea:
I will listen to all 23 KISS studio albums and explain each song in a single sentence (or less).
Some ground rules need to be established. All official studio recordings will be covered, including the bonus tracks on Alive II, Killers, and Smashes, Thrashes & Hits. The four official KISS solo albums will be covered. “Strutter ’78″ will not be covered. Instrumentals (“Love Theme From KISS”, “Fractured Mirror¹”, “Fanfare”, and “Escape From the Island”) will not be covered, of course. I’ve not decided about cover songs yet.
The following is my gift to you, and we begin at the beginning, with their eponymous² debut from 1974.
Paul is infatuated with a woman who has a rather high opinion of herself, and who may be something of a tease.
Nothin’ to Lose
Gene assures his girlfriend that she has ‘nothing to lose’ by trying anal sex with him, except perhaps the elasticity of her anus.
Paul can’t bring himself to end a relationship with an emotionally distant pyromaniac.
KISS cannot tolerate each other without the aid of alcohol.
Let Me Know
In the first of many side business pursuits, Gene operates a taxi/gigolo service Sundays through Wednesdays; Paul is afflicted with blue balls.
The band encourages listeners in a variety of US locales to press their lips against those of others.³
Gene recites a list of action items for his girlfriend, whose Grandma is always hanging around.
Paul has been traveling for centuries through space and time, and now he desperately wants to get laid.
Black Diamond is relatively new to prostitution, but things are not going well.
¹Probably cocaine-related, if I had to guess.
²That’s a big word, like gymnasium.
³Although from a commercial standpoint it was probably a wise decision to dismiss Gene’s idea to call the band ‘Fuck’, it would have made this song more interesting.