On a class trip to New York City in 1991, a friend of mine gave me a cassette of Ace Frehley’s solo album to listen to, saying “I think you’ll like this.” A bit of an understatement, that was. The first song I listened to was ‘New York Groove’ and I was hooked before the first chorus ended. I listened to the rest of it in disbelief, because I was enjoying every song. We stopped at a truck stop in New Jersey and I found another KISS album on cassette, 1975′s Dressed to Kill. I was immediately struck by the cover image (even though it was only a couple of inches square) of the masked foursome wearing business attire and striking a pose on a NY street corner. I had to buy it. I put it in my Walkman and was knocked out again at the catchy melodies and crunchy guitar riffs. I liked it even better than Ace’s record because the lead vocal was different from song to song (although I couldn’t tell who was who at the time) and it was just the perfect mix of pop and hard rock. I had found my favorite band, and over the next few months I would buy every KISS record I could get my hot little hands on.
The sound of Dressed to Kill is a big improvement sonically over the band’s last album, Hotter Than Hell. This was in large part to Casablanca Records founder Neil Bogart personally handling the production duties. Although a rushed album (the band was literally writing material as it was being recorded), I consider it one of their finest hours, with particularly strong material from Paul, including “Room Service”, “Rock Bottom”, and “C’mon and Love Me.” The album also contains arguably their best known tune, the anthem “Rock and Roll All Nite.” On to the tunes:
Paul has casual sex with multiple partners in a variety of indoor locations.¹
A young woman cuckolds Gene.
Ladies in Waiting
Gene can’t decide which prostitute to put his penis in.
Peter, battling personal demons and feeling alienated from the community, decides to leave town immediately.
After listening to an instrumental guitar composition, Paul summons the courage to confront his girlfriend regarding her poor treatment of him.
C’mon & Love Me
In the dark, Paul mistakes his reflection in a mirror for that of a young woman and inadvertently has sex with himself.
Anything for My Baby
Paul doesn’t mind people knowing how pussy-whipped he is.
Gene and Paul salute a female acquaintance gifted at oral sex; however they are unable to recall her name.
Love Her All I Can
On the rare occasion that Paul’s girlfriend is sad, it is never because the world looks bad.
Rock and Roll All Nite
KISS want to spend their evenings having sexual intercourse and their days getting drunk and/or stoned.
¹A hotel room, an airport lounge, and a private residence in his city of origin.