KISS Songs Explained: Destroyer (1976)

70s,KISS,Music 16 September 2010 | Comments Off

Destroyer is without doubt the most celebrated album in the KISS discography. In a sense it’s their Sgt. Pepper’s, to use a Beatles analogy. Hot off the success of Alive! and working with producer Bob Ezrin, the band made a concerted effort to do something bigger and more ambitious with this record. Departing from the straightforward crunch of their three previous records, Destroyer finds KISS experimenting with unusual recording techniques and effects (“Detroit Rock City”, “God of Thunder”), employing choirs and orchestras (“Great Expectations”, “Beth”) and writing about topics besides getting laid. It gave them an unexpected hit in “Beth” and 6 of its 9 songs would become concert staples for the next three decades.

All that being said, it’s not even close to being my favorite KISS album. Although I love all the songs, and I respect what they were trying to do and what they achieved, I think the production is a little much at times. Apparently KISS thought so too, as they moved back to a more raw sound with their next two records. (For the record, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is not one of my favorite Beatles records either.) On to the tunes:

Detroit Rock City

It’s probably wise to stay off the streets of Detroit when KISS fans are in town.

King of the Night-time World

Paul is sneaking around with a high school chick from the suburbs, whose parents are unaware.

God of Thunder

Gene sets his latest personal ad to music and unwittingly spawns the band White Zombie.

Great Expectations

Gene understands female concert goers aren’t really listening to the band’s music; they are thinking about the size of his penis.

Flaming Youth

Paul rebels against his parents while clad from head to toe in leather.

Sweet Pain

If you’re going to have sex with Gene, you may want to have a first-aid kit nearby.

Shout It Out Loud

Being loud and out of control at a party can do wonders for one’s self esteem.


Peter’s wife is a needy bitch.

Do You Love Me

Paul is a needy bitch.

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