When someone asks me, “What’s your favorite KISS album?” I don’t always give the same answer. Depending on my mood, it could be one of several. Dressed to Kill. KISS. Revenge. All good choices. But probably more than half the time, I’d respond with Rock and Roll Over, the latest entry in our regular feature KISS Songs Explained.
A lot of KISS records (especially the ones from their 70s heyday) are solid from top to bottom and don’t have filler material. But RARO is different – there’s no record that they’ve ever put out that is more quintessentially KISS than this one. It has it all: Gene as world-renowned cocksman (“Calling Dr. Love”, “Ladies Room”), Peter’s whiskey voice belting a rocker (“Baby Driver”) and crooning a ballad (the Rod Stewart-esque “Hard Luck Woman”*), and Paul, well just being the badass that he always is (“I Want You”, “Take Me”, and “Makin’ Love.”) It also includes two of the best deep cuts you will find in the KISS catalog: Paul’s struttin’ “Mr. Speed” and Gene’s “See You In Your Dreams”, the latter being so favored by its author that he re-recorded it two years later on his KISS solo offering.
This is how we roll.
The material is bolstered by the excellent production of Eddie Kramer, who produced the band’s breakout record Alive! Kramer would go on to produce the next record, Love Gun, as well as Ace’s solo album. To my mind, Eddie Kramer was the best producer KISS ever had. He knew how to make a great studio record that maintained the rawness and immediacy of their live sound. RARO also features some of their most well-know cover art, by Michael Doret. Doret would reunite with the band in 2009 to do the album artwork for Sonic Boom. On to the tunes:
I Want You
After an ugly breakup, Paul can’t seem to move on with his life.
Paul is fellated in the back seat of an automobile.
Calling Dr. Love
When Dr. Love asks you to ‘open up and say ahhh,’ you may be surprised by what comes next.
(see more below)
Gene explains that a ladies’ restroom is as good a place as any to bust a nut.
Ass, gas, or grass – Peter soon learns that, with Baby Driver, he won’t be riding for free.
Love ’Em and Leave ’Em
Paul’s tendency to ejaculate prematurely makes him surprisingly popular with the ladies.
See You In Your Dreams
By this point Gene is even getting laid in other people‘s dreams.
Hard Luck Woman
Peter must leave his woman, who is characterized by her chronic misfortune.
Paul enjoys sexual intercourse with his rather attractive girlfriend.
¹Much like Ace’s Dynasty outfit.
Bonus Tracks/Alternate Takes of “Calling Dr. Love”
Unlike most physicians, Dr. Love removes his pants to take your temperature.
Dr. Love prescribes the same remedy for every ailment, to be taken orally.
*Paul originally wrote “Hard Luck Woman” with the intention of giving it to Rod Stewart.