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KISS: Destroyer

Last Updated 10/31/2012 2:21:07 PM

By: Paul Barrel




After first listen to KISS’ Destroyer Resurrected I was reminded of the great Willy Wonka who said, “Don’t forget about the man who suddenly got everything he ever wanted … he lived happily ever after.”

For the uninitiated, here’s a bit of Kisstory. The band formed in 1973 and made a name for themselves as something of a novelty hard rock band, decked out in spiked heels, makeup and an over –the-top stage show. These guys were dedicated. Within their first two years, they had toured the U.S. numerous times, gone from being the opening band to headliner and had released three studio albums. Wowza. Still, they weren’t selling albums … plenty of concert tickets, but few albums. Known for their performances they gambled and put out a live album in 1975.

Alive captured what the ticket buying public already knew and nicely reflected the recorded output of the band to that point. It was also an end to a chapter in the band’s career. The down and dirty hard rock was on its way out and, in 1976, KISS came back with an adventurous album called Destroyer. Filled with orchestrations, elaborate arrangements and a known commodity in the producer’s chair, it marked a new day for the band. Released in March of that year, it was certified gold within a month and platinum shortly after that, a first for the band. For many KISS fans, it begins and ends with Destroyer.

Finally, the time arrived for producer extraordinaire Bob Ezrin to revisit KISS’ Destroyer album. Remixing and remastering this landmark album has been a long time coming … and well worth the wait.

Is it better than the original? No. But it is a wonderful complement and worthy addition to the band’s lengthy catalog.

Ezrin took digital masters of the original tapes, found forgotten passages to songs, fixed mistakes made decades ago and has offered up a compelling album which doesn’t stray too much from the record many of us know and love, but which is unique enough to open the eyes of even the most steadfast of fans.

A forgotten solo to “Sweet Pain” (which trivializes the original), a new start to “Flaming Youth” and a focus on rounding out the bass and drums tracks; which give a depth and perspective unrealized previously … what you get is a new album of favorites; one that has a slightly more live feel to it with a modern day oomph. Plus, the addition of the original cover art and presentation which emulates a vinyl release and you’ve got yourself one fine little package.

Well done, guys. Well done.

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