This is KISS s 1976 multi-platinum, landmark album Destroyer: Resurrected, newly remixed from the original master tapes by the album s original producer, Bob Ezrin. Ezrin pulled the tapes from the vaults and painstakingly remixed the entire album, enhancing the sound and bringing out its rich texture and vibrancy, while keeping the integrity of the original recording intact. Destroyer: Resurrected will also include rare photos, a new essay by Ezrin and the originally intended cover artwork.
- Vinyl (August 21, 2012)
"Beth" marked a musical departure for Kiss, with its heavy use of an orchestra section. The song became a #7 hit for the group.
This song, with its call-and-response verses and anthemic chorus, is typical of the hard rock songs on Destroyer.
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Rehearsals for Destroyer began in August 1975, while the group was embarked on their supporting tour for Alive!. The band felt that Bob Ezrin was the right person to help them take their sound to the next level and to maintain the commercial success they had achieved with Alive!
The first recording sessions for the album took place from September 3–6, 1975 at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, during a brief break between the Dressed to Kill and Alive! tours. The basic album tracks were recorded during this time. The majority of the recording sessions for Destroyer took place in January 1976, after the conclusion of the Alive! tour.
The first demo recorded during the Destroyer sessions was "Ain't None of Your Business" featuring Peter Criss on vocals. The plodding, heavy song, written by country songwriters Becky Hobbs and Lew Anderson, was rejected by the band and later appeared on the 1977 debut album by Michael Des Barres' band Detective. Although this song was rejected, other outside songs and suggestions were accepted by the band. In particular, Kim Fowley and Mark Anthony became important contributors during the songwriting process., bringing in the title and basic structure of the song "King of the Night Time World" from their previous band Hollywood Stars' then-unreleased 1974 album Shine Like a Radio (which also featured the original version of the Alice Cooper song "Escape" from Welcome to My Nightmare).
During the recording sessions, Ezrin resorted to numerous tactics designed to increase the quality of music Kiss recorded. Because none of the group were trained musicians, Ezrin halted the sessions at one point to provide lessons in basic music theory. In an effort to instill a sense of discipline, he wore a whistle around his neck and exhorted the band with sayings such as, "Campers, we're going to work!". When Simmons stopped playing during the recording of an outro, Ezrin yelled at him, saying, "Don't you ever stop a take unless I tell you!"
Paul Stanley later compared the experience of working with Ezrin as "musical boot camp" but said that the group "came out a lot smarter for it." Simmons echoed the sentiment by stating, "It was exactly what we needed at the time."
The cover art for Destroyer was painted by fantasy artist Ken Kelly. Kelly's work was brought to the attention of Simmons, who met with Kelly to discuss ideas for Destroyer. Kelly agreed but asked to see Kiss perform live first to gain inspiration. He was invited to a show and given a backstage pass. He later said of the performance, "It blew me away." Kelly was later commissioned by the band to draw the cover for 1977's Love Gun.
Kelly's original version of the album cover was rejected by the record company because they felt the scene was too violent looking with the rubble and flames. Also, the original version had the members of Kiss wearing the Alive! costumes. The front cover shows the group striding on top of a pile of rubble, and a desolate background spotted with destroyed buildings, some of which are engulfed in flames. The back cover shows a similar scene, but with more buildings on fire. The front of the inner sleeve featured a large Kiss logo and the lyrics to "Detroit Rock City". The other side displayed the lyric "SHOUT IT OUT LOUD", as well as an advertisement for the Kiss Army fan club.
In anticipation of the 35th anniversary of the release of Destroyer, producer Bob Ezrin approached Simmons and Stanley about doing a remix and re-release of the original album. With their approval, Ezrin acquired the original 16-track analog master tapes and had them digitally transferred for remixing. In addition to re-equalizing elements of each song, Ezrin also added in some parts of tracks that had been omitted from the original mix. Notable among these are some additional vocals on "Detroit Rock City" and "Beth", and the substitution of a guitar solo by Ace Frehley on "Sweet Pain" for the one from the original that had been performed by Dick Wagner. (A version of "Sweet Pain" with Frehley's solo was included as track 6, while the original version with Wagner's solo is appended as a "bonus" track at the end of the new CD.) Ezrin also used digital manipulation to fix an incorrect lyric ("down 95") on "Detroit Rock City". The resulting album, titled Destroyer: Resurrected, was released on August 21, 2012. It featured Ken Kelly's original cover artwork prior to alteration by Casablanca for the 1976 release.
Destroyer: Resurrected met with positive critical reception. William Clark of Guitar International wrote: "Each track sounds crisper, clearer and louder, which are always welcome qualities when you’re listening to a classic album of the likes of Destroyer". The album returned to the Billboard charts, debuting at #11 the week after its re-release.
Destroyer sold well upon its release on March 15, 1976 and was certified gold on April 22. Although exact sales figures are not known, Stanley stated that the album initially sold 850,000 copies in the US, well in excess of any of Kiss's first three studio albums. After peaking at #11 on the Billboard album chart on May 15, Destroyer quickly fell and by August was at #192. The first three singles—"Shout It Out Loud", "Flaming Youth" and "Detroit Rock City"—failed to ignite sales any further, (though "Shout It Out Loud" did give the band their first #1 record, in Canada). The band and Ezrin cited fan backlash as the reason Destroyer did not meet sales expectations. Ezrin also stated that the "grassroots rock press" was particularly critical of the album.
Rolling Stone referred to "bloated ballads," "pedestrian drumming" and "lackluster performances" in its review. Robert Christgau, writing in The Village Voice, felt that it was Kiss's "least interesting record" and criticized producer Bob Ezrin for adding "only bombast and melodrama." It was not until radio stations started playing the B-side of the "Detroit Rock City" single "Beth," that the album started to sell as expected. The ballad, which according to Simmons was deliberately put on the B-side to force stations to play "Detroit Rock City", started receiving numerous listener requests and became an unexpected hit. "Beth" (co-written and sung by Peter Criss) was re-released as the fourth single in late August, and it peaked at #7 on the Billboard singles chart on September 25. It was the group's first Top 10 song and re-ignited sales of the album. On November 11 Destroyerbecame the first Kiss album to be certified platinum.
The album has received recognition in later years. In 1989, Kerrang! magazine listed the album at #36 among the "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time". In 2003, it was ranked #489 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2006, it was placed at #60 on Guitar World magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time. The album was also featured in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), Rob Sheffield referred to Destroyeras "the inevitable arty concept album, from the drink-smoke-drive-die saga 'Detroit Rock City' to the touching 'Do You Love Me?'". Pitchfork Media's Jason Josephes said that it is "easily one of the best albums in the Kiss canon" and credited Ezrin for ushering along "even more of an art/hard rock album than Kiss' previous efforts."
Destroyer has been reported to have sold between 3 to 4 million by 2012, but has yet to be recertified for that amount; 2 million units have actually been certified in the US.
|1.||"Detroit Rock City"||Paul Stanley, Bob Ezrin||Stanley||5:17|
|2.||"King of the Night Time World"||Stanley, Kim Fowley, Mark Anthony, Ezrin||Stanley||3:19|
|3.||"God of Thunder"||Stanley||Simmons||4:13|
|4.||"Great Expectations"||Gene Simmons, Ezrin||Simmons||4:24|
|5.||"Flaming Youth"||Ace Frehley, Stanley, Simmons, Ezrin||Stanley||2:59|
|7.||"Shout It Out Loud"||Stanley, Simmons, Ezrin||Stanley, Simmons||2:49|
|8.||"Beth"||Peter Criss, Stan Penridge, Ezrin||Criss||2:45|
|9.||"Do You Love Me?"||Stanley, Fowley, Ezrin||Stanley||3:40|
|10.||"Rock and Roll Party"||Simmons, Stanley, Ezrin||Instrumental||1:25|
- "Rock and Roll Party" appears as a hidden track on the original vinyl pressing. It appears a few seconds after "Do You Love Me?".
Destroyer: Resurrected (2012 remix)
- Paul Stanley - vocals, rhythm guitar
- Ace Frehley - lead guitar, backing vocals
- Gene Simmons - vocals, bass guitar
- Peter Criss - drums, percussion, vocals
- Additional musicians
- Dick Wagner - lead guitar on "Sweet Pain", acoustic guitar on "Beth"
- Brooklyn Boys Chorus - vocals on "Great Expectations"
- David and Josh Ezrin - voices on "God of Thunder"
- New York Philharmonic - Orchestra on "Beth"
- Bob Ezrin - producer, orchestration, 2012 remix
- H.A. Macmillan - orchestration
- Jay Messina - engineer
- Corky Stasiak - engineer
- Peter Criss recorded a new version of "Beth" for his 1994 solo album Cat #1.
- Groovie Ghoulies covered it on their 1989 album Appetite for Adrenochrome as an unlisted track.
- No Use for a Name covered "Beth" on their 1997 album Making Friends also as an unlisted track.
- Coffin Break made a cover for Kiss' tribute album Hard to Believe: Kiss Covers Compilation.
- "Beth" was covered in the television show Glee during the episode "Theatricality".
- "Deth" was an alternative title version released by Ed Hall as a 7" single in 1991.
- "God of Thunder"
- The Melvins made a cover for Kiss' tribute album Hard to Believe: Kiss Covers Compilation.
- Iced Earth covered "God of Thunder" for their tribute album Tribute to the Gods. "Creatures of the Night" cover was also featured on the album.
- White Zombie covered the song for their EP God of Thunder.
- Raging Speedhorn covered the song for How the Great Have Fallen album.
- Swedish death metal band Entombed made a cover of the song which is featured on their compilation Sons of Satan Praise the Lord.
- Death released a cover of the song as a bonus track on the Japanese version of their 1991 album Human.
- The American doom metal band Rigor Sardonicous released a cover of the song on their album Risus Ex Mortuus.
- A supergroup consisting of Rob Zombie (vocals), Slash (guitar), Ace Frehley (guitar), Tommy Lee (drums), Gilby Clarke (guitar), and Scott Ian (bass guitar) played a cover of the song for the VH1 Rock Honors of Kiss.
- Quintron and Miss Pussycat covered the song on their 2005 album Swamp Tech.
- Ripper covered the song on their 2009 album The Dead Have Rizen on Black Widow Records.
- "Do You Love Me?"
- Nirvana made a cover for the Hard to Believe: Kiss Covers Compilation.
- Girlschool made a cover for Running Wild.
- Girl included a version on their debut album Sheer Greed
- The Infamous Unknowns covered the song as a bonus track on Last Week's Trash.
Charts and certifications
|U.S. Pop Albums||11|
|Billboard Pop Singles||Canadian Singles Chart||German Singles Chart||Swedish Singles Chart||Australian Singles Chart||New Zealand Singles Chart|
|1976||"Shout It Out Loud"||31||1||32||16||45||40|
|1976||"Detroit Rock City"||–||–||14||–||–||–|
|United States (RIAA)||2× Platinum||2,000,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
The following information regarding list placements attributed to Destroyer is taken from AcclaimedMusic.net.
|Rolling Stone||U.S.||The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time||2003||496|
|Blender||U.S.||The 100 Greatest American Albums of All Time||2002||50|
|Guitar World||U.S.||The 100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time.||2006||60|
(*) designates unordered lists.
|United States||March 15, 1976||Casablanca Records||LP||NBLP-7025|
|United States||July 1987||Casablanca/PolyGram||CD||824 149-2|
|United States||August 12, 1997||Mercury Records||Remastered CD||532 378-2|
|Worldwide||August 21, 2012||Universal Music Group||Re-release||-|