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Kiss: Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley (vocals, guitar); Gene Simmons (vocals, bass instrument); Peter Criss (vocals, drums). Additional personnel: Bruce Foster (piano); Bobby McAdams (hand claps). Recording information: Bell Sound Studios, New York, New York (10/1973). Kiss' penchant for make-up was inspired by their downtown New York neighbors the New York Dolls and by Alice Cooper, who was on top of the glam-rock world when Kiss' self-titled debut came out in 1974. Rather than dress in drag as the Dolls did, Kiss fashioned their look on a mix of sci-fi and horror films, and the rock & roll of their youth. They fashioned their music on willful hard-rock arrogance. Several songs on KISS became staples in the group's catalog. ''Strutter,'' about a beautiful woman with a confident swagger, mirrored the attitude of the band, and it contained the first of many incendiary Ace Frehley solos. The album also contains ''Cold Gin,'' Ace's signature song; ''Deuce,'' with its quintessential sexual posturing and fiery soloing; and ''Black Diamond,'' Paul Stanley's epic tribute to a streetwalker with a hardscrabble life. Kiss' hunger to succeed resulted in some interesting recording choices, such as transforming teen idol Bobby Rydell's ''Kissin' Time'' into a stomper with singalong choruses typical of early-'70s pop. There's even an instrumental, ''Love Theme From Kiss,'' a showcase for the quartet's musical synchronicity. It was the beginning of a long and influential career.

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