Kiss: Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley (vocals, guitar); Gene Simmons (vocals, bass); Peter Criss (vocals, drums).
Recorded at The Record Plant, New York, New York. Includes liner notes by Robert V. Conte.
Digitally remastered by Joseph M. Palmaccio at Sterling Sound, New York, New York.
Before DESTROYER, Kiss' studio albums were only moderate sellers. But the band's concerts were selling out regularly, and 1975's ALIVE! album had gone gold, putting Kiss on the pop map. DESTROYER, on which they teamed with Alice Cooper producer Bob Ezrin, was the breakthrough that finally got Kiss' grandiose rock ideas down on record.
DESTROYER is a chancy, ambitious album. It opens with a radio announcer reporting a teen's death in a car crash, followed by a snippet of "Rock And Roll All Nite" (which had appeared on 1975's DRESSED TO KILL); then the band launches into "Detroit Rock City," an homage to the first city to make them stars. "Great Expectations" features ornate orchestration, a heavenly chorus and a guitar tone that exposes the band's glam-rock ambitions. DESTROYER also includes a ready-made rock anthems ("Shout It Out Loud"), a swipe at manipulative groupies ("Do You Love Me," which is punched up with tubular bells) and a foreboding song about "the lord of the wasteland" that became Gene Simmons' signature tune ("God Of Thunder").
And then there is "Beth," an uncharacteristic ballad, sung and co-written by drummer Peter Criss. The lush strings and delicate piano gave Kiss a Top-10 hit and a greater fan base. Soon would come a TV Movie ("Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park") and a comic book.
Q (Magazine) (p.117) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "DESTROYER is still Kiss's best studio album."
Mojo (Publisher) (7/02, p.161) - "...Their magnum opus....So mindless, it's almost Zen."
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