Kiss “Rock And Roll Over” (Hardrock) [Music/Review & History]

9/10

Year: 1976
Genre: Hardrock
Label: Casablanca

You can run, you can hide
But you’ll never get away
You can lie and deny
But you know you’re gonna pay
”I Want You”

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OPINION
I just love this album, both for nostalgic reasons and that it has simple, yet amazing rock and roll tracks with just that touch of dirty rawness I love. It was recorded during just two weeks. Personally this is much more me than ”Destroyer”. ”Hard Luck Woman” I could do without, it feels like a poor attempt to make something for the radio and top charts and a hope to repeat the success with previous albums ”Beth”. But the other nine tracks are all classics. About the demo recordings (listen further down) I think they are really interesting. How some tracks later became two other tracks and so on.

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BACKGROUND/HISTORY:
”Rock and Roll Over” was the bands fifth studio album, released on November 11, 1976. One of the first albums I remember from my childhood and how mesmerized I was by the front cover. I could sit for hours just fantasize about what was happening there, they all felt like superheroes to me.

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It was recorded at the Star Theatre in Nanuet, New York during September/October 1976 only 2 weeks after the ”Destroyer” tour had ended, and the first Kiss album to not feature a writing credit from guitarist Ace Frehley, there are also rumours about him not even playing on the album but I think he did, or otherwise Paul would have said something about that in his book. Five tracks were written and sung by lead singer Paul Stanley, four by the bands other lead singer Gene Simmons. Drummer Peter Criss had lead on two songs. Some of these together where co-written with Sean Delanney. Peter Criss recorded his drums in a bathroom to get the sound they were after. South African born Eddie Kramer was the producer and made a fantastic work. Further down on this page you can listen to Paul Stanley talked about the recording of the album, and according to him it seems Peter and Ace were mainly drunk or on too many drugs during this period.

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The original LP release came with a large, glossy 8.5″ x 8.25″ sticker featuring the album cover artwork in 9 peelable sections:
-4 sections, each featuring a member of the band
-4 sections with the bands logo and lightning bolts
-1 section of the circular ‘saw blade’ and album title

And also a custom inner sleeve (same design both sides) as well as a double-sided Kiss Army merchandise and membership order form.

The cover artwork is by artist Michael Doret, who worked with Kiss again on 2009’s Sonic Boom.

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THE DEMOS:
From the YouTube uploader: During a break from touring, the band went to Magna Graphics Studio in New York to Record various demos, a few came to be released on Destroyer, Rock and Roll Over and Gene Simmons solo album, the rest were scrapped. I believe the band played on a couple of tracks while Gene played everything on a couple as did Paul. (Note from me: JR Smalling, the tour manager played drums on these.)

Tracklist:
Doncha Hesitate
God Of Thunder
It Aint The Smoke That Burns Ya
Detroit Rock City
Love Is Alright
Bad, Bad Lovin’
Man Of 1,000 Faces
Don’t Want Your Romance
Burning Up With Fever
Rock And Rolls Royce
Mad Dog
Night Fly
I’m A Star
Howling For Your Love
True Confessions

Photos in the YouTube was video taken by Lydia Criss, Bob Gruen, Fin Costello, Waring Abbott, Norman Seeff, Richard Creamer, Len Delessio.

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The 3 tracks down below are recorded during the studiotime in Nanuet, New York and are more of rehearsals. Especially interesting is ”Baby driver” with Gene on song (and explanation to Peter) instead of the album version with Peter Criss.

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