Wednesday, February 22, 2017



Boasting hundreds of
titles, KISS' catalog is
iconic and impressive.
However, calculating
this checklist actually
proved a much easier
task than I'd expected.

KISS has masqueraded quite convincingly as a heavy metal band for much of the last 40-some years. But truth be told, despite the cosmetic distraction, sky-high amplifiers and exploding stage sets, KISS has always been, at the core, an honest and pure, song-based pop / rock band sharing more common fabric with "Go All the Way" than "Dazed and Confused." Hence, this concise countdown doesn't reflect the band's most awesome anthems or most rocking riffs. It doesn't even represent their hottest hits. It merely points to KISS' all-time crispiest, crunchiest and most well-crafted songs. BTW, the fact that they all were either written or co-written by Paul Stanley is purely coincidental. No, really.

"Comin' Home"
(Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley)
From Hotter Than Hell - 1974

A super-catchy, squeaky-clean,
sing-along love song from an
otherwise dark and heavy album.

(Paul Stanley, Vini Poncia)
From Unmasked - 1980

By 1980, KISS cred had become
so compromised, not even this bona
fide Bubblegum gem could break
onto Casey's Countdown. However,
I would wager a bet that had it been
covered by Journey and appeared
on the Escape album, it certainly
would have been a Top 10 smash.

"Lick it Up"
(Paul Stanley, Vinnie Vincent)
From Lick it Up - 1983

The song that saved the sinking ship.
Sometimes, a single note, a sweet hook,
and a few silly lyrics are all ya need.

"Tears Are Falling"
(Paul Stanley)
From Asylum - 1985

In terms of quality songwriting, Asylum
is KISS' all-time finest work. And along
with "Who Wants to Be Lonely," this
song shines the brightest of the bunch.

"Tomorrow and Tonight"
(Paul Stanley)
From Love Gun - 1977

A super-charged "party ev-er-ee-day"
anthem — one in which the Starchild
wrote and delivered (in his signature
style), the Shakespeare-inspired lyric,
Oh yeah. Uh-huh. Alright!

"Hard Luck Woman"
(Paul Stanley)
From Rock and Roll Over - 1976

Another rock solid example of why
KISS was so undeserving of being
dismissed by critics. The songwriting
displayed here stands nose-to-nose
with any "acclaimed" chart-buster.

"Flaming Youth"
(Paul Stanley,  Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Bob Ezrin)
From Destroyer - 1976

Of KISS' many teen-targeted anthems,
this is the most authentic and hard-hitting.
And to this day, my flag is (still) flying,
higher and higher and higher and higher!

"Reason to Live"
(Paul Stanley, Desmond Child)
From Crazy Nights - 1987

Arguably the all-time greatest power
ballad. Had the song been recorded
by Bon Jovi, it would have likely
earned a greater distinction than
Dial MTV's "Darling of the Week."

"Let Me Know"
(Paul Stanley)
From KISS - 1974

The original line-up, recording one of
their earliest treasures on a $9 budget.
And it's brilliant. This one proves that
from the get-go, KISS absolutely was
in the same songwriting league as any
of the era's other "big boys." 43 years
later, it still sounds as fresh as ever

"I Still Love You"
(Paul Stanley, Vinnie Vincent)

Only TWO types of people in this world...

1) Super-humans who recognize this 
IS the all-time best KISS song.

2) Troglodytes who molest Collies.

Incredibly powerful and beautifully
transparent. The ultimate rib-cracking
break-up song. A "crème de la crème"
concert staple for 35 years. Arguably
Paul Stanley's finest work to date.

Okay, fellow KISS Freaks, I encourage you all to play along and chime in with your personal picks in the "Comment" section below. Although your results may vary from mine, be sure, there are NO wrong answers. So, have fun, and let me know. 'Cuz after all, you got nothin' to lose.

-Christopher Long
(February 2017)


Don't miss my other
KISS-related features.
(Find 'em all HERE)



C'MON! -

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