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KISS “Destroyer” Is Still Shouting Out Loud @ 40 Years (1976-2016)

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There sure are a lot of music milestones to address this year and many of them I don’t mind at all because it’s fun to reflect on a particular albums importance in my own world along with that of the larger populace around me. This is especially a treat when we are talking about the absolutely seminal, must have this in your music collection without a doubt album by KISS, the one and only “Destroyer”. This was the bands fourth album and followed that other iconic release “Alive” and for many fans of my own vintage (or close to it) is the album that molded ones KISS appreciation into a diehard allegiance. Personally speaking I had been hearing KISS on the radio since “Dressed To Kill” as I knew some tunes from that and “Alive” and while I would hear “Destroyer” in the same fashion, I would not yet be purchasing albums all that easily. Music purchasing power was still in the hands of the parents and I would begin my own KISS commerce with “Alive II”. Sorry, I’m going off track here a little bit so where was I – Oh yeah “Destroyer”.

While I would purchase “Destroyer” a few years after its initial release, I was well accustomed to the larger body of work that was present here and it was an album that spoke to me from beginning to end. I was getting heavily into music as sports barely interested me and since I was a diehard comic book fan, the image of the band as these larger than life super-heroes on the cover of the album was a complete win for my young mind. Just imagine that. KISS as super-heroes I would think to myself. What a cool comic book that would make, and while it was not something that happened when “Destroyer” first came out they would be featured in the debut issue of “Marvel Comics Super Special” in 1977 and face off against Doctor Doom. The album cover itself was a painting by the great Ken Kelly who would also do “Love Gun” in a couple of years. I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Kelly at a Toy Fair not too long ago and when I shook his hand I just had to thank him for leaving such an iconic image in all of the KISS Army members minds. It was thanks to this incredible painting that KISS took on the larger than life personas that each character showcased. Paul as the Starchild and front man extraordinaire was a contrast to the outer space resident stuck on Earth in the Space Ace who shredded the galaxy with guitar riffs. The thunder beneath them from Catman Peter Criss drove the band forward while Hell’s own Demon Gene Simmons spewed fire and blood and seemed every bit the monster from your darkest nightmares. Awesome stuff for sure. “Destroyer” as an album just had so many stand-out tracks for me as a fan and let’s take a glance at the original album listing.
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