Some time ago, I wrote a Holy Trinity article on three ikonik KISS albums. I named the first three albums (KISS, Hotter Than Hell, and Dressed to Kill) as the essentials, the bare minimum required by fans and curious onlookers alike. I also alluded to the fact that KISS has more than one Holy Trinity within its catalog.
Few people could argue with my naming the first three albums as the best KISS albums, but I fully expect some rocks to be thrown my way about this Holy Trinity. To pick three albums from five decade’s worth of material and then to name them the best KISS albums is not far removed from a suicide mission. But I think I’ll take my chances.
With the newly released Monster, it’s time to celebrate KISS by presenting the other Holy Trinity within KISS’ growing discography.
Dressed to Kill – 1975
Some of you might call foul since Dressed to Kill was on my first Holy Trinity. But, the fact remains that it’s an important album in the KISS catalog and can’t be ignored. It’s simply one of the best KISS albums and must be included in any list of best KISS albums.
As the third KISS album, it would be great to say that 1975’s Dressed to Kill launched KISS into superstardom, but that would have to wait for KISS Alive! At the time, however, KISS was still a struggling rock band that was only gaining recognition because of its spectacular live show. Critics still hated them and record sales were dismal. Still, KISS was being shut out of certain venues and other more established acts were fearful of being upstaged and refusing to allow KISS to open for them.
KISS – “Rock and Roll All Nite”
Recorded at Electric Lady Studios, Dressed to Kill contains one of rock’s greatest anthems, and certainly KISS’ greatest anthem, “Rock and Roll All Nite.” While any one of KISS’ first three albums, all released in just over a year of the band’s existence, could be on this Holy Trinity, the instantly recognizable “Rock and Roll All Nite” ensured Dressed to Kill’s ranking. It might not be fair, but if there’s one song from KISS that everyone knows, no matter their age, race, creed, religion, nationality, or musical preference, it’s “Rock and Roll All Nite.”
Some KISS fans might have grown weary of “Rock and Roll All Nite,” thankfully KISS was a hungry band back in 1975 and filled Dressed to Kill with several unforgettable rock tracks. If you’re unfamiliar with the album or if you’re a new member of the KISS Army, make sure to check out “Room Service,” “Getaway,” “Rock Bottom,” “C’mon and Love Me,” and “She.” You might also be interested in Skid Row’s killer version of “Room Service” and Anthrax’ heavy version of “She.”
What’s the next best KISS album on this Holy Trinity list?