Yell! Magazine’s Holy Trinity Series – Three Ikonik KISS Albums (Part II)

Dynasty – 1979

kiss dynasty coverSome of you might have expected to see Destroyer in this position. But no, I’m not including what some call KISS’ greatest album on this Holy Trinity. Fact is, while there are a number of decent songs on Destroyer, it’s by far not the best KISS album. It’s overproduced and pretentious, which, to me, contradicts what KISS is about.

Now, some of you are saying: “If Destroyer contradicts what KISS is about, how does Dynasty, a disco album, maintain the KISS mission?” All I have to say is, have you listened to Dynasty? There’s only one disco song on it – and Paul Stanley wrote it to prove a point. Yes, there are some disco elements on a few other tracks, but there’s no doubt that 1979’s Dynasty is a solid, hard rock album.

KISS – “I Was Made for Lovin’ You”

Dynasty has been accused of being unfocused. True, it was a problematic record for the band, which was just coming off the ‘78 solo albums; Peter Criss only appeared on “Dirty Livin’” (this was also Criss’ last appearance on a KISS album); and KISS started to listen to “outsiders” in terms of what direction the band should go; but I would hardly call the album unfocused. Even if it were unfocused, what kind of criticism is that? The Beatles were plagued with internal conflicts before, during, and after Sgt. Pepper’s, and while that’s an unfocused album, it’s also heralded as one of the greatest albums of all time. Unfocused is a non-point.

Dynasty tour

Perhaps coming off the high of having had the best-received solo album, Ace Frehley contributed three vocal performances to Dynasty: “2,000 Man,” “Hard Times,” and “Save Your Love.” This fact kept Dynasty planted as a rock album, despite the disco influence on a few other tracks. Since Ace’s first lead vocal on Love Gun’s “Shock Me” fans were happy to have him in front of the mic.

KISS – “2,000 Man”

This Holy Trinity of KISS albums isn’t about record sales or chart positions, but I would be remiss if I neglected to mention the fact that Dynasty was certified Double Platinum while the band was rehearsing for its promotional tour.

Payback is a bitch…

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