Disco Kiss: That’s what they call the band’s seventh album, 1979’s Dynasty. And by “they”, we mean fans, critics and everyone in between. That’s largely due to the sashay style of the ubiquitous—and, let’s face it, irresistible—lead single “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” (written by Paul Stanley, Desmond Child and Vini Poncia). But there’s also “Sure Know Something”, the second and considerably less ubiquitous single—but one that’s more satisfying and cleverly written. For many Kiss fans, the whole disco thing was a bridge too far. What did the Village People and snorting coke at Studio 54 have to do with rock ’n’ roll? They missed the point, though. Kiss’ label, Casablanca, was Disco Central, pumping out top-flight boom-chicka-boom from the likes of Donna Summer, the aforementioned Village People and Cher’s disco phase. Kiss—or at least Stanley and Gene Simmons—just wanted in on the action. As one of the biggest bands in the land circa 1979, no one stopped them. Even Peter Criss’ “Dirty Livin’”—which also happens to be the only Dynasty song he plays drums on—wants to dance all night. But Dynasty has plenty of rock to give. Ace Frehley’s tracks here—the excellent “Save Your Love”, the autobiographical “Hard Times”, and the cover of The Rolling Stones’ “2,000 Man”—would’ve fit right in on 1976’s Rock and Roll Over. Meanwhile, Simmons’ infectious “Charisma” and hard doo-wop vamp “X-Ray Eyes” provide the shade to Stanley’s disco lights. Even Stanley’s own “Magic Touch” splits the difference between disco, pop and rock—a trifecta Kiss would explore thoroughly on the group’s next album, Unmasked.

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