Paul Stanley reflects on KISS’ self-titled debut album as it turns 50

Island Def Jam Music Group

February 18 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of KISS‘ self-titled debut album, which included such songs as “Strutter,” “Black Diamond” and “Deuce.” But while those songs may be KISS classics today, The Starchild Paul Stanley says those tunes didn’t exactly take off out of the gate. 

Stanley tells ABC Audio that it wasn’t until their 1975 live release, KISS Alive!, that fans started to really appreciate the tunes on their early records.

KISS Alive! was really where those songs came to life,” he shares. “We were becoming well known for our live show, but our record sales didn’t reflect that until KISS Alive! … many of those songs from the first album have been staples in our concerts ever since.” 

While KISS just said goodbye to the road in December, they are far from over, with plans for a hologram show in 2027. And for Stanley, the idea of KISS still being around 50 years later is something he never could have imagined.

“There was no precedent for a band going much beyond five years,” he says. He notes that when they started out “music was still at a point where the audience outgrew it, or the musicians outgrew it.”

“At that point back then, to think of being a band for 50 years, you might as well think about breathing underwater. It was inconceivable,” he shares. 

KISS’ debut album wasn’t exactly a hit when it was first released in 1974. In fact, it only sold about 75,000 copies. It wasn’t until it was rereleased in 1997 that it was certified Gold by the RIAA.

 

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