Prime Cuts: Kiss
"HARD LUCK WOMAN" (Rock and Roll Over, 1976)
STANLEY: I was a big fan of Rod Stewart, who around that time had a big hit with "Maggie May." I figured I could write a similar song, and came up with "Hard Luck Woman" with the idea of giving it to Rod. But we recorded it ourselves because we needed a follow-up to "Beth," which had just been a huge hit for us. We wanted something similar to "Beth," so we let Peter sing "Hard Luck" too. He had a real raspy voice, and when people heard it on the radio, they thought it was Rod Stewart. I also used my Guild 12-string acoustic, which helped it sound like a Rod Stewart song.
"CHRISTINE SIXTEEN" (Love Gun, 1977)
SIMMONS: That song started as another great conversation with Paul: "You write dumb songs!" "No, you write dumb songs!" Paul had stolen some of my titles, like "Black Diamond," and when he came up with the title "Christine Sixteen," I stole it. I had just discovered Van Halen, so I had Eddie and Alex play on the demo. They also played on the original demo of "Got Love for Sale."
For the spoken part in the middle that goes "When I saw you coming out of school that day, I knew I've got to have you—got to have you!" I always pictured myself in a black car across the street from a school, watching a young girl.
"I WAS MADE FOR LOVIN' YOU" (Dynasty, 1979)
STANLEY: Dance music was so big at that point that every band from the Stones on down seemed to be having hits with dance material. I would listen to it in New York clubs like Studio 54, always thinking it was very simple music and that I could write songs like that. So I went home, set my drum machine to the 126 tempo—like every damn song during that period—and worked on a chord progression with Desmond Child and Vinny Poncia. The first line of the song was "Tonight, I wanna give it all to you"—which is basically what club people were thinking in those days.
We stopped playing it live a decade ago, but people started saying we should bring it back. We said, "Are you crazy? That's a dance song!" We finally tried it again when we were doing the Monsters of Rock tour in Europe in '89. We were ready to put the guitars up in front of our faces to keep the tomatoes from hitting us, when, instead, we had a sea of fists in the air. And this was in front of hard-core headbangers!
"A WORLD WITHOUT HEROES" (Music from the Elder, 1981)
SIMMONS: That started out as a mushy Paul Stanley song—stuff like, "With every bit of my heart, I love you and can't live without you." I just wanted to throw up in his lap. I thought the music was cool, but he was just singing about crap. So I said, "You spineless excuse for a man, you're just drooling over this girl. Have some balls—tell her to suck your dick and fuck off!"
But I thought the chord changes were fantastic, so I started fooling around with the melody. Bob Ezrin had flown Lou Reed up, and we sat down to talk about some ideas. Lou had a scrap of paper with "a world without heroes" written on it. I asked what it was, and he said it was just an idea he had about how awful the world would be if we didn't have heroes like John Wayne, Superman or King Kong. That gave me the idea for the lyrics: "A world without heroes, is like a world without sun, you can't look up to anyone, in a world without heroes."
"CREATURES OF THE NIGHT" (Creatures of the Night, 1982)
STANLEY: We were coming off the Music from the Elder album, which was a left turn down a very dark street for us. After that, who we were and who we weren't became clearer to us. We needed to get back home—and I think we did it with a vengeance with Creatures of the Night. It was a very heavy, dark album, and it was probably my first real declaration of who we were. There's a certain ferocity to a lot of that material, like the title track, "Danger" and "War Machine."
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