Picked up a copy of the ‘new’ KISS album Destroyer (Resurrected) over the weekend. Essentially, it is their landmark 1976 album Destroyer with the original master tapes having been remixed and rejigged by producer Bob Ezrin, who has really beefed-up the bottom end, giving it a fresher sound without diluting what made the whole thing so great in the first place. Apart from the re-insertion of some backing vocals on Detroit Rock City and a bit of acoustic guitar on Beth, the only new inclusion is Ace Frehley’s original guitar solo on Sweet Pain (as the story goes, the band and producer wanted Ace to redo the solo but he was off on one of his famous benders and couldn’t be found, so they bought in Alice Cooper guitarist Dick Wagner, who contributed the solo which ended up on the original release).
It would have been nice if it came with a second disc of outtakes/demos/unreleased tracks, but I guess most of that can be found on You Tube anyway, and Destroyer (Resurrected) does come with a nice illustrated booklet with an essay by Ezrin, and features the original unused cover painting by Ken Kelly (who had to redo the art after the band updated their costumes before its release).
Destroyer has never been my favourite KISS album, but it has always been up there, and it’s easy to see why most non-fan critics select it as the one KISS studio album for people to own. It features at least five songs that continue to feature prominently in the band’s live shows 36 years after its release, gave them an award-winning hit single in Beth, and captures KISS at that brief moment when they had finally hit the big time (after three studio albums and the breakthrough Alive!), but they were still looked upon as somewhat menacing and dangerous - they were rock & roll superheroes whose faces were still yet to be plastered all over lunch boxes, reality shows, comic books and condoms.