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Kiss: ‘Rock and Roll Over’ Turns 35 Years Old

Kiss Rock and Roll Over
Island / Mercury

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the release of ‘Rock and Roll Over,’ which is the fifth of six studio albums to be released during what many fans consider the original lineup glory days of Kiss.

‘Rock and Roll Over,’ which features one of the best Kiss album covers ever, was released Nov. 11, 1976 at the height of the band’s stardom. It featured the Peter Criss-sung Top 20 hit ‘Hard Luck Woman,’ which Paul Stanley reportedly originally wrote for Rod Stewart. (That would have worked really well, by the way — the song is firmly in the ‘Maggie Mae’ mold.)

The album also featured long-time concert staples ‘Calling Dr. Love,’ ‘I Want You’ and ‘Makin’ Love,’ as well as ‘Take Me,’ which features some of Stanley’s most direct and unabashed sexual come-ons: “Put your hand in my pocket / Grab onto my rocket / Feels so good to see you this evening…”

The record’s sound was deliberately stripped down compared to its predecessor, the about-to-be reissued ‘Destroyer,’ which broke new commercial ground for the band but was criticized by some fans for its highly polished production. Kiss recorded ‘Rock and Roll Over’ in an empty theater with a mind towards capturing the live concert sound fans responded to so strongly.

It was another in a long series of successes for Kiss, who at the time were on an unstoppable commercial roll. The record just missed the Top 10 on the album charts, and was certified platinum about a year later. The band will release their 20th studio album, ‘Monster,’ which they promise will be an analog-heavy return to their classic ’70s sound, sometime early in 2012.

Watch a 1976 Television Commercial for Kiss’s ‘Rock and Roll Over’

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