Destroyer – Kiss Album #4

No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. Detroit Rock City Paul Stanley, Bob Ezrin Stanley 5:17
2. King of the Night Time World Stanley, Kim Fowley, Mark Anthony, Ezrin Stanley 3:19
3. God of Thunder Stanley Simmons 4:13
4. Great Expectations Gene Simmons, Ezrin Simmons 4:24
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
5. Flaming Youth Ace Frehley, Stanley, Simmons, Ezrin Stanley 2:59
6. Sweet Pain Simmons Simmons 3:20
7. Shout It Out Loud Stanley, Simmons, Ezrin Stanley, Simmons 2:49
8. Beth Peter Criss, Stan Penridge, Ezrin Criss 2:45
9. Do You Love Me Stanley, Fowley, Ezrin Stanley 3:33
10. Rock and Roll Party Simmons, Stanley, Ezrin Instrumental 1:25
Total length: 34:11

Destroyer is the fourth studio album by American hard-rock band Kiss. It was released on March 15, 1976 by Casablanca Records, reached number 11 on the Billboard 200 and received in the US in 1976 platinum for one million units sold. The music magazine Rolling Stone leads it to place 489 of its list of 500 best albums of all time.

The popularity of the band was very high, they played sold-out stadium concerts. The previously released albums did not reflect this success as they placed only at the bottom of the charts. After Kiss had renewed the record deal with Casablanca Records for two albums, the goal was to publish the first commercially successful studio album. For this to succeed, the band took the songwriting for the first time the help of third parties. So producer Bob Ezrin composed the guitar solo to Detroit Rock City, which initially did not appeal to the band because of the oriental impact. Ezrin was also able to convince the band that God of Thunder fit better with the voice of Gene Simmons than with that of Paul Stanley. Also involved in songwriting were songwriter Kim Fowley and guitarist Mark Anthony, who had previously worked for Alice Cooper; they wrote King of the Night Time World. The piece Beth comes with Stan Penridge also from an outsider.

The work on the album began in August 1975 in the Electric Lady Studios in New York City and were completed in January 1976 in the Record Plant Studios.

In 2012, Universal released Destroyer [Resurrected], a remix of the album created by producer Bob Ezrin based on the original tapes. This version of the album was released on CD and vinyl record with the original cover of Ken Kelly, which had been rejected in 1976 by Casablanca Records. It shows the members of the group, apparently flee from a city they just destroyed.

Shortly after its release in the United States Destroyer reached gold status in April 1976, but initially remained with about 850,000 units sold behind the sales of its predecessor Alive! back. Also, the single releases Shout it Out Loud, Flaming Youth and Detroit Rock City did not meet the commercial expectations. After radio DJs reinforced the ballad Beth, the B-side of Detroit Rock City, the song reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100. With this success, the album rose again in the album charts and reached its maximum placement in 11th place. In November 1976, Destroyer was awarded platinum. The album went on 29 May 1976 in the British album charts, remained there for five weeks and reached number 22. Destroyer reached number 36 in the German album charts. In the Swedish charts, the album came to number 2, also it made the album in the Norwegian (25th place) and New Zealand charts (16th place).

The magazine Guitar World Magazine chose the song Detroit Rock City 2011 to one of the 100 greatest guitar rock songs of all time.

In a contemporary review by the music magazine Rolling Stone, the author wrote that thanks to producer Bob Ezrin is the best album of the band, but misses the spark of creative madness, which makes the music interesting. The album was lackluster, the vocals ordinary and unfeeling. 2003 called the magazine Destroyer as exaggerated party rock album, which gets better and better with increasing age. Greg Prato of Allmusic considers the album to be one of the most experimental and strongest of the band, and Jan Jaedike of the music magazine Rock Hard calls it “one of the most important records in the entire hard rock history”.