10 things you didn’t know about Kiss’ Dynasty album
Kiss released their Dynasty album on May 23, 1979 – exactly 34 years ago today.
Here are 10 facts you may not know about the album:
1. The decision to use Vini Poncia as producer came about from the band wanting to smooth over the declining situation with Peter Criss. Vini had produced Peter’s solo album and he [Peter] had demanded that Vini produce the next Kiss record (another considered choice was apparently the disco guru Giorgio Moroder). This tactic would backfire when Vini decided that Peter’s drumming was not good enough for the album. [Anton Fig drums on all tracks except for Dirty Livin'.]
2. Notable acts Vini produced, prior to Kiss, included Melissa Manchester and Leo Sayer.
3. The disco-fied I Was Made For Lovin’ You was inspired by Paul Stanley’s visits to New York’s legendary Studio 54 nightclub. Kiss’ record label, Casablanca, gave the piece the full disco treatment and released it in the popular extended 12-inch single format. This resulted in the track growing in length to 7 minutes, 54 seconds.
4. Gene Simmons wasn’t crazy about I Was Made For Lovin’ You but he still wanted Kiss to record it. He said: “He [Paul] came in one day and said, ‘Look, I’ve got this disco song, and it goes like this.’ And he started singing like the Four Seasons. I thought, ‘That doesn’t sound like Kiss, but that’s precisely why we should record it.’”
5. Ace Frehley plays bass on 2,000 Man, Hard Times and Save Your Love. Paul Stanley plays bass on Sure Know Something and Magic Touch. With his eyes fixed on a career in Hollywood, Gene plays bass on just three tracks: Charisma (a reworking of Wicked Lester’s Simple Type), I Was Made For Lovin’ You and X-Ray Eyes.
6. 2,000 Man had been brought to the sessions as a demo by Ace and was recorded by the band nearly identical to the original arrangement Ace created. In some ways it was a very appropriate tribute to the Rolling Stones, who had recorded the original version on Their Satanic Majesties Request album. The inclusion of 2,000 Man would make Dynasty the second studio album in a row to contain a cover. The preceding Love Gun record contained a cover of Then She Kissed Me. This song was originally recorded by The Crystals as Then He Kissed Me.
7. Still riding high on the success of Beth, Peter wanted more of his own material on Dynasty, something the rest of the band resisted. Peter brought several songs including Dirty Livin’, Rumble, Out Of Control and There’s Nothing Better but only the first track was used. Both Out Of Control and There’s Nothing Better would be used on Peter’s first post-Kiss solo album.
8. For the Dynasty tour the band developed new costumes, which have been remembered as being too Disney or Las Vegas in style. In fact, they were completely garish, with Gene’s aluminium foil-esque Godzilla boots and cape, Peter’s green fluffy football armour (complete with tail) and Ace’s whatever-that-was-supposed-to-be mirror effect V-neck from Hell (Jendel). Only Paul stayed pretty much the same.
9. The Dynasty tour was not a success, in part due to the declining health of Peter because of substance abuse and his erratic behaviour. There was the suggestion that someone else put on the Kitty Kat costume and Peter’s makeup and fill in for him as his drumming became more and more erratic. Other stories recount that Peter would deliberately (and not) drag the tempo of the live show down to a near halt and blow the performance of his beloved Beth.
10. In October 1979 the band appeared on the infamous Tom Snyder Halloween show with a visibly drunk Ace, who stole the show with his hysterical uncontrollable laughter.
* Thanks to The Kiss Album Focus Vol. 1 for the 10 facts.