* Prices may differ from that shown
"Rock and Roll Over" is the 5th studio album by American hard rock band, Kiss. It was released in 1976 on Casablanca Records and produced by Eddie Kramer. The line-up for the album was Paul Stanley (vocals/guitar), Ace Frehley (guitar), Gene Simmons (bass/vocals) and Peter Criss (drums/vocals).
This is one of the best albums Kiss has put out. While it doesn't have the impact "Destroyer" had, it packs a rock and roll punch. It isn't overproduced, giving it more of a raw, 70s feel, when bands were playing for the love of music feel than slick, overproduced albums have. This one is a straight up rock and roll jam.
"I Want You" starts off with a short ballad opener before thundering into rock. The chorus is a bit camp but fun, and somehow works well with the song. Ace's solo just soars and blows the mind, making it the highlight of the song.
"Take Me" features great vocals on a song that keeps the album rocking. Overall it is a solid song, making it easy to overlook the few cheesy vocals that are included. The guitar work by all just comes together perfectly.
"Calling Dr. Love" is an innuendo filled classic. The opening power chords let you know you are in for a rocker of a song. With Gene Simmons on lead vocals and female backing vocals, it seems to fit the image of Gene as the ladies' man. Brilliant drumming by Peter Criss, along with another astounding solo by Ace are what truly make the song work. While some people may not instantly recognise them for what they are, cowbells are used in the song.
"Ladies Room" has a slow tempo, but still manages to rock. The chorus is what really makes the song. The lyrics are innuendo filled without being raunchy. Kiss seem to be all about great guitar work as a group, because once again it all comes together, and with the addition of some serious drum beats by Criss, you can see why they were meant to join forces. The use of cowbells adds an interesting touch.
"Baby Driver" is, for me, the weakest song on the album. It is quite possibly the weakest song Kiss has done, in my opinion. The starting rhythm is a bit weird, and it all seems to fall apart after that. The bass line, provided by Gene, and Ace's guitar is what keeps me from hitting the skip button.
"Love 'Em and Leave 'Em" is somewhat plain and more or less just 'there'. While I wouldn't class it as album filler, it isn't up to what you'd expect from Kiss. While not the weakest song on the album, thanks to "Baby Driver", this one just doesn't do it for me. Ace Frehley is the only saving grace for the song. What he brings to the song is enough to forgive the rest of it.
"Mr. Speed" offers a strong chorus, and Paul's vocals just make the song. This one is definitely an air guitarist's dream number. Although most Kiss songs have great guitars on one level or another of brilliance, this one kicks it up a notch.
"See You in Your Dreams" is easily one of the best songs on the album. Ace's riff during the solo is truly impressive, even by his standards. Clever lyrics and Gene's delivery of them are what really make the song. This is definitely a great rocker of a song.
"Hard Luck Woman" is a departure from Kiss' usual style in that it has a bit of a country and western feel to it. It rocks enough to save it from certain death in the rock world, and even manages to be a good song. Peter Criss' slightly gravelly voice adds to the song, making him the perfect choice for the song. This one is a good song with bad production that kept if from achieving the potential it could have. The heart Criss pours into the lyrics is enough, alone, to make people sit up and notice.
"Makin' Love" is brilliant, musically. Great use of rhythm guitar makes it stand out. The use of acoustic guitar during the bridge adds depth and rounds out the sound. Ending the track with a drum solo into a fade works well for the song.
In summary, I find this album to be a great listen, no matter how many times I hear it. The two weak songs can be forgiven because the rest rock so brilliantly. The producer walked the fine line between making each song sound great and keeping a raw rock edge to them, so they didn't sound slick and overproduced. That is the mark of a great rock album. Whether you are a fan of the idea of Kiss, with all their fire breathing, smoking guitars, pyrotechnics and the other elements of their stage show, their music is incredible. For any fan of rock, or anyone into great guitars, this album is waiting for your attention. Although some songs do contain a bit of innuendo, making them unsuitable for the youngest listeners, there isn't much of it, and it isn't over the top.
1. I Want You
2. Take Me
3. Calling Dr. Love
4. Ladies Room
5. Baby Driver
6. Love 'Em and Leave 'Em
7. Mr. Speed
8. See You in Your Dreams
9. Hard Luck Woman
10. Makin' Love
My rating: 8/10
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 I Want You
2 Take Me
3 Calling Dr. Love
4 Ladies Room
5 Baby Driver
6 Love 'Em and Leave 'Em
7 Mr. Speed
8 See You in Your Dreams
9 Hard Luck Woman
10 Makin' Love