Top 10 KISS Songs – Mike G.’s Picks

KISS - Ace

Thanks to James D. (check out his list here), it looks like we are starting a top ten list from various bands each week. We will be alternating who picks the bands. Due to recent news, I decided on Queensryche last month. James D.’s pick was KISS for this month.

First and foremost, most people have no idea how near and dear to my heart KISS was, and still are today. KISS was a staple of our childhood. They were practically my introduction to metal and I never looked back. I do not want to cry the blues on how KISS got me through tough times, but in reality, they really did. It was an outlet for me. Back in the 80s, bands came and went, but the two that stuck with me through the early 80s were KISS and Judas Priest. As the years went on, of course, Iron Maiden and Metallica came about, but the two bands that were at the forefront for me were always Priest and KISS.

With all of that being said, this list was so tough for me. I knew that it would be hard. And I will be honest with you, if you ask me to do this list next week, it could possibly change. I really do not want to short change KISS’ catalog. It is second to almost no one. They have so many great songs that choosing only 10 is damn near impossible. My rule for this list was to do it quickly and not second guess myself. Probably not the best way to do a top ten list, but for KISS, it seemed the best way.

Here we go. Read this list and destroy it if you would like, but better yet, post your top ten.

KISS Alive!10. I Stole Your Love
This one was so tough. Basically, I had 5 songs to choose from that would take the tenth spot. I could have honestly chose from a hundred songs in this spot. Like I said above, I went through this quickly and for some reason, I Stole Your Love jumped out at me.

9. Love Gun
This is probably more of a mainstream pick that my tenth pick. I doubt many people would argue with this one being here. Still one of the greatest openings in metal ever. To add some cheese to this, I am still a sucker for Paul’s intro to this song at every concert. He always gave some cheesy story about his “Love Gun” that we just ate up and laughs our asses off to. Such a great live song.

8. Black Diamond
“Out on the street for a living.” That line just hit home back in the day. It was one of the first songs that told a story, and was one of the first truly epic metal songs. During their live shows, it became a staple and it was well deserved. The end of the song in its live state is simply amazing. I am not bust the chops of Black Sabbath in any way because they had so many epic tunes as well, some of which I like more than Black Diamond, but nonetheless, Black Diamond rocks.

7. Cold Gin
“I know it’s getting so hot outside. You need something to cool off. I know some of you out there like to drink tequila. When you’re down in the dumps and you need something to bring you up, there’s only one thing that’s going to do it for you… COLD GIN!” Great song. Not sure what else I can say about it. First off, what most people may not even realize is that Gene did not write this one himself. Ace is the one that actually wrote most of it. He just figured that Gene would do it more justice. Seems like this list is very heavy with their debut album.

6. Firehouse
I have always been a sucker for Firehouse. To truly appreciate it, you have to hear it live. While the album version is still sweet, the extra distortion live and the up-tempo feel is just what the song needed. Of course, when you start hearing the sirens during the song, it gets that much better.

5. Keep Me Comin’
Okay, so I can hear a lot of people bitching about this one. First off, I am starting to sound like a Paul fanatic. Believe me, I still love me some Gene Simmons. Actually, my favorite member of the band has always been Ace Frehley. His guitar skills are so underrated. Anyway, to get back to the song, this is one of KISS’ best riffs ever laid down. The song is downright sweet. I just wish that they would play it live these days.

4. C’mon and Love Me
Another underrated song that only gets better with age. This is a pretty often-covered song by a lot of metal bands, but no one tops the original on this one. The riff and the vocals are unstoppable.

3. God of Thunder
Just think of Gene doing his bass solo with the blood spewing everywhere up on stage and then breaking into this one. This song is pure evil, and the album version has the children talking in the background just making it more evil.

2. I Love it Loud
Funny that I Love it Loud and God of Thunder come one after the other. After Gene’s solo, he would normally break into one of these two songs. I will be honest with you, I could never get enough of this song as a kid. It hit every note with me. You had to “turn it up.” This one will never get old.

1. Detroit Rock City
Okay, so most of you expected Rock and Roll All Nite here. I really cannot blame you. It is a kick-ass song and there are not many songs (if any) that are ever performed better live. It is that good. For me though, I have heard it a million times (quite possibly literally) and it has been played out with me. Not knocking it – just telling the truth. For me, it is Detroit Rock City at the top of the list for me. I know that people think that I am nuts, but this is an amazing song. The non-stop riffs, the bass lines that stand out, and of course, “Get up.”

KISS

So, that makes up my ton ten list for one of the greatest bands of all time from any genre of music. Of course, as with any of my lists, I always have to list the honorable mentions. I will keep it short though. I could quite possibly list dozens of songs here, but I will keep it brief.

Makin’ Love
Not much to say about this one except that it rocks.

Young and Wasted
One of the most modern songs on this list. Great riffs in this one.

Heaven’s on Fire
Now this is a beginning that you would never forget. Truly an amazing song all around.

Under the Gun
Looks like my last three honorable mentions are the modern ones. I cannot believe that I am saying modern since they are all about 20 years old.

This was a fun list to put together. Join us again next month for another foray into top ten land. I know which band I am picking, but am not announcing it in case I decide to change my mind. I am nuts like that.

You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best. The Hottest Band in the World – KISS!

  • Frank

    Impossible but here are my current fav Kiss songs.

    10. Charisma
    9. Silver Spoon
    8. Heart Of Chrome
    7. Cold Gin
    6. 100,000 Years
    5. Firehouse
    4. C’mon and Love Me
    3. Makin’ Love
    2. War Machine
    1. Deuce

  • JamesD

    This list is from TJ Fowler

    Ok. I’m neither a hard core KISS fan or someone who loathes them. I’m one the people that thinks they have some good tunes and catchy songs that are fun to listen to. So I felt a list from someone who is familiar with the band but more than a casual fan would be a nice counterbalance to the lists already here. Though I will put this disclaimer here..there will not be I Was Made For Loving You on this list. My Girlfriend here in Finland likes that song..and it was the only KISS song she knew before I showed her otherwise…THE ONLY ONE. Europeans…

    10. Rock and Roll All Nite. Ok. I know this is a gimme for many lists on KISS songs. I know many would rank it higher. I know many Casual Fans would make it #1 on their list. I also know they have better songs. The song is the classic anthem for the Band and deserves inclusion. it’s a fun party song and one of the more famous in their catalog. But for anthem songs they have I feel they have better tunes.

    9. Heaven’s On Fire. Ok. I know I said I wouldn’t include I Was Made For Loving You, and I won’t, but I know for some this is probably considered along the same lines. I’ll man up and take my punches though. However, I think the song is just better and it’s a fun catchy song with a good hook. And despite Paul’s feminine qualities in the video the song is actually a good tune. Just look away from Paul as you watch the video so you feel he isn’t hitting on you.

    8. Crazy Nights. Now this is a real favorite of mine. It’s along the same lines as Rock and Roll All Nite in terms of being a Anthem song and about Rock and Roll. The difference is for me..this one is a bit funner and, in my opinion, showcases what going to concerts in the 80’s were about. Getting home from school on Friday, going out with friends that weekend and catching a great Hard Rock/metal concert that weekend to escape from the rigors of life for awhile. That’s what sets this song apart from Rock and Roll All Nite for me.

    7. Beth. This another well known song from KISS. Possibly right behind Rock and Roll all Nite in terms of someone not familiar with the band recognizing it. The song is probably the only real ballad from the band in my opinion with a nice touching melody. Also, if you were a teenage boy in the 70’s that happened to be dating a girl named Beth, you played this song. The girls panties get wet, then dropped and you are no longer a virgin. And she has a night she would rather forget. Moving on.

    6. Strutter. The song title alone symbolizes the band KISS to me. Especially Paul..he Struts a lot. And the song is as in your face as the band was known for. A Classic Kiss Tune that is enjoyable to listen to.

    5. Detroit Rock City. Another anthem song but this time one that specifically names a place..this time Detroit. I think songs like this be it from KISS or Whoever are what truly make anthem songs great and help draw lifelong fans to the band. I think when you have a song that gives a certain crowd a connection to the band it helps make us, the fans, feel like we belong to something special and that we have a special moment in time. That’s what this song does..especially if you live in Detroit. This is YOUR song and YOU are right next to the generals in the KISS army fighting the fight.

    4. Love Gun. Well what can I say…this song is about getting laid…which is a staple for KISS songs and what the band is known for. Unlike some of the 80’s stuff this one is Rock and Roll with thinly concealed symbolism. It is songs like this that made the name and band of KISS known.

    3. God of Thunder. Ok this is a bit of a skewed ranking for me. I never liked God of Thunder much from a musical standpoint. I always thought it didn’t sound right or something. Maybe it was the production values of the day..I’m not sure. It just doesn’t grab me. However, I think lyrically the song is fantastic. And I am very big on lyrics in my songs not just blazing guitar riffs. Evoking images of myths, legends and fantasy, God of Thunder is a song man Metal bands today would love to have in their catalog. So for me I give this a 3 spot.

    2. Thrills in the Night. Ok this is one song that I think is bit different for KISS. The song has a bit of a seriousness to the lyrics and a somber meaning and musically the song is both serious and catchy and fun. There is also parts of the song where the bass and drums hit at the same time that really drives the song home. Don’t ask me to explain. I also think this is one of the songs where Paul’s voice REALLY shines. Good tune with a great hook and one of the better songwriting moments for the band.

    1. I Love It Loud. Ok for me THE anthem song of the band. This is one for the group of kids that were considered outsiders. You might be looked down on in school but you listen to this song and know you have a place to belong to also that says, “FUCK YOU ASSHOLES!” The chorus is great and Gene’s Vocals are really suited to this song. The song really shows its greatness with the chanting chorus like all good anthem songs should, making it sound like the crowd is right there singing too. Maybe it’s the Power metal fan in me, but I like chanting choruses and anthem type songs that make you feel it’s ME vs. THEM and this song delivers.

  • Not sure how hard the next one will be. It will be really hard for me. Probably the same for you though. We will see.

  • JamesD

    I agree, a Kiss list is unfair. How can you name ten songs from a band that had so many classics? I thought for sure one of us would put Heaven’s on Fire, or Crazy Nights on their lists. I know the lists from this day forward, are going to pay me back for making you choose ten Kiss songs. ha ha.