20. Firehouse (Kiss, 1974)
This song was preceded by Hotter Than Hell at live gigs, and sung by Paul Stanley while sporting a Kiss logo-embossed fireman’s helmet. One of Kiss’s earliest songs, it was written by Stanley after hearing The Move’s Fire Brigade. Rudimentary but with an unmistakeable funk, it's Kiss at their most bare-boned.
19. Goin’ Blind (Hotter Than Hell, 1974)
Only Simmons would sing a love song as creepy as Goin’ Blind, in which a 93-year-old man lusts after a girl of 16. Gross. Written in 1970 – as Little Lady – for pre‑Kiss group Wicked Lester, it was recorded by Kiss in 1974 and dutifully sludged up by alt-metal crew Melvins in their 1993 cover.
18. Nothin’ To Lose (Kiss, 1974)
The first single ever released by Kiss, it holds a special place in the hearts of the band and their fans, meaning its remained a live fan favourite despite never actually charting. “Nothin’ To Lose came to me after hearing the line in two different songs," says Gene Simmons. "One was a Little Richard song, and another was a song called Sea Cruise, which had the line, ‘You got nothin’ to lose, won’t you let me take you on a sea cruise.’”
17. I Was Made For Lovin’ You (Dynasty, 1979)
Disco and Kiss?! Many weren't happy when the two collided in 1979. Co-written with Desmond Child, and regarded by many as a sell-out when it was released, this pulsing disco workout has nevertheless stood the test of time and still features in Kiss’s live shows. It's a great song, who's to argue?
16. Lick It Up (Lick It Up, 1983)
When Kiss took off the make-up in 1983, they needed a great song to prove they could cut it on music alone. With Lick It Up (and its memorable video) they got exactly that by managing to distill everything that was great about American hard rock into three minutes and 56 second. With its irresistible chugging riff and shout-it-out-loud chorus, this was classic Kiss.
15. C’mon And Love Me (Dressed To Kill, 1975)
Written by Paul Stanley in under an hour – you can't tell, honest – Stanley’s role as the sex symbol of Kiss was played out to the max on this frisky track from 1975, on which he begs to be dominated. ‘Take me down to my knees,’ he pants. ‘You can do what you please.’ It may not have charted on release, but it became a cult fan favourite that still goes down a storm live.
14. Parasite (Hotter Than Hell, 1974)
An Ace Frehley song for 1974’s Hotter Than Hell. The Space Ace was asked to perform lead vocals but declined on the grounds of not feeling confident in his singing skills. Anchored by a nasty guitar riff that pre-dated Aerosmith’s Walk This Way, it was a powerhouse standard in the band’s mid-70s set.
13. Black Diamond (Kiss, 1974)
Written by Paul Stanley about the sex workers the band would encounter on the streets of New York, this song has been covered a number of times by a variety of bands including The Replacements, Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins. “Black Diamond was a song that I wrote about New York," says Stanley. "New York was very dear to us, and life there was all we could write about. Seeing hookers on the street, whether we lived it, we saw it and it kind of gave us something to fantasise about.”
12. Hotter Than Hell (Hotter Than Hell, 1974)
The sonic sibling to Firehouse, and inspired by Free’s All Right Now, this is a stomping paean to a good-looking – though, sadly, married – woman ‘all dressed in satins and lace’. No need to fire up the barbecue either, because ‘she’s gonna leave you well done’. Subtle as a sledgehammer, but classic Kiss.
11. Shout It Out Loud (Destroyer, 1976)
Released as the lead single off 1977’s Destroyer. The title was inspired by The Hollies’ song I Wanna Shout (covered by pre-Kiss band Wicked Lester). Bob Ezrin’s giant-sized production helped turn a deceptively simple ditty into a stadium-filling monster.