You watch Gene Simmons' Family Jewels each week and the one aspect of this great man's legacy that you don't see - or rather hear - is the music. The man isn't just a living legend because he wears big boots and crazy make-up, sticks out his tongue, breathes fire and spits blood, though that's most of it. He's also recorded a few tunes along the way -- both with his mega-successful hard rock n' roll combo KISS and as an incredible solo artist with two albums to his name. KISS released their first album in 1973--that's 34 years ago. There have been many major moments in their career that are treasured by their loving fans. Whether it's performing "Rock and Roll All Nite" or performing, uh, "Rock and Roll All Nite," KISS delivers!
But Gene has had a deep and profound career and that should be celebrated. Here are five unforgettable moments in Gene's recorded legacy!
"Charisma": From the Dynasty album when Kiss "went disco" with "I Was Made For Loving You," "Charisma" is a one of a kind with the wonderful, wonderful chorus of "What is my-ya-ya- Charisma?" Sung so uncharismatically that it's like he's being ironic and defying you to like him. Oh, the devil.
"A World Without Heroes": Gene doesn't often sing ballads and when you hear him do it you'll understand why. He sounds like he 's choking. He's sounds like he's about to be given a lethal injection. He sounds like he wishes he was anywhere other than in the recording studio singing this ballad.
"Waiting for the Morning Light": He named the album A**HOLE and he covered the Prodigy's "Firestarter" because....uh, Prodigy were really big and cutting edge in 2004? But the true crowning achievement here is somehow convincing Bob Dylan that it would be a good idea to collaborate on a tune together. And they do. And it's not terrible. It's not real good. And I have no idea why they did it. Maybe they just wanted to see if humanity could survive if the guy who wrote "Like A Rolling Stone" teamed up with the guy who wrote "Calling Dr. Love"? We have. So maybe that's a good sign for things to come. Like if Gene and Michael McDonald sing old soul tunes together we can stop war in our lifetime?
"Living In Sin": "I'm Living in Sin at the Holiday Inn" may be one of the best taglines ever written. But it's the angry phone call from his then girlfriend Cher that really takes this one over the top. And hearing Gene sing, "I know you write me sexy letters"? Absolutely creepy!
"When You Wish Upon A Star": Has anyone really wanted to hear Gene sing something as simple and heartfelt as "When You Wish Upon A Star"? He's supposed to be a demon and now he's giving children the world over hope? Huh? Next thing you know he'll be teaming up with Bruce Springsteen for a duet of "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain," which come to think of it might actually be good!