4.5 out of 5 Stars!
After the highly successful (but over-produced) album Destroyer (with the sugary sweet “Beth”—good God, spare me!), the band returned to the studio to produce a “back to basics” sort of album, with raw production values and nothing in the way of horrific and sappy ballads or lush string orchestrations to mar the hard-rocking proceedings.
Rock and Roll Over is perhaps one of my favorite Kiss studio albums, thanks to infectious, energetic songs such as “I Want You, “Makin’ Love, “Mr. Speed,” “Take Me,” and the Rod Stewart-inspired “Hard Luck Woman.”
Yes, as you might be able to tell from the above paragraph, I have a fondness for Paul Stanley’s contributions, although I must say that Gene Simmons (the other chief songwriter) also delivered some commendable goods with “Ladies Room,” “See You in Your Dreams,” “Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em,” and the hit single “Dr. Love.” (Note: I don’t normally rank Gene’s contributions too highly, only since I’m not overly fond of his vocal performances, unlike Paul’s.) Regardless, Peter Criss’s sole writing contribution (and his performance) on “Baby Driver” (as well as his vocals on “Hard Luck Woman”) are quite killer. Too bad Ace Frehley didn’t have any songs included on this album, although he was never known for delivering too many tracks to the overall Kiss repertoire…his guitar contributions were usually enough for me anyway.
Nevertheless, on this album, every single band member is playing at his best abilities, so it’s tough for me to criticize it. Indeed, every song is basically a keeper in my opinion, therefore I still play it regularly. Rock and Roll Over…indeed!