Paul Stanley Recalls Realizing KISS Were ‘On The Brink Of Implosion’
In the 1980s, KISS’ popularity declined due to the drastic changes in its sound. Their leaning toward pop and disco alienated their fans, and ‘Music from ‘The Elder” was a failure. So, it’s safe to say that KISS was in danger of extinction. Speaking to American Songwriter, Paul Stanley opposed this idea by claiming they were about to implode rather than go extinct.
“Gene and I realized we were on the brink of not extinction but implosion,” Stanley said. “We had lost our understanding or respect for our success. The music wasn’t good, and we were off to different things that diluted it even further, so we had a moment where we really realized how much the band meant to us. ‘Creatures of the Night’ was pretty much a declaration of restating who we were and writing songs without any impact from people around us or anything except who we are at our roots.”
The singer continued, “You don’t have the hunger for food anymore or shelter, but you need to have the hunger for creating at the level you want to. I think we lost it. I think we may have believed that putting out ‘Creatures’ would set everything right, but in essence, when you cheat on your spouse and then say you’re sorry, they don’t embrace you, and everything goes back to normal. ‘Creatures’ was the start of proving ourselves again to our fans. And it wasn’t going to take one album.”
KISS’ 1979 album ‘Dynasty’ was a shock for their fanbase due to the disco-flavored song ‘I Was Made for Loving You.’ 1980’s album ‘Unmasked’ was a further disappointment for many since it leaned towards pop music. Following the departure of Peter Criss, KISS knew they had to do something to give fans hope. Soon after, they announced they were about to record their heaviest record ever.
Although fans were waiting impatiently for this ‘heaviest record,’ KISS came up with ‘Music from ‘The Elder,” a concept album that was more orchestral than rock. At that time, they focused on what they wanted rather than their fans’ expectations. As a result, their popularity waned, and this move didn’t improve their status. However, KISS made a drastic return with ‘Creatures of the Night,’ the album fans had been waiting for. According to Stanley, this album was their attempt to prove that KISS had no intention of leaving their rock sound.