No one’s ever going to accuse the band that wrote “Love Gun” of subtlety or complexity. KISS aren’t known for their sophisticated lyrics or scientific approach to music theory — but they are a band with real staying power. KISS formed in 1973 and continue to perform today, meaning they’ve been one of the biggest music acts in the world for nearly half a century.
Back in 1974, however, none of that seemed likely. The band’s first album, “KISS,” was released in February of that year, and the band toured relentlessly to promote it. But, as noted in “KISS: Behind the Mask,” the album only sold 75,000 copies. That wasn’t bad for their small record label, but didn’t exactly mark them as future superstars.
This context might explain Patrick MacDonald’s infamous review of the band’s concert at the Paramount Northwest in Seattle on Mary 25, 1974. Ultimate Classic Rock decribes the review as “withering,” and it’s easy to see why. MacDonald called them “a very flashy glitter band that tries to make up in theatrics what it lacks musically” and added “I hope the four guys who make up the group, whose names don’t matter, are putting money away for the future, the near future. Because Kiss won’t be around long.”
Nearly 50 years later, the band appears to be having the last laugh. They even used quotes from MacDonald’s review on T-shirts made for their 2000 tour.