Wednesday, April 2, 1975

Kiss “Rock and Roll All Nite” released

Rock and Roll All Nite


Writer(s): Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons (see lyrics here)

Released: April 2, 1975

First Charted: May 17, 1975

Peak: 12 US, 17 CB, 16 GR, 18 HR, 15 RR, 1 CL, 13 AR, 13 CN, 18 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.2 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 98.13 video, 474.25 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Kiss formed in New York City in 1973. They “blended the Rolling Stones’ ballsy grit with a surprising dose of Beatles-type tunefulness, then cranked up the volume.” UCR They released their self-titled album and follow-up, Hotter Than Hell, the next year. Neither set the charts on fire. “Casablanca Records founder Neil Bogart figured out what was missing as the band assembled their third album, 1975’s Dressed to Kill.” UCR Band member Paul Stanley explained, “At that time, rock bands didn’t have anthems…but Neil was real smart and really ahead of his time…You guys really should have an anthem.’” UCR

Stanley and bassist Gene Simmons cobbled together an old tune called “Drive Me Wild” with “a general desire to reproduce the dynamics of a rave-up like Sly Stone’s ‘I Want to Take You Higher.’” TC Simmons provided the verses and Stanley delivered “one of rock’s most universally appealing and memorable choruses.” UCR They brought in a large group including studio musicians and members of the road crew to sing and clap on the chorus. They used zippers on their jackets to make sounds. WK Bandmate Ace Frehley said, “I knew it was gonna be something special. The song says it all.” UCR

The initial single release wasn’t anything special. It did give the band its second Billboard Hot 100 entry, but at a measley #68. Still, “a grueling tour schedule that helped perfect a flashy and literally explosive stage show had earned the band a devoted following among hard rock fans.” UCR

“With both band and label at the end of their financial ropes, they decided to throw a last-ditch Hail Mary six short months later by releasing the double-live album Alive! Freed from the constrictions of their underfed studio versions and supercharged by the band’s live delivery, Kiss’s songs connected with a massive new audience.” UCR The album reached the top 10 on the Billboard charts, led by a live version of “Rock and Roll All Nite” which reached #12. The band did, in fact, achieve “not just an anthem but an enduring cultural touchstone, and the song remains the soundtrack for the confetti-and-explosion-filled climaxes of the band’s concerts.” UCR


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First posted 8/1/2022; last updated 4/29/2024.

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