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Was KISS metal?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Jim Nazium, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. Hellz yeah! m/

    4 vote(s)
  2. Sort of pre-metal

    14 vote(s)
  3. No. Regular rock with big shoes.

    63 vote(s)
  4. Carrots

    12 vote(s)
  1. Would you consider KISS (back in the day) a heavy metal band, or not?
  2. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    Absolutely not..not even a real band imo.

    ...ok.."creatures" was almost metal.
  3. You must examine the origins of the term, "heavy metal" in the musical context. It came from Pete Townsend in 1968, when only a handful of bands were building walls of sonic sludge (in comparisson to what was "normal" or "acceptable" in pop music then). Cream, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Jeff Beck all fit the term in 1968. By extention, bands that drew inspiration from them fit within the term, "heavy metal," which has come to mean different things since its' inception.

    Somewhere in the late 80's/early 90's, "heavy metal" came to mean something different, and the same can be said of the word, "jam." Most hip-hop recordings that people refer to as "jams" are anything but that, in the original sense of the word, as it came from the old-time jazz cats.

    The point is, language evolves continuously...and the answer to your question is yes. Odin70 ignores the relativity of context within the time-frame, and only expressed himself through the lens of the current definition of metal.
  4. tdub0199


    Mar 4, 2010
    Atlanta, Ga.
    I don't think of KISS being metal at all..... I'm not a big KISS fan either... so...
  5. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    the term Heavy Metal comes from a dj who once described the sound of Jimi Hendrix as the sound of heavy metal falling from the sky.
  6. TL5


    Jun 27, 2005
    Are you certain about that? I'm pretty sure that the term "heavy metal" originated from Steppenwolf, not the Who. The word 'heavy' to describe music had been around even before that.

    When Kiss Alive came out, I would say it was heavy metal in it's day. Not so much by today's standards.
  7. Again, read the OP question carefully, and try to remember what things were like "back in the day." When they came out, KISS were very much at what was then the edge of the hard rock spectrum, whereas today, they would be considered very middle-of-the-road. They actually wrote songs within recognizeable pop structures, whereas much of today's metal is too reliant on mere jackhammer rhythms and perfect production; songcraft is largely lost. When I say that, you must think before you flame in response. Ask yourself if a song lends itself to being reinterpreted/rearranged. Would it be able to pass the Muzak test, the way that a lot of 70's hard rock songs have? I have heard Montovani-style treatments of old Boston, Kansas, Styx, Queen, Kiss, Zeppelin and other such groups, but I doubt if we will hear stuff like that from Slipknot, Slayer, and other such bands.

    The proof of a song in any genre being genuine good music is its' ability to be stripped down or reinterpreted in a different genre. Playing live band karaoke gigs has forced me to delve into stuff that I would ordinarily ignore and avoid, and I have started to develop a healthy respect for the songwriting team behind Britney Spears. Strip away the techno-stuff and her personna, and you have some solidly-written songs underneath it all that can be played in more "old school" arrangements and still pack a dance floor.
  8. billjr


    Jul 25, 2006
    Darlington, SC
    Well, I grew up during their heyday, and was a big fan. I never called them heavy metal. Most of the people I hung out with referred to it as hard rock. Even bands like Deep Purple, Led Zep, etc, we didn't call them heavy metal, just referred to the music as hard rock, with rock being a little less heavy on the guitars, but not as soft as pop. The way we looked at it was:

    Elton John, Tony Orlando, Seals and Croft, etc - pop
    Styx, Queen, Foreigner - Rock (Although they had some harder rockin' songs)
    Molly Hatchett, Kiss, Blackfoot, Ted Nugent - hard rock

    I can't remember when I first heard and used the term heavy metal, but I do know that it was sometime later in college (80s). Maybe after the movie "Heavy Metal" came out.

    In hindsite, I guess, yes, Kiss was what we now know as heavy metal, but I just don't recall referring to them that way then.
  9. Look up heavy metal in wikipedia, and read the section on the etymology. The musical term did originate in 1968, and Steppenwolf's song also came out in that year -about motorcycles. Townsend used it to describe music in several interviews from that year. As for the poster claiming that it originated from a review of Hendrix, there is this interesting bit:

    "A late, and disputed, claim about the source of the term was made by "Chas" Chandler, former manager of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. In a 1995 interview on the PBS program Rock and Roll, he asserted that heavy metal "was a term originated in a New York Times article reviewing a Jimi Hendrix performance," in which the author likened the event to "listening to heavy metal falling from the sky." A source for Chandler's claim has never been found."

    In the 1970's, which is the context of the OP question, the terms, "hard rock" and "heavy metal" were considered synonymous. Anyone under age 35 who tries to answer the OP's question is automatically disqualified, because they were not around in the 70's, or were not old enough to understand what was going on.
  10. Elrend


    Feb 24, 2008
    Who gives a ****.
  11. It's all about the shoes baby!
  12. TL5


    Jun 27, 2005
    I did.

    "The first recorded use of heavy metal is a reference to a motorcycle in the Steppenwolf song "Born to Be Wild," also released that year (1968)..

    ..The first documented use of the phrase to describe a type of rock music identified to date appears in a review by Barry Gifford. In the May 11, 1968, issue of Rolling Stone, he wrote about the album A Long Time Comin' by U.S. band Electric Flag.."

    I'm not getting anything attributing that to Townsend?

    btw, I agree with you concerning Kiss, and metal/hard rock as being synonymous in the 70s.
  13. +1.
  14. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    You are both free to not participate in this thread
  15. No, the Townsend references are not found in the wiki article, but as one with a large collection of Who biographical material, I can vector you to several Townsend interviews within the British music press that year wherein he makes use of the term, "heavy metal." There are several articles from NME and Melody Maker containing his use of the term.

    The general consensus is that there was something in the cultural ether at the time, and Hendrix, Zep, the Who, Beck, Blue Cheer and Iron Butterfly were all tapped into it. By the time 1970 came around, the term, "heavy metal" had been established, and was mostly used as a disparaging term by the rock-crit press. Then again, metal has usually been vilified by the press throughout its' history anyway.
  16. NKUSigEp


    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    By today's standards, no. But when it was just getting off the ground, they most certainly would be considered metal.
  17. Most of the poll respondents are not responding within context. Remember that the question is, "WAS KISS heavy metal back in the day." The most well-reasoned and presented rational arguments for a yes answer in this thread by myself and others far outnumber the "hellz yeah" votes, which is indicative of participant ignorance and/or disqualification, or flawed poll design. Remember, if you are under 35 years of age, you are not truly qualified to answer the OP question, and that is being rather generous. You really need to be 45 and older to be able to have a thorough grasp of the cultural millieu of the mid-70's.
  18. Yes I have to say they were metal now they are considered Rock

    As far as origins for Metal no one can say who started it, now its sub genre of sub genres
  19. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    The term heavy metal was first used in the song Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf. "Born to Be Wild" is a rock song written by Mars Bonfire and made famous by the Canadian rock band Steppenwolf. It is often used in popular culture to denote a biker appearance or attitude. It is sometimes described as the first heavy metal song, and the second verse lyric "heavy metal thunder," marks the first use of this term in rock music.


    From the 1968 release "Steppenwolf"

    Words and music by Mars Bonfire

    Get your motor runnin'
    Head out on the highway
    Lookin' for adventure
    And whatever comes our way
    Yeah Darlin' go make it happen
    Take the world in a love embrace
    Fire all of your guns at once
    And explode into space

    I like smoke and lightning
    Heavy metal thunder
    Racin' with the wind
    And the feelin' that I'm under
    Yeah Darlin' go make it happen
    Take the world in a love embrace
    Fire all of your guns at once
    And explode into space

    Like a true nature's child
    We were born, born to be wild
    We can climb so high
    I never wanna die

    Born to be wild
    Born to be wild
  20. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    I was always a fan of the original line up, but in 1983 ~holy crap~ did Vinnie Vincent ever transform their live sound for that one year. Here is a clip of them with Vinnie~check out his solo at 1:50~ it's chilling and difinitely metal.
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