Kiss – ‘Destroyer: 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition’ (2021) – Box Set Review (The Kiss Review Series)

With the album ‘Alive’ in 1975, Kiss finally broke through and were on their ways to be Rock Gods!! But their next album needed to make a statement. It needed to capture the band like none of their other albums had been able to do. Famed record producer, Bob Ezrin, was brought in to man the boards all based on the work he was doing with Alice Cooper. Kiss needed that same energy and success. And did Bob deliver? Oh hell yeah he did!! ‘Destroyer’ was released on March 15, 1976 and with songs like “Beth”, ‘Detroit Rock City” and “Shout it Out Loud”, Kiss was on top. They had made it! A now platinum selling artist, a massive touring act and they were starting to reach heights they only dreamed about. At first thought, the album was slow out of the gate until “Beth” was played on the radio…it was the B-Side to “Detroit Rock City” and then Bam!! Everything changed. To celebrate this pivotal album, Kiss delivered the 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition Box Set and it is jammed pack with goodness. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have been paying attention to other band’s box sets and now they know how to put one of these together and it is stellar…mostly.

It is jammed pack with 4 discs of music. A remastered edition of the main album; 2 CDs of demos, rarities, outtakes and remixes as well as 1 Live CDs chock full of goodness from the Paris show on May 22, 1976. And you also get a Blu-Ray Audio of the main album and I can’t wait to turn this baby on in surround sound and hear all that Bob put in to these songs. But that is not all, not by a long shot. The box set is packed with an 68-page book, posters, stickers, photo cards and all sorts of information about the band…don’t believe me, look at the sticker from the front of the box set…

So sit back and let’s go through the box set in detail with a lot of pictures to show you the beauty of this set.


First up is the remastered original album. And let me tell you it sounds fantastic. The car crash from “Detroit Rock City” is is crystal clear, the choir in “Great Expectations” soars and if you crank it up loud, it rocks out like never before. I will not go in to detail with this album as I have reviewed it before as you can click on the links below to see the full Kiss Review Series below. This is one of my favorite albums and favorite Kiss albums and I will say after listening to this remastering, it still is one of my favorite albums of all time!! I love the Casablanca label on the CD with Neil Bogart in the left side and the palm trees on the right. A classic label and I’m glad they brought it back for this set.


Disc two is the prize here on the box set. It consists of Demos from the Destroyer era. You get 5 demos from Paul and 10 from Gene. Why does Gene have so many, simple. For ever one song Paul writes, Gene writes about 1,000 as he’ll write about anything because he figures the more he writes, at least something will stick out as good even if it is a song about him pooping. Paul is a little more meticulous in his approach. Paul’s good ones are “Doncha Hestiate” which was ready for the album, but the band just never got around to recording it. The other is his demo of the song he wrote “God of Thunder and Rock and Roll” which you guessed it, is the original title of “God of Thunder” which Gene sings. It is the same song, but Bob thought it fit better with Gene so they slowed it down and re-wrote the lyrics and now it is a Gene classic. But I really enjoy Pauls version as well. It’s a lot of fun. It’s the Fire is an unfinished song and has some similarity to “Love Gun” and then you get the early demo of “Detroit Rock City” before it was flushed out and had the story of the car crash added to it;. Another fave of mine. Lastly for Paul is “Love is Alright” which has no lyrics other than “Love is Alright” at the chorus. Very unfinished.

Gene’s songs are numerous. You do get three early versions of songs that would appear on his 1978 Solo album with “Man of a Thousand Faces”, “Burnin’ Up With Fever” and “True Confessions”. You get some that are on the Vault, but maybe as a different mix such as “Bad Bad Lovin'” which if you listen close you can tell that it would morph in to “Calling Dr. Love”. There is “Rock And Rolls Royce” which I think would become “Love ‘Em and Leave Me” off Rock & Roll Over. Then there is “Mad Dog” which its riff would be stolen and used for “Flaming Youth”. Lastly from the Vault is “Howlin’ for Your Love” which he has many versions, it is an interesting fun track. Then Gene has a bunch I’d never heard including “Night Boy”, “Star” and “I Don’t Want No Romance” which is so not a Kiss song, but not bad. Listen closely and it reminds me “Got Love for Sale” from the Love Gun album.

Disc Three is full of single edits both in stereo and mono, instrumental takes and various levels of completion for the songs on the album itself. You get an acoustic version of Beth which honestly, I already thought it was acoustic with the piano, but they basically add an acoustic guitar to this one and it is Dick Wagner on guitar, not Ace. The only non-album track is the song “Ain’t None of Your Business” which was written by Michael Des Barnes during his time with his band Monarch. Peter sang the song and it was recorded for the album and fully finished. The problem was it didn’t work with the feel and vibe of the album and left off. Peter got his big song with “Beth” so was all good.


The final CD is a live show from L’Olympia Theatre in Paris, France from May 22, 1976. It sounds like an audience recording as the sound is terrible. Voices are in and out, instruments sound muddy and simply awful at times and the crowd is loud sometimes. The one thing that sounds the best is the man that introduces the band at the beginning. He sounds perfect, then the band plays and disaster. With the band putting out these quality Soundboard Recordings, why the hell would they release something that sounded so bad. I don’t mind when it sounds like this when I buy a bootleg, but an official release should not sound this bad. I mean, we love to hear Ace play his solos because he is so sloppy at times which is his charm, but that sloppiness is taken to another level with this bad sound quality.

Take that out of the equation and the setlist is killer here for the time. Nowadays, this setlist would be boring, but back then, it is pretty awesome. I love that “Flaming Youth” is in the setlist and that Ace’s guitar solo is after “She” as Ace wasn’t singing yet and we don’t have “Shock Me” yet either. Two of my favorites are on here with “100,000 Years” and “Black Diamond” as I always love to hear those live.


I actually only recently got surround sound so when I did, the first album I played in it was the “Destroyer” 5.1 Surround Sound Mix and all I can say is DAMN!!! I have never heard the album sound like that. To hear “Detroit Rock City” and all the car sounds and crash sounds coming from all around you was such an immersive experience. The children in “God of Thunder” never sounded cooler and the choir in “Great Expectations” was even creepier. The guitars on it seemed to be in the rear speakers while everything else was in the front and it all just surrounded you in a giant hug as you felt the warmth of the familiarity of the album just wash over you. It was one of the best listening experiences I have had enjoying this album since the very first time I ever heard the album. You have to hear the album in this format.


The you get a hardback book with 68 pages of photos and stories about Kiss. You get some back stories on the band, the writing of the album, pre-production and recording sessions, naming the album, album design and artwork, the backlash from the album and the legacy of the album as well. If that wasn’t enough you get stuff on some of the famous photo shoots including the ’76 Photo Shoot and Empire State Building. You get descriptions on the Kiss Army Kit and how the album did around the world.

There are tons of photos and what I really loved seeing was each and every variant there is of the album from cassettes, to singles to albums. Really cool as a collector to see all the things we have to buy. But the photos are the ones you will spend so much time looking at all the detail of their outfits, stages and anything else you get obsessed about. At the end you even get a discussion on the famous Halloween Paul Lynde Special. They really did a great job with the book.


The Kiss Army Kit is jammed packed with so much stuff. You get posters, stickers, a Kiss Army Certificate, Kiss Army Newsletter, Promo Pictures, Trading cards, iron-on, bios and so much more. It is a smorgasbord of goodness. Check it all out as it is pretty awesome.


They also included a replica tour book which is great because this is one of the tour books I am missing from my collection as it is quite pricey and I mean pricey. I am not going to show every picture as we have enough so far…There are so many great pictures and live shots of the band. It was these types of pictures as a kid, I thought these guys were larger than life. The outfits were over-the-top, the stage was massive, it was all amazing to see.


There was another envelope that contained a few more things. It was a solid black envelope with the Kiss logo (it is correct here, but on Creatures, I’m not sure if it is upside down or backwards or both).

That envelope included 2 more posters, plus 2 drawings of the live stage show mock-up but the prize is the 1st Volume of the Gotham City News (they do a second for the Creatures Box Set). It contains song-by-song account of the album and most of the bonus tracks. You get discussions from Gene and Paul as well as some of the song writers and some of the players on the albums or people working the boards. Really cool reading.

And believe it or not, that is it.

If you are a Kiss fan and a fan of this album, you can’t go wrong getting this box set. My Overall Score is a 4.5 out of 5.0 Stars as they check off everything. A remastered album, check…a ton of unreleased demos, rarities, outtakes, check….a live show that was unreleased (sort of), check…and a bunch of other goodies, check!!! What more could you want. Well, the reason it isn’t a 5.0 is that live show, come on guys, that show sounded like shit. I expect that from a bootleg, but not an official release by the band. Otherwise, that is my only gripe. Thanks for hanging out so long with me.

The Kiss Review Series:

  1. Wicked Lester and the Progeny Demo Sessions (Bootleg)
  2. Kiss – Kiss (1974)
  3. Kiss – Hotter Than Hell (1974)
  4. Kiss – Dressed to Kill (1975)
  5. Kiss – Alive! (1975)
  6. Kiss – Destroyer (1976)
  7. Kiss – “Flaming Youth” 45 Promo Single – Bonus Edition (1976)
  8. Kiss – “Beth” – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition (1976)
  9. Kiss – Special Kiss Album For Their Summer Tour (1976)
  10. Kiss – The Originals (1976)
  11. Kiss – Rock & Roll Over (1976)
  12. Kiss – “Calling Dr. Love” – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition (1977)
  13. Kiss – Love Gun (1977)
  14. Kiss – “Christine Sixteen” – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition (1977)
  15. Kiss – Alive II (1977)
  16. Kiss – Double Platinum (1978)
  17. Kiss – Paul Stanley (1978)
  18. Kiss – Gene Simmons (1978)
  19. Kiss – Peter Criss (1978)
  20. Kiss – Ace Frehley (1978)
  21. Kiss – Best of Solo Albums (1978)
  22. Kiss – Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park Movie (1978)
  23. Kiss – Dynasty (1979)
  24. Kiss – “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” (1979) – 12″ & 7″ Singles (Bonus Edition)
  25. Kiss – Unmasked (1980)
  26. Peter Criss – Out of Control (1980)
  27. Kiss – Music From The Elder (1981)
  28. Kiss – Killers (1982)
  29. Kiss – Creatures of the Night (1982)
  30. Kiss – Lick It Up (1983)
  31. Kiss – Animalize (1984)
  32. Wendy O. Williams – WOW (1984) (Bonus Edition)
  33. Kiss – Animalize Live Uncensored (1985)
  34. Kiss – Asylum (1985)
  35. Kiss – “Tears Are Falling” 7″ Single (Bonus Edition) (1985)
  36. Kiss – Creatures of the Night (1985 Re-Issue)
  37. Vinnie Vincent Invasion – Vinnie Vincent Invasion (1986)
  38. Black N’ Blue – Nasty Nasty (1986)
  39. Ace Frehley – Frehley’s Comet (1987)
  40. Kiss – Exposed VHS (1987)
  41. Kiss – Crazy Nights (1987)
  42. Kiss – “Crazy Crazy Nights” – 12″ Single (Bonus Edition)
  43. Kiss – “Reason To Live” – 12″ Picture Disc (Bonus Edition)
  44. Kiss – Chikara (1988)
  45. Kiss – Smashes, Thrashes & Hits (1988)
  46. Kiss – Hot In The Shade (1989)
  47. Kiss – “God Gave Rock And Roll To You II” (1991) – 12″ Picture Disc
  48. Kiss – Revenge (1992)
  49. Kiss – Alive III (1993)
  50. Kiss – “I Was Made For Lovin’ You (Live)” (1993) – CD Maxi Single (Bonus Edition)
  51. Kiss – Konfidential VHS (1993)
  52. Kiss – Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved (1994)
  53. Kiss – MTV Unplugged (1996)
  54. Kiss – You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best!! (1996)
  55. Kiss – Greatest Kiss (1997)
  56. Kiss – Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions (1997)
  57. Kiss – Psycho Circus (1998)
  58. Kiss – The Second Coming Documentary (1998)
  59. Eric Carr – Rockology (1999)
  60. Mark St. John – Mark St. John Project (1999)
  61. Eric Singer Project – ESP (1999)
  62. Bruce Kulick – Audiodog (2001)
  63. Kiss – Kiss Symphony: Alive IV (2003)
  64. Gene Simmons – Asshole (2004)
  65. Kiss – Rock the Nation 2004 World Tour: Instant Live (Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Charlotte, NC 7/28/04) (2004)
  66. Kiss – Rock the Nation Live! DVD (2005)
  67. Kiss – Alive! The Millennium Concert (2006)
  68. Paul Stanley – Live to Win (2006)
  69. Kiss – Kissology: Volumes 1 to 3 (2006-2007)
  70. Kiss – Jigoku-Retsuden (2008)
  71. Kiss – Sonic Boom (2009)
  72. Kiss – Monster (2012)
  73. Kiss – The Casablanca Singles 1973-1982 (2012)
  74. Kiss – Kiss 40 (2014)
  75. Kiss – Kiss Rocks Vegas (2016)
  76. Kiss – Kissworld: The Best of Kiss (2017)
  77. Kiss – Off the Soundboard: Tokyo 2001 (2021)
  78. Kiss – Off the Soundboard: Live in Virginia Beach July 24, 2004 (2022)
  79. Kiss – The Albums Ranked From Worst to First (2021)
  80. Kiss – Destroyer: 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (2021)
  81. Kiss – Creatures of the Night: 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (2022)
  82. Kiss – Creatures of the Night: 40th Anniversary 3-LP Deluxe Edition (Colored Vinyl) (2022)

The Bootleg Series:

  1. Kiss – ‘Accept No Imitations’ (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ASYLUM TOUR)
  2. Kiss – Look Wot You Dun to Me (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (CRAZY NIGHTS TOUR)
  3. Kiss – The Summer of Satan: The Devils Ride Out! (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DESTROYER TOUR)
  4. Kiss – Return to Capital Center (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DYNASTY TOUR)
  5. Kiss – With Fire & Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (HOTTER THAN HELL TOUR)
  6. Kiss – Northhampton PA March 19th, 1975 (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DRESSED TO KILL TOUR)
  7. Kiss – The Hottest Show On Earth (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (THE HOTTEST SHOW ON EARTH TOUR 2010)
  8. Kiss – All the Way to the Ball Room (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (Australian Tour 1995)
  9. Kiss – Kiss of Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (The Rising Sun Tour 2006)
  10. Kiss – Agora Ballroom 1974: The Cleveland Broadcast plus Bonus Cuts (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (THE KISS TOUR)
  11. Kiss – Hotter Than Hell: Radio Broadcast 1976 (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ROCK & ROLL OVER TOUR)
  12. Kiss – The Tickler (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (LICK IT UP TOUR 1983)
  13. Kiss – Barbarize (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ANIMALIZE WORLD TOUR 1984 – North American Tour)
  14. Kiss – They Only Come Out At Night (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ANIMALIZE WORLD TOUR 1984 – EUROPEAN TOUR)
  15. Wicked Lester and the Progeny Demo Sessions (Bootleg)
  16. Kiss – Black Diamond: Lafayette Music Room, Memphis, TN April 18th, 1974 – FM Broadcast
  17. Kiss – End of the Road: In Allentown 2020 (PPL Center, Allentown, PA, 4th February 2020) (End of the Road Tour) – Blu-Ray
  18. Kiss – ‘Monster Tour: Simpsonville 2013’ (Charter Amphitheatre at Heritage Park, Simpsonville, C – 13th August 2013) – Blu-Ray
  19. Wicked Lester – The Original Wicked Lester Sessions (Bootleg)
  20. Kiss – The Ritz on Fire (August 12, 1988, The Ritz, New York City. A radio broadcast – Crazy Nights Tour)
  21. Kiss – Kiss My Axe 1978: Live from the Los Angeles Forum in California, August 25, 1977 (Love Gun Tour)

Kiss – The Box Set:

  1. The Box Set (Part 1 of 6)
  2. The Box Set – Disc One 1966-1975 (Part 2 of 6)
  3. The Box Set – Disc Two 1975-1977 (Part 3 of 6)
  4. The Box Set – Disc Three 1976-1982 (Part 4 of 6)
  5. The Box Set – Disc Four 1983-1989 (Part 5 of 6)
  6. The Box Set – Disc Five 1992-1999 (Part 6 of 6)

Gene Simmons – The Vault:

  1. Part 1 – The Grand Opening
  2. Part 2 – Disk 1
  3. Part 3 – Disk 2
  4. Part 4 – Disk 3
  5. Part 5 – Disk 4
  6. Part 6 – Disk 5
  7. Part 7 – Disk 6
  8. Part 8 – Disk 7
  9. Part 9 – Disk 8
  10. Part 10 – Disk 9
  11. Part 11 – Disk 10
  12. Part 12 – The Bonus Disk
  13. Part 13 – The Best Songs of the Vault
  14. Part 14 – The Worst Songs of the Vault
  15. Part 15 – The Final Verdict

15 thoughts on “Kiss – ‘Destroyer: 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition’ (2021) – Box Set Review (The Kiss Review Series)

  1. See, here I was like, “Maybe I should finish that Kiss Destroyer review”. And then I read this.

    And then I say, “Why bother, because SNOWMAN JUST WROTE THE ULTIMATE BOX SET REVIEW”. With great images to boot.


    Now sue those movie guys over that clone movie idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. It only took me about 15 months to write it, but its done. Wait a couple weeks then you can do yours as everyone will have forgotten about mine by then 🙂

      I’m not going to sue, but I might actually go watch to see how bad it actually is.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow great write up and read man! Love the packaging on this as I only have the double vinyl reissue of Destroyer. Too bad that live show is unlistenable to me that is lol
    Thanks for sharing all of this….well worth the wait.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Very nice set, it was a bit more than what I’d care to spend on one album but they packed in the bells and whistles. Shame about the live set, I wonder why they decided to cheap out on that part of it. Seems like they have more than enough archive material to put something worthy in a super premium item like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dang…you get your money’s worth with this package…that is awesome. I had the original album…staring at that front cover for hours.


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