During the 60s many incredible bands appeared in the United Kingdom creating the “British Invasion” movement that showed that Rock and Roll groups from that country could be heard all over the world and could conquer huge markets like the United States. One of those groups were The Rolling Stones that started in 1962 and in the same decade already was one of the biggest bands in the world.
Those classic albums they released in the 60s and 70s were a huge inspiration for artists and one of them was Gene Simmons, who is the co-founder, bassist and singer of Kiss. Over the decades, the musician talked a lot about the Stones and even said which is, in his opinion, an overlooked album from the band led by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
The Rolling Stones album that Gene Simmons said is overlooked
By the time Kiss released their self-titled album in 1974, The Rolling Stones already had left their mark in the history of Rock and Roll. The group had already released classic albums like “Beggars Banquet” (1968), “Sticky Fingers” (1971) and “Exile on Main St.” (1972) and were touring all over the world.
Simmons constantly says that it was the United States that created Rock and Roll but that it were the British bands that really made the sound bigger and better. He is a huge Rolling Stones fan and in an interview with The Quietus in 2015, he said that in his opinion, the 1967 album “Their Satanic Majesties Request” is an overlooked album.
“An underrated Stones record. You know, they had a sound. They originally started off and covered the Beatles’ songs and other covers, because they didn’t know how to write songs. Everybody hung out in the same clubs back then and they’d see each other socially.”
Gene Simmons continued:
“So, early on, The Beatles gave them ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, which the Beatles recorded. But the Stones did as a single. Their manager Andrew Loog Oldham told them that they had to write their own songs. So they went down and developed that sound. Then eventually they saw the Beatles doing Sgt. Pepper’s and all this experimental stuff and the Stones decided to go outside of their comfort zone,” Gene Simmons said.
The musician also said in that conversation that even though people might say that The Rolling Stones tried to copy The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Loney Hearts Club Band” album, they experimented in the studio. So they came up with something that they had never done before on their previous records. He also said that is a unique album that shows that the band has some “depth”.
“There is some bad, out-of-key background singing because they were never the best singers. They didn’t have harmonies like the Beatles. The thing about it is that they were blues-based and they veered away from it on that record. (They) went into almost Celtic and classical areas.”
“It was a pastiche, a multi-coloured quilt! You can look at a band like a coin and say, ‘I see everything, I don’t need to see anything more’. But there is that other side. That other side is what I think is more interesting. The depth,” Gene Simmons said.
Curiously, Kiss covered the track “2000 Man” on their 1979 album “Dynasty”. The track had the guitarist Ace Frehley on vocals.
The first song Gene Simmons wrote for Kiss was inspired by the Stones
The Kiss debut album had a lot of famous tracks and one of them was inspired by The Rolling Stones. Written by Gene Simmons, the classic song “Deuce” was inspired by “Bitch” released by the British band on their 1971 album “Sticky Fingers”.
The musician recalled that influence in an interview with Guitar World in 1992. “That was the first song I ever wrote for Kiss; it was thrown together in about half an hour. I ripped off the lick from Bitch by The Rolling Stones. (But) changed it so it starts in A and goes to a C.”
“I purposely set out to create a repetitive lick – like in Satisfaction or Bitch. Lyrically, I had the slight thread of a story line. But I was more concerned with conveying attitude than making sense of the word ‘deuce’. I’m not quite sure what the line, ‘You know your man is working hard, he’s worth a deuce!’ means. But it sounded right,” Gene Simmons said.
Since its release, “Deuce” became an important part of their live concerts and it’s one of their most famous tracks.