Dynasty (Kiss album)

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Dynasty (album) cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 23, 1979
RecordedJanuary – February 1979
StudioElectric Lady Studios
Record Plant Studios, New York City
GenreHard rock, disco
ProducerVini Poncia
Kiss chronology
Love Gun
Singles from Dynasty
  1. "I Was Made for Lovin' You"
    Released: May 20, 1979
  2. "Sure Know Something"
    Released: September 30, 1979
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media(2.0/10)[3]
Rolling Stone(negative)[4]
Vista Records4/5 stars[6]
Metal Nightfall3/5 stars[8]

Dynasty is the seventh studio album by American rock band Kiss, produced by Vini Poncia and released on Casablanca Records on May 23, 1979. It marked the first time that the original four members of Kiss did not all appear together for the entire album. In later interviews, the band admitted that they started to listen to outsiders about what direction the music should go around the time of Dynasty.

Album information[edit]

The album and the following tour were billed as the "Return of Kiss". Kiss had not released a studio album since 1977's Love Gun. Instead, the band released their second live album and each member had recorded eponymous solo albums, which were simultaneously released on September 18, 1978.

After pre-production and rehearsals were completed, Vini Poncia (who had produced Peter Criss), decided that Criss' drumming was substandard, an opinion shared by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. By this time, Criss was hindered by injuries to his hands that he had suffered in a 1978 car accident. Kiss hired South African-born studio drummer Anton Fig, who played on Ace Frehley, to play on the Dynasty sessions. "On Dynasty, Peter was pretty much out of commission," reflected Stanley, "so I wouldn't point to it as a classic Kiss album."[9] With the exception of his song, "Dirty Livin'", Criss does not appear on the album, and he would not perform on another Kiss album until 1998's Psycho Circus, on which he would again only play on one song. Fig was again hired to replace Criss during recording sessions for the following album Unmasked. Eric Carr was hired as Criss' permanent replacement before the tour for the album began.

Frehley, who himself would depart the band 3 years later, sings three songs on Dynasty: "Hard Times", "Save Your Love" and a cover of the Rolling Stones song "2000 Man". Although he had frequently sung backing vocals and had written the Kiss classics "Cold Gin" and "Parasite", Frehley had only debuted as a lead singer on his song "Shock Me" on Love Gun as he lacked confidence in his ability as a lead singer.

Stanley's "I Was Made for Lovin' You" was an attempt to cash in on the popularity of disco music. It was one of their biggest singles ever, peaking at #11 on the American singles chart. He also sang on "Sure Know Something" and "Magic Touch". In contrast, Simmons sings lead vocals on only two songs: "Charisma" and "X-Ray Eyes". Giorgio Moroder was originally scheduled to produce Dynasty.[citation needed] Escape from Hell was the subtitle of Dynasty's Japanese release.

The album includes a colorful jacket cover. The album cover is actually a collage of photos taken from the photo session and not a group shot as it appears. The label shows a portrait of all four members instead of the usual Casablanca label. Inserts included a merchandise order form and a full-color poster.

Poster versions[edit]

The album was originally intended to include a poster of the band members in straitjackets. However, Casablanca did not feel that this was appropriate for Kiss' younger fans, and had the poster altered, so that the band appears to simply be wearing black shirts.


Dynasty would restore the band to commercial prominence, reaching #9 on the US Billboard album chart. It was certified platinum by the RIAA, and would be the last high-charting album by Kiss for several years. "I Was Made for Lovin' You" was Kiss' first songwriting collaboration with Desmond Child, who would show up later on Animalize, Asylum, Crazy Nights, Smashes, Thrashes & Hits, and Hot in the Shade. The Kiss remaster states it at double platinum.


The Dynasty Tour, also known as "The Return of Kiss", spanned the entire second half of 1979 and was Kiss' most ambitious and expensive. It was their first tour since the Alive II tour ended on April 2, 1978 in Japan. Kiss sported new costumes featuring colors which coincided with the colors of their respective solo albums: purple (Stanley), red (Simmons), blue (Frehley) and green (Criss).

The new production featured Simmons being hoisted to a small stage atop the scaffolding during his bass solo (typically played before "God of Thunder"). The harness malfunctioned on several occasions. Frehley was similarly elevated for his smoking guitar solo and the tour was the first to feature his "light-guitar" and his rocket-shooting stunt. A trick was designed for Stanley that involved him putting on a headset and shooting a laser out of his right eye (to mock the effect seen in Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park a year prior). After several run-throughs both Stanley and Bill Aucoin nixed the idea, citing the danger involved to both him and the fans.

The tour saw a decline in audience. Shows at Madison Square Garden and the Pontiac Silverdome were cancelled, while an additional night at the Los Angeles Forum was moved to the 10,000-capacity Anaheim Convention Center. The last concert with all the original members took place at the Toledo Sports Arena, in Toledo, Ohio, on December 16, 1979. The tour was considered a financial failure, and it would become the final tour featuring the original band until the 1996 Reunion Tour sixteen years later.

The tour is famous for being the only tour to feature songs from all four members' solo albums. Simmons performed "Radioactive", Criss performed "Tossin' and Turnin'", Frehley performed "New York Groove" and Stanley performed "Move On". The two former songs were replaced early in the tour by more familiar songs. "Dirty Livin'" was reportedly rehearsed, but never performed.

Frehley stated in various interviews that Kiss was becoming a youth-oriented band with kids attending their concerts with parents in tow.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."I Was Made for Lovin' You"Paul Stanley, Vini Poncia, Desmond ChildStanley4:30
2."2,000 Man" (The Rolling Stones cover)Mick Jagger, Keith RichardsAce Frehley4:54
3."Sure Know Something"Stanley, PonciaStanley4:00
4."Dirty Livin'"Peter Criss, Stan Penridge, PonciaCriss4:19
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
5."Charisma"Gene Simmons, Howard MarksSimmons4:25
6."Magic Touch"StanleyStanley4:41
7."Hard Times"FrehleyFrehley3:30
8."X-Ray Eyes"SimmonsSimmons3:46
9."Save Your Love"FrehleyFrehley4:41


Additional musicians


Chart (1979) Peak
on chart
Australian Albums Chart[10] 2
Austrian Albums Chart[11] 13
Canadian Albums Chart[12] 6
Dutch Albums Chart[11] 1
Finnish Albums Chart[13] 27
French Albums Chart[14] 2
German Albums Chart[11] 8
Italian Albums Chart[15] 16
Japanese Albums Chart[16] 21 22
New Zealand Albums Chart[11] 2
Norwegian Albums Chart[11] 34
Swedish Albums Chart[11] 17
Swiss Albums Chart[11] 13
UK Albums Chart[17] 50 6
US Billboard Pop Albums[18] 9 25
Year Nation Single Chart Position
1979 United States "I Was Made for Lovin' You" Billboard Pop Singles 11[19]
"Sure Know Something" Billboard Pop Singles 47[19]
Australia "I Was Made for Lovin' You" Pop Singles 2[10]
"Sure Know Something" Pop Singles 5[10]
Austria "I Was Made for Lovin' You" Pop Singles 6[20]
Canada "I Was Made for Lovin' You" Pop Singles 1[21]
"Sure Know Something" Pop Singles 48[22]
France "I Was Made for Lovin' You" Pop Singles 2[23]
Germany Pop Singles 2[24]
The Netherlands "I Was Made for Lovin' You" Pop Singles 1[20]
"Sure Know Something" Pop Singles 3[25]
Norway "I Was Made for Lovin' You" Pop Singles 10[20]
New Zealand "I Was Made for Lovin' You" Pop Singles 1[20]
"Sure Know Something" Pop Singles 11[26]
Sweden "I Was Made for Lovin' You" Pop Singles 19[20]
Switzerland Pop Singles 2[20]
United Kingdom Pop Singles 50[27]


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[28] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[29] Platinum 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[30] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


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