9. Destroyer - KISS
After the success of Alive!, KISS had seemed to have done the impossible. Once they were down and out with pretty much no hope of ever conquering the mainstream, this double live record catapulted them into the stratosphere, with high energy updates on their classic brand of heavy rock and roll. Although things were just kicking into high gear, it was time for these shock rockers to move up to the big leagues in a different way.
Hooking up with producer Bob Ezrin for Destroyer, this record was initially scoffed at by the rock purists of the KISS army for being a step down compared to their normal sound. Since Ezrin would go on to work on high budget conceptual pieces like Pink Floyd's the Wall, the entire album amplifies each of KISS' characters to mammoth proportions. The brunt of the blame ended up coming at the expense of Beth, whose proto-power ballad sound was a bit grating for someone who wanted the makeup-clad warriors of the universe.
Then again, the actual muscle behind the songwriting hasn't gone anywhere, with Detroit Rock City remaining a rock classic and the larger scope of instrumentation making Gene Simmons's showcase God of Thunder a musical battering ram. For as much as it has held up over time, sometimes fans just can't get over the hurdle of something different coming down the pipeline.