In a new interview with Goldmine magazine, KISS’ Gene Simmons is revealing the 10 albums that changed his life. And folks may be a bit surprised by some of the records that made the list.
“As a preamble, when I first came to America (from Israel) as an eight-and-a-half-year-old boy, this was pre-Beatles. I came to America with my mother in 1958, and I had never heard of rock and roll, and I actually had never seen a television set,” he tells the mag. “The first music I heard in America was Chuck Berry and Little Richard and all that.”
Albums on Gene’s list include greatest hits albums by Ray Charles, Dave Clark Five, Patsy Cline, James Brown and ABBA; 1968’s The Beatles aka The White Album; Jeff Beck Group‘s Truth/Beck-Ola; Led Zeppelin’s 1969 self-titled debut; and The Who’s Tommy.
Of course one of his band’s albums had to make the list, as well, with Gene picking KISS’ 1979 release, Destroyer, noting, “Some of those songs have survived the test of time. It was a strange period. It was the beginning of the end, really. The band started to fall to pieces way back in ’76.”
As for people who may be surprised that ABBA’s Greatest Hits made the list, Gene notes that what he loves “is the ability to craft songs that are forever.” He adds, “So if I’m riding in my car and ABBA music comes on, I turn it up and that’s the sign of greatness. Undeniable songwriting. You just can’t touch it.”
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