Paul Stanley was devastated when Gene Simmons got to sing the song “God of Thunder” on ‘Destroyer’
Traditionally in KISS, whomever in the band wrote the song would end up singing it on the group’s next album but in the case of the Paul Stanley penned track “God of Thunder” that ended up on the album Destroyer (1976), it was Gene Simmons that ended up handling the lead vocals.
Michael Brandvold Marketing‘s press release indicates (with slight edits):
“In a major interview discussing Kiss’ classic ‘Destroyer’ album, Paul Stanley admits that he had a really hard time dealing with producer Bob Ezrin’s decision to give the Stanley-penned classic song ‘God of Thunder’ to Gene Simmons to sing. “Let’s put it mildly,” Stanley says in the new issue of Rock Candy Mag. “It was crushing and devastating! We’d understood and agreed that the role of the producer on ‘Destroyer’ was to have final say and make decisions. When I played ‘God of Thunder’ Bob immediately said, ‘Oh, that’s great, that’s for Gene!’ “I was just devastated. The idea of a song so quickly being passed off from me to someone else… It was difficult, and it remained a sore point, even when I heard it finished.”
When the ‘Destroyer’ album was first released in March of 1976, ‘God of Thunder’ was quickly recognized as both a Kiss classic and Gene’s signature song. Soon, Stanley was forced to admit that Ezrin’s decision to give the bassist and vocalist the tune was absolutely right. “It’s so much a Gene song,” says Stanley. “It’s truly a highlight of who Gene is, and it would never have been as great a song if I’d sung it. Never. Bob was right and Gene did a great job. And at least I have the satisfaction and the joy of knowing that the song that personifies Gene is mine!”
In the Rock Candy Mag cover feature, Stanley and Simmons go deep into the mechanics of making their breakthrough album, while also revealing the concerns they had at the time after some of the first people they played the album to weren’t crazy about it. “They didn’t find it heavy enough,” admits Stanley. “And coming on the heels of ‘Alive!’, which really captured the rawness of the band, I understand. But we did what we needed to do.”
Rock Candy Mag also brought together five acknowledged Kiss experts and fanatics to try to decide on the best albums the band have produced in their career of almost 50 years. The panel consisted of: Michael Brandvold – Former Kiss webmaster and host of the much-loved Kiss podcast Three Sides of The Coin. Larry Mazer – Erstwhile Kiss manager. Frank Novinec – Guitarist with Hatebreed, and Kiss obsessive. Ross Sampson – Rock Candy Mag‘s digital supremo and lifelong Kiss fan. Mark Cicchini – Rabid Kiss collector and Three Sides of The Coin cohort. The unofficial KISS podcast Three Sides of The Coin has over 7.5 million plays since it was founded in 2012, with over 450 weekly episodes.
Read this 12-page Kiss feature and many other fascinating stories including Scorpions, Anthrax, and Steve Vai in issue 30 of Rock Candy Mag.”
Rock Candy Mag Issue 30 featuring KISS promo video:
KISS performing “God of Thunder” live at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, USA in 1998 (video from KISSARMYHQ‘s YouTube page):