Few people would argue that there are just a handful of iconic bands over the course of the last 30 or 40 years that have truly changed the face of rock music. They very well may argue over who exactly some of these bands are, but there are a select few that most people would have to agree on, even if they don’t personally listen to that group as much as others. The rock band KISS is definitely one of those groups. In fact, there are a number of reasons why the band itself will have a lasting legacy. More specifically, their 1976 album Rock and Roll Over served to usher in a new era for rock bands in general. As a direct result, this particular album will always have an important Legacy in the history of rock music.
A Desire to Change
By the time this album was produced in 1976, Rock Band KISS had been performing for some time. However, many would agree that they had struggled to find their footing. In short, they were trying very hard to fit in with a structure that had come long before their band was ever formed. They weren’t really doing their own thing. Instead, they were trying to make commercial music that would sell albums, all at the risk of losing their own identity. When they decided to do this album in the latter part of the 1970s, all of that changed. They had made up their minds long beforehand that they were going to do things differently this time around. They stopped listening to the advice of others two told them to Simply keep doing what they had always been doing. They took a huge risk, completely changing the sound of their music and changing their appearance on stage.
The Courage to Do Things Differently
Make no mistake about it, KISS had always been a rock band that wanted to do things our own way. The problem was, they were working within a system that had never really seen a rock band that was as bold as they wanted to be. It scared the record executives to the point that virtually everyone had recommended that they hold back on the things they wanted to do. To be honest, the executives wanted them to take the safer route. After all, a great deal of money had already been spent on marketing their previous albums. Record producers were not willing to lose all of that money because the band decided to go rogue and scare off fans they had already built up.
Saying No to the Status Quo
The problem with all of this was that the members of the band had been wanting to branch out and do things their own way for quite some time. They weren’t happy doing things the old-fashioned way and their sense of unhappiness grew stronger with each passing album. Finally, when the 1976 album was being prepared, they had made up their minds that they were no longer going to allow anyone else to tell them what to do. They wrote songs that were edgier. The sound was much stronger than it had been in the past. For the first time, it was obvious that they were no longer holding back. They wrote songs that spoke to them and they took the chance that their current audience would also love it as much as they did. They knew that it was a bold risk, one that could potentially spell the end of the band. Nevertheless, they had long since made up their minds that if they had to continue playing as something that didn’t fit their personalities, they would prefer that the band not go on anyway. As a result, they were resolved in doing something that was true to themselves, even if the end result wasn’t what they had hoped for.
It wasn’t just their music that they changed dramatically, either. They also change their look. Their new stage appearance saw them dressing and outlandish makeup with wigs and costumes that made them look like a cross between something you would find in a pornographic magazine and the demons of your nightmares. The thing was, it worked. Fans loved what they were doing and their fan base was growing by leaps and bounds on a daily basis.
One Album Changed Everything
This is where the legacy of that album began. It is an important legacy because he completely changed the way that people looked at rock and roll during the 1970s and 1980s. It was finally acceptable to break out of the mold and do things differently. As a direct result, bands came out of the woodwork, all of them with something that made them different. Everyone wanted to stand out. The days of having neatly groomed individuals dressed in tidy suits standing in front of a microphone, all of them doing exactly the same dance moves while singing the same lyrics were over. At this point, it was time to do something completely different that allowed people to express themselves in ways that had never before even been considered. Even today, all these years later, people still look to that album for inspiration when they want to do something that makes them stand out from the crowd. It’s easy to get caught up in a situation where a band is turning out songs that all sound like variations of the same material. Even worse, some bands have a tendency to create music that sounds exactly like practically every other band playing. It’s easy to understand why this happens. People are doing this to make money, after all. As such, there is an acute pressure to appeal to the masses in order so the greatest number of records. However, many budding musicians still look to that KISS album when they are looking for inspiration to break out of their shell and do something completely different. As a result, the album and the band are part of a long lasting legacy that continues to inspire modern-day musicians. There is every reason to believe that it will continue to do so for decades into the future.