KISS frontman Paul Stanley has revealed he considered it “disappointing” how the group’s staple song ‘Strutter’ turned out when it was first released in 1974. 

During a conversation with Classic Rock, Stanley revealed how the track made its way onto the band’s self-titled debut album.

“With ‘Strutter,’ I was trying to approximate the feel of The Stones’ ‘Brown Sugar,’ to write a song that had swagger and attitude and a bravado to it,” he began.

He continued: “Gene had a song called ‘Stanley The Parrot’ and there was a short plodding segment in that which struck me as something that could be kicked up in terms of tempo and made to bounce and rock: that ended up being the verse chords.”

“Once the feel of the song changed it seemed to lend itself to a lyric which captured that swagger.”

“Back then New York was full of very cool-looking people, and the lyric was a homage to those great-looking women I’d see walking around the Village, going to rock clubs.”

“I’d look at these women in their satin and lace and just think, ‘Wow, where is she from? And where is she going?'”

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“The closest I was getting to women like that back then was opening the pages of Playboy! The song needed a title that would sum up the confidence of these women who were looking so sure of themselves, and just exuding sex, and to me, ‘Strutter’ really encapsulated that.”

Stanley went on to talk about how he thinks early KISS albums displayed some of the “less positive attributes” of a garage band.

“When we recorded it, honestly, the end result was a little disappointing. It just didn’t sound like we sounded live,” he said.

“We were a kick-ass, balls-out, full-tilt, volume-heavy rock ‘n’ roll band, but I didn’t know how to get that live sound in the studio, and for some reason, the people who should have known, didn’t know either,” he continued.

“When I listen to those early KISS records, I feel we sound kinda plinky, like the less positive attributes of a garage band.

“If you’ve heard ‘Strutter’ in an arena you’ll know how it just crushes, so just imagine how powerful it sounded in a small club back then.?

“But in getting to make a record, we’d already won the lottery, so I wasn’t going to complain about paying the taxes.”

“I think ‘Strutter’ is one of the greatest KISS songs. One of the best things about early KISS songs is that they really were uninhibited and very much from the gut: we had nothing to live up to, except doing what turned us on.”

“Over time you can learn too much: you might become a better songwriter, but sometimes it’s the freedom of naivety that makes for the best result,” he concluded.

For more on this topic, head over to the Classic Rock Observer.

Check out ‘Strutter’, the KISS song Paul Stanley discussed with Classic Rock:

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