8 opus

Portrait of Composer Fanny Mendelssohn (1805-1847)

“It must be a sign of talent that I do not give up, though I can get nobody to take an interest in my efforts.”

“If nobody ever offers an opinion or takes the slightest interest in one’s production, one loses not only all pleasure in them, but all power of judging their value.” 

Fanny Mendelssohn, later Fanny [Cäcilie] Mendelssohn Bartholdy and, after her marriage, Fanny Hensel, was a German pianist and composer. She composed over 460 pieces of music. Her compositions include a piano trio and several books of solo piano pieces and songs. A number of her songs were originally published under her brother, Felix Mendelssohn’s, name in his opus 8 and 9 collections. Her piano works are often in the manner of songs, and many carry the name Lied ohne Worte (Song without Words). She also wrote, amongst other works for the piano, a cycle of pieces depicting the months of the year, Das Jahr (“The Year”). The music was written on coloured sheets of paper, and illustrated by her husband Wilhelm Hensel. Each piece was also accompanied by a short poem.

2

1976. Destroyer

is the fourth album by band Kiss, released on March 15, it was the third successive Kiss album to reach the top 40 in the US, as well as the first to chart in Germany and New Zealand. The album was certified gold by the RIAA on April 22, 1976, and platinum on November 11 of the same year, the first Kiss album to achieve platinum. The album marked a departure from the raw sound of the band’s first three albums.

After attaining modest commercial success with their first three studio albums, Kiss achieved a commercial breakthrough with the 1975 concert album Alive!. It was the first album by the band to be certified gold, and eventually went multi-platinum. The success of Alive!, which spent 110 weeks on the charts, benefited not only the struggling band but their cash-strapped label Casablanca Records. Kiss signed a new contract with Casablanca in late 1975, partly because the label had been very supportive from the start of the band’s career. The contract was for two albums, an indication that Casablanca was unsure if the group could duplicate the accomplishments of Alive!.

Bob Ezrin, who had previously worked with Alice Cooper, was brought in to produce the album. Among the production flourishes Ezrin introduced to Kiss were sound effects, strings, screaming children, reversed drums (on “God of Thunder”) and a children’s choir. The song “Great Expectations” uses the first phrase of the main theme from the second movement of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, opus 13 “Pathétique”, but songwriting is credited to Simmons and Ezrin.

Destroyer is the first Kiss album to prominently feature outside musicians, such as members of the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra. One musician not credited was Dick Wagner, from Alice Cooper’s band, replacing Ace Frehley on the track “Sweet Pain”. Wagner also played the acoustic guitar found on the song “Beth”. The success of Alive! and Destroyer enabled the band to embark on their first tour of Europe.

Destroyer is known album. Every member has its merit here, and every track is enjoyable. Kiss managed to form one of the best band ever, combining the best of each, and Destroyer is clearly one of the best Kiss albums.

        Paul Stanley       Ace Frehley     Gene Simmons    Peter Criss