KISS founder member and singer/ guitarist Paul Stanleyrecently recalled how he was front and center when it came to popularizing the concept of the rock anthem after the success of the bands classic track“Rock and Roll All Nite.”
Written for the bands 1975 album Dressed to Kill, Paul at the time was encouraged to create something iconic by his record label.
Paul explained to Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show: “When I started writing ‘Rock and Roll All Nite,’ there was no such thing as a rock anthem,” adding: “Afterward, it became really the norm for bands to have a song that kind of epitomized their point of view and the fans’. But it was fairly uncommon. … Neil Bogart, who was president of Casablanca Records at the time, said, ‘You guys need an anthem.’ And it was like, ‘Huh? What do you mean, an anthem?’ The example that he used was a Sly and the Family Stone song, ‘I Want to Take You Higher’ … and I went, ‘Ah! Okay, I got it.’”
Following the conversation, Stanley got back to his room at the Hyatt House hotel on Sunset Boulevard, a place that was notoriously known as the “Riot House” and by the way, Kiss were later “gloriously” banned for life. Stanley added: “I remember going into my room with my guitar, and sitting for a little while – and just like it was meant to be, just going, ‘I wanna rock and roll all night, and party every day,’” he said. “I went and knocked on Gene Simmons’s door and said, ‘What do you think of this?’ He said, ‘That’s really cool. I have a song called “Drive Me Wild.”’ That had the verses … and we put them together.”
As you can imagine, Paul and Gene didn’t realize the classic they’d written until several months after the single had been released. Paul said: “So help me, it wasn’t until Kiss Alive came out that I saw, ‘Jeez, this is truly becoming the rock ‘n’ roll national anthem.’”