5. Kiss - 'Alive!'
To really understand the power of Kiss, you have to see them live. They built their reputation on the road, breathing fire, spitting blood and hovering above the audience on wires. Nobody had ever seen anything like it. (Unless, that is, they'd seen Alice Cooper a few years earlier.) Their songs were also light years better onstage than on record, so they made the smart decision to tape a bunch of gigs in mid-1975. In typical Kiss fashion, they hedged their bets by doctoring the tapes in the studio afterwards. Today, nobody is quite sure what parts of Alive! were actually taped live. It hardly matters. The album was a monster success. It flew off the shelves and instantly made them one of the biggest bands in the world. Kiss gets a lot of shit these days. Much of it is deserved, but it's hard to deny that songs like "Cold Gin," "Deuce" and "Black Diamond" are classics. They've never sounded better than they did on Alive!