In a new interview, KISS rocker Paul Stanley weighed in on the best and worst albums he's made throughout his career. But his answers may not come as a surprise to longtime KISS fans.

That's because the musician's responses prove that Stanley recognizes some of the overzealous creative turns KISS made in the early 1980s didn't exactly go over gangbusters with all KISS fans.

Stanley's reflections come the month after KISS introduced their new digital era at their "End of the Road" farewell tour finale in New York in December 2023. Subsequently, fellow KISS figurehead Gene Simmons has already promised that KISS' virtual avatars will "get better."

But that's neither here nor there for the purposes of this article. For now, what does Paul Stanley think are the best and worst records he's made?

Best Record Paul Stanley Made

"We constructed the ultimate KISS album and the ultimate live album in KISS Alive! [1975]" Stanley tells Classic Rock when asked for the best record he has made. "We wanted to immerse you in the audience at a KISS show," he explains.

Bryan Rolli, UCR
Bryan Rolli, Ultimate Classic Rock

Indeed, "to hear the noise of people around you, for the explosions to be as loud as if you were there" was part of the appeal. "And as soon as that album came out, it flew out of the stores," Stanley adds.

Worst Record Paul Stanley Made

As for the worst? "There are two," the musician answers. "[The KISS studio albums] Unmasked [1980] and Music From 'The Elder' [1981]."

Stanley continues, "Unmasked was tepid and had no balls to it. Actually, the band at that point probably had no balls to it either. 'The Elder' was a misguided attempt at impressing people who we shouldn't have been trying to impress — the critics — while forgetting the people we should impress, the fans."

KISS Unmasked and "The Elder"

Indeed, Unmasked and Elder are often considered some of KISS' more divisive albums. Unmasked marked a departure from the hard rock sound that characterized early KISS, venturing into more pop and commercial rock territory.

READ MORE: KISS Albums Ranked

Elder was an even more drastic departure as a concept album with orchestration, narrative elements and a more progressive rock style.

Both albums suffered from the band trying to experiment and move away from their established style, which didn't always resonate with listeners.

Get Loudwire's newsletter and the Loudwire app for rock and metal news daily. Loudwire merch is at

KISS, "The Oath" (1981)

25 Rock Stars Who Are Grandparents

Here is a gallery of rock stars who are grandparents.

Gallery Credit: Philip Trapp

More From Loudwire