When Paul Stanley brought “God of Thunder” to Kiss, he imagined he’d just presented the band with his own signature song.
But he experienced a moment of heartache when Bob Ezrin, who was producing the band’s 1976 album Destroyer, decided to give the song to Gene Simmons – and it became his signature song instead.
Asked in a recent interview with USA Today if he regretted the change of lead singer on the track, Stanley said, “I was devastated. I was broken. I brought the song in, and I thought it was this signature song for me. We brought in a producer for many reasons, and one of them was to be the tiebreaker between Gene and I, because there certainly were times where Gene and I were at odds.”
He continued: “So I played ‘God of Thunder,’ and Bob goes, ‘That’s great, Gene is singing it,’ and we go on to something else. And I’m just there shattered.” But Stanley didn’t remain in that mindset for too long. “In hindsight, it couldn’t have been a better move,” he said. “It’s such a character-defining song for Gene, and he did it so great. Sometimes you’re lucky to be wrong.”
Stanley’s demo version of “God of Thunder” was eventually released on the band’s self-titled 2001 box set and can be heard below.
Stanley also reflected on the impact of Destroyer, noting that “it was a real learning experience working with Bob Ezrin, because we were just kids from New York. He treated us like the idiots we were, but idiots with great potential. That album was pivotal for us.”
He added: “We came up with a cinematic album, something that sounds like an IMAX film. I’m very proud of it. It’s not a coincidence that our set list still contains more Destroyer songs than any other songs.”