With our top ten Kix songs we are looking at an underrated glam metal band whose main period of success was throughout the 1980’s and who hail from Maryland. Before being signed, they performed covers of bands who influenced them such as Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin. They were originally active from 1977 to 1996 and have been back together ever since reforming in 2003. They have produced seven albums in total. During their eighties heyday, what is considered to be the classic line-up was made up frontman Steve Whiteman, bassist Donnie Purnell, drummer Jimmy “Chocolate” Chalfant and guitarists Ronnie “10/10” Younkins and Brain “Damage” Forsythe.
When they first formed in 1977 they were initially called The Shooze. They were formed by Purnell and Younkins. They were soon joined by Forsythe, Whiteman and Chalfant. After signing with Atlantic, they released their self-titled debut in 1981. The album established a tongue-in-cheek lyrical concept that stayed with the band throughout their career. This was followed by Cool Kids in 1983. This album was more commercial in nature and contained three cover songs. This was the only album to feature Brad Divens who replaced Younkins until he returned for the next record. Their third album Midnight Dynamite was released in 1985. With this album they were attempting to go back to the sound of the first record and enlisted producer Beau Hill who would later work with Warrant and Ratt.
They started to gain more commercial success with the release of their fourth album Blow My Fuse in 1988 which featured the ballad “Don’t Close Your Eyes” which got to number eleven on the Billboard. This was followed by Hot Wire in 1991. This album did not sell as well and thus ended their biggest period of commercial success.1995 would see the release the last album of their initial time together which was titled $how Bu$$ine$$. This album sold very poorly due to the band’s style being outdated at that point due to the grunge movement, During their time apart all of the members worked with several different other projects. They reformed in 2003 without Donnie Purnell. In 2004 they played a series of shows with a line-up consisting of both old and new members. In 2012 they signed with Frontiers Records and in 2013 announced that they would be releasing a new album. The album, titled Rock Your Face Off was released in 2014.The band have continued to be active as touring act ever since. Here is a list of their ten best songs.
# 10 – Girl Money
Kicking off our top ten Kix songs list is this track that owes just a little debt to one of their main influences: AC/DC. It is taken from 1991’s Hot Wire album and was released as a single from it. Upon its release, the album peaked at number sixty-four on the Billboard 200. It did not sell as well as the previous album Blow My Fuse.
# 9 – Scarlet Fever
Next up we have a song taken from the band’s third album released in 1985 titled Midnite Dynamite. Out of the ten songs featured on the record, seven of them were written by Purnell along with hit songwriter Bob Halligan Jr who has also worked with Kiss and Judas Priest. This song is one of them.
# 8 – Blow My Fuse
Here we have the title track from the fourth Kix album released in 1988. It was written by Donnie Purnell and was the third of five singles to be released from the album. Here the band sound like what could best be described as a hair metal version of AC/DC. The album got to forty -six on the Billboard 200.
# 7- Cool Kids
This next track on our Kix Songs list is the title track of the second Kix album released in 1983. The album reached 177 on the Billboard charts and showed a more commercial direction than their debut album. It was also the first Kix record to enlist the use of outside songwriters. The song is actually one of several cover songs on the album, with the original being recorded by Franne Gold on her 1980 album Restless.
# 6 – Cold Blood
Here is another track taken from Blow My Fuse. It was another single taken from the record. Although it is a very good track and a classic example of commercial eighties hair metal, unfortunately it completely failed to chart, much like a lot of the band’s singles. It was written by Donnie Purnell along with Taylor Rhodes.
# 5 – The Itch
Kicking off the second half of this list we go back to Kix’s self-titled debut released in 1981 with one of its singles. The sound here is rather different to what the band would become known for. It is much lighter in tone and does not have that anthemic style of the later records. Although it has the AC/DC vibe, it is not very heavy at all.
# 4 – Midnite Dynamite
And here we have the opening title track from third album. It is another of the seven songs that Donnie Purnell wrote with Bob Halligan Jr. It is a classic piece of 1980’s anthemic rock that is reminiscent of other bands who were around at the time such as Motley Crue and Dokken. It was also released as a single and failed to chart.
# 3 – Get It While It’s Hot
At number three we have another song from Blow My Fuse. Here is yet another song where the band’s AC/DC influence is very evident. The riff to this song has a particular similarity to “You Shook Me All Night Long.” This song was written by Donnie Purnell along with Phillip Brown and Crack The Sky frontman John Palumbo.
# 2 – Mean Miss Adventure
Just off the top spot we have a song from the most recent Kix album Rock Your Face Off released in 2014. This album was their first for nineteen years since Show Business in 1995. Donnie Purnell did not rejoin the band for this album and he is replaced by Mark Schenker. It got to number forty-eight on the Billboard, making it their second highest charting album after Blow My Fuse. It also topped the Amazon charts and remained there for four weeks.
# 1 – Don’t Close Your Eyes
At the top spot we have this power ballad taken from Blow My Fuse which was written by Purnell, Bob Halligan Jr. and John Palumbo. To this day it is their most successful release, peaking at number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100. It is their only ever top forty hit, which has led to the band being classed as a one hit wonder.
Top 10 Kix Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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