Today is former and orignal Kiss drummer Peter Criss' birthday. I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge Criss' birthday since I have been a huge fan of the band for years (Have you seen my office?)

Born George Peter John Criscuola on December 20th, 1945, Criss served as drummer for the band in the early 70's through 1980, again from 1996-2000, and one last time from 2002 - 2004. His fiery attitude along with the fact that he seemed to have nine lives, made the Catman makeup and persona a perfect fit for Criss.

Peter Criss served more than just the drummer for Kiss. The band scored big with some of his lead vocal efforts including one of their biggest hits of all time, "Beth" from 1976's "Destroyer" album. Other Criss lead vocal Kiss hits and concert favorites include "Hard Luck Woman," "Nothing to Lose," "Black Diamond," "Dirty Livin," and "Strange Ways" among others.

My top Kiss album suggestions which feature Peter Criss lead vocals are as follows:

Kiss - 1974 (key tracks include "Nothing To Lose" and "Black Diamond")

Hotter Than Hell -1974 (key tracks include "Mainline" and "Strange Ways")

Dressed To Kill - 1975 (key track includes "Getaway")

Destroyer - 1976 (key track includes "Beth")

Rock and Roll Over - 1976 (key tracks include "Hard Luck Woman" and "Baby Driver")

Love Gun -1977 (key track includes "Hooligan") 

Dynasty - 1979 (key track includes "Dirty Livin")

Psycho Circus - 1998 (key track includes "I Finally Found My Way")

...and you can't forget about "Alive" and "Alive II" (I love his bass drum sound on "Larger Than Life" from Alive II).

Happy Birthday Peter Criss and Merry KISSmas!

Mike Pont