Kiss

Christine Sixteen

Composed by Gene Simmons

Song Review by

Although he is best known for lusty rockers like "Calling Dr. Love," Gene Simmons is skilled enough as a songwriter to tackle other pop genres. A good example of this skill is "Christine Sixteen," a poppy tune that Simmons penned as an homage to Paul Stanley's lovey-dovey songwriting style. After hearing Stanley's intention to write a song called "Christine Sixteen," he quickly put pen to paper to beat him to the punch (Stanley had pulled the same trick on Simmons in 1973 by stealing the title "Black Diamond" from him). What Simmons created was an endearingly juvenile love ode that paid tribute to the charms of an idealized teen queen: "She drives me crazy/I want to give her all I have/And she's hot every day and night/There is no doubt about it/Christine Sixteen." The music enhances the tongue-in-cheek tone of the lyrics with a hook-laden pop melody that pairs percolating verse melodies that shift high and low in a bouncy fashion with a singalong chorus that uses elongated notes to turn the title phrase into ear candy. Kiss' recording of "Christine Sixteen" lays on the pop gloss by starting the song with a pounding single-note piano line and also adding candy-sweet vocal harmonies on the chorus. However, it doesn't abandon hard rock entirely: a thick bass line pulses ominously beneath the piano lines, Peter Criss' drumming lends the song a stomping backbeat, and Ace Frehley unleashes a few carefully controlled bursts of electric guitar. Simmons caps the song with a fun vocal that abandons his usual growl for a surprisingly effective pop croon and also works in a breathy, spoken-word bridge that is a perfect parody of this lovesick pop convention. This stylish treatment made "Christine Sixteen" a tidy slice of pop-metal that earned a respectable Top 30 ranking on the pop charts. It remains a favorite with Kiss fans and was faithfully covered by the Gin Blossoms on Kiss My Ass.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Love Gun 1977 Universal 3:13
Alive II 1977 Mercury 2:45
No Image 1977 Fan
No Image 1994 Polygram
Greatest Kiss 1997 Def Jam / Island / Mercury 3:15
The Box Set 2001 Mercury / Universal 3:14
The Very Best of Kiss 2002 Island / Mercury 3:14
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Kiss 2003 Universal Strategic Marketing 3:06
Gold: 1974-1982 - Sound+Vision 2004 Universal 3:13
Instant Live: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - Virginia Beach, VA, 07/25/04 2004 Instant Live (Ryko) 3:49
Rock the Nation: Live 2005 Image Entertainment
KISSology: The Ultimate Kiss Collection, Vol. 1: 1974-1977 2006 VH1 Classic Records
Kiss Alive! 1975-2000 2006 Island / Universal 2:46
KISSology: The Ultimate Kiss Collection, Vol. 3: 1992-2000 2007 Eagle Vision
The Best of Kiss: Green Series 2008 Strategic Marketing / Universal International 3:15
The Complete Collection 2008 Mercury / Island / Universal 3:13
Playlist Your Way 2008 Island 3:12
KISSology 2008 Sony BMG 2:59
IKONS 2008 Digital / Mercury 3:14
Kissology: The Ultimate Kiss Collection, Vols. 1-3 2009 Def Star
Legends of Rock 2009 Strategic Marketing / Universal Import 3:15
Sonic Boom 2009 Roadrunner Records 2:58
Icon 2 2010 Island / Mercury 3:13
The Casablanca Singles: 1974-1982 2012 Mercury 3:14
Kiss 40 Years: Decades of Decibels 2014 Universal
Instant Live: Cricket Pavilion - Phoenix, AZ, 06/18/04 Instant Live (Ryko) 3:02
Instant Live: DTE Energy Music Theatre - Clarkston, MI, 06/30/04 Instant Live (Ryko) 8:14
Instant Live: Darien Lake Pac - Darien Center, NY, 07/14/04 Instant Live (Ryko) 8:06
Instant Live: Germain Amphitheatre - Columbus, OH, 07/10/04 Instant Live (Ryko) 8:18
Instant Live: Hershey Park Pavilion - Hershey, PA, 07/18/04 Instant Live (Ryko) 7:08
Instant Live: Riverbend Music Center - Cincinnati, OH, 07/11/04 Instant Live (Ryko) 7:19
Instant Live: Smirnoff Music Centre - Dallas, TX, 06/11/04 Instant Live (Ryko) 3:18
Instant Live: Trump Taj Mahal - Atlantic City, NJ, 07/17/04 Instant Live (Ryko) 7:58
Instant Live: Tweeter Waterfront - Camden, NJ,  07/13/04 Instant Live (Ryko) 7:46
Instant Live: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - Bonner Springs, KS, 06/27/04 Instant Live (Ryko) 8:11
Instant Live: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - Irvine, CA, 06/19/04 Instant Live (Ryko) 4:21
Instant Live: Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - Charlotte, NC, 07/28/04 Instant Live (Ryko) 7:10
blue highlight denotes editor's pick