Kiss

Christine Sixteen

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 Mercury / Casablanca 3:14
Greatest Kiss 1997 Mercury 3:14
The Box Set 2001 Mercury / Universal Distribution 3:14
The Very Best of Kiss 2002 UTV / Universal Distribution 3:14
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Kiss 2003 Mercury 0:00
Gold: 1974-1982 - Sound+Vision 2004 Mercury 3:15
Gold 2005 Mercury 3:06
Playlist Plus 2008 Mercury 0:00
The Best of Kiss: Green Series 2008 Universal International
Classics 2008 Mercury / Island / Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal 3:13
The Complete Collection 2008 Mercury / Island / Universal 3:13
Playlist Your Way 2008 Island 3:12
Legends of Rock 2009 Strategic Marketing / Universal 3:15
Sonic Boom 2009 Kiss Records / Warner Music 2:58
Icon 2010 Island / Mercury 3:12
Icon 2 2010 Island / Mercury 3:13
The Casablanca Singles: 1974-1982 2012 Mercury 3:14
5 Classic Albums 2013 Island / Mercury 0:00
No Image 2013 Def Jam / Island 3:06
Kiss 40 Years: Decades of Decibels 2014 Universal 3:11
Kissworld: The Best of Kiss 2017 Mercury / UMOD 3:12