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Kiss

Kiss

KISS

Kiss may not be the most respected, nor even the most musically accomplished among rock’s best-selling recording artists, but they might just be the most iconic and, in their own way, influential bands (and brands) in history. Still, despite their signature makeup, flashy wardrobe, and meticulously orchestrated on-stage extravaganzas, Kiss initially struggled to gain commercial traction during the first half of the ’70s. But their dedicated touring regimen duly paid off with the platinum breakthrough of 1975’s ‘Alive,’ which, along with numerous subsequent studio triumphs, transformed band members Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss into universal masked celebrities, verging on superheroes in the eyes of impressionable young fans by 1978. But just as suddenly, growing internal strife, dwindling musical inspiration, and sheer overexposure (a result of their aggressive merchandising tactics) knocked Kiss off their lofty pedestal and left them struggling to remain relevant as the ’80s got under way. As a last resort, Kiss abandoned their signature makeup with 1983’s ‘Lick it Up’ and thus managed to align themselves with the legion of hair metal bands dominating the period — many of whom had cut their teeth on their records and especially Ace Frehley’s straightforward solos, before graduating to the virtuoso examples of Edward Van Halen or Randy Rhoads. And, like all of those bands, Kiss too endured the grunge era’s vicious backlash, by which time the core duo of Simmons and Stanley were themselves at odds about Kiss’ creative direction, while long-serving drummer Eric Carr faced a rare form of cancer that would eventually kill him in 1991. So, after attempting to fit in with the flannel flyers via 1992’s rather decent ‘Revenge’ LP, Simmons and Stanley got to work orchestrating a rekindling of their long-broken relationship with founding members Frehley and Criss for what would turn into a full-scale reunion — in makeup — including extensive late ‘90s tours and 1998’s ‘Psycho Circus’ LP. Both Criss and Frehley eventually fell afoul of their bandmates/taskmasters yet again, but that has in no way stopped or even slowed down the Kiss marketing machine. Instead, Criss and Frehley’s instantly recognizable makeup designs were simply applied to new members Eric Singer (drums) and Tommy Thayer (guitar) and Kiss has continued to perform before millions of fans, too young (or, in some cases, over it) to care — thus proving that the four characters devised long ago are truly bigger than the men who wear them.

   
Theo Wargo, Getty Images
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

KISS’ Gene Simmons Gives Up Pursuit to Trademark Rock Hand Gesture

Following backlash from musical peers and even a university president, Gene Simmons has withdrawn an application to patent the hand gesture.

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Category: Metal, News, Rock Tags: ,
Peter Criss (KISS)
Mike Pont, Getty Images

Watch Peter Criss’ Final U.S. Performance Onstage

See the 71-year-old rocker perform his classics like 'Beth' and 'I Can't Stop the Rain.'

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Category: News, Rock, Videos Tags: ,
23rd Annual Race To Erase MS Gala - Show
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Gene Simmons: ‘The People Are Gonna Have to Decide’ on Immigration Policy Stance

Gene Simmons offers his thoughts on recent terrorist acts and the potential for an immigration ban.

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Category: News, Rock, Videos Tags: ,
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Occult Rock Act Coven Threaten to Sue Gene Simmons If He Trademarks Rock Hand Gesture

Occult rock veterans Coven have responded to Gene Simmons' attempt to trademark a classic hand sign associated with rock music.

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Category: Metal, News, Rock Tags: , ,
Gustavo Caballero
Gustavo Caballero

KISS’ Gene Simmons Seeks to Trademark Familiar Rock Hand Gesture

KISS' Gene Simmons has filed a trademark application for a familiar rock music hand gesture.

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Paul Kane, Getty Images
Paul Kane, Getty Images

Paul Stanley’s KISS Stage Banter Turned Into Snaked EDM Track

Listen as you'll hear Paul Stanley's stage banter with KISS turned into a new EDM track from Snaked.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
23rd Annual Race To Erase MS Gala - Show
Getty Images for Race To Erase MS

Gene Simmons: Kiss Have ‘A Few More Years’ Left

Ahead of a Kiss performance in Scotland on Saturday, Gene Simmons says that when it comes to the future of the band, "When we think it's time to go, we'll go."

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
Joe Scarnici, Getty Images
Joe Scarnici, Getty Images

KISS Cancel Manchester Show After Recent Terror Attack

KISS are calling off their performance at the Manchester Arena on May 30 after the recent terror attack at the venue.

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Category: Concerts, News, Rock Tags:
23rd Annual Race To Erase MS Gala - Show
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Gene Simmons to Release ‘On Power’ Book, Has One New ‘Anthemic’ KISS Song Written

Gene Simmons will have a new book out in November and he's written one new KISS song, but is 'not incentivized' to release a proper album.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
Paul Stanley (KISS)
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

KISS’ Paul Stanley Reveals Plans for New Book To Follow Up ‘Face the Music’

KISS' Paul Stanley reveals he's been taking meetings about a follow-up to his 2014 book, 'Face the Music: A Life Exposed.'

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,

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