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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.

   
Ace Frehley
eOne Music

Ace Frehley Recruits All-Star Lineup, Including Paul Stanley, for Covers Album ‘Origins Vol. 1′

Ace Frehley's 'Origins Vol. 1' features an all-star lineup of musicians including KISS’ Paul Stanley, who hasn’t recorded with Ace in nearly 20 years.

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YouTube: Logan Robot
YouTube: Logan Robot

KISS Perform Acoustic Song With 12-Year-Old Drummer

KISS drummer Eric Singer brought up a 12-year-old drummer to perform with the band at an acoustic meet and greet event and he tore through a KISS classic.

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Category: News, Rock, Videos Tags:
Loudwire
Loudwire

10 Unforgettable Gene Simmons Moments

With over 40 years of KISStory already in the books, bassist / vocalist Gene Simmons has given us plenty of unforgettable moments.

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Facebook: Children's Hospital of Nevada
Facebook: Children's Hospital of Nevada

Gene Simmons Makes KISS Fan’s Final Wish Come True

Gene Simmons flew to the Children's Hospital of Nevada to make a mega-fan's dream come true, bringing signed memorabilia and hanging out with the fan.

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Paul Kane / Jo Hale, Getty Images
Paul Kane / Jo Hale, Getty Images

Gene Simmons Says David Bowie ‘Refused to Stand Still and Look Over His Shoulder’

Gene Simmons made an appearance on CNN to discuss the legacy of David Bowie and how the influential musician did things his own way.

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KISS Def Leppard
Paul Kane / David Becker, Getty Images

KISS + Def Leppard to Headline Inaugural Moonstone Music Festival in Orlando

The Moonlight Music Festival will launch in 2016 with KISS and Def Leppard headlining.

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YouTube / NBA
YouTube / NBA

Watch KISS’ Paul Stanley Perform the National Anthem at a San Antonio Spurs Game

The KISS vocalist delivered the National Anthem prior to Friday's (Dec. 11) San Antonio Spurs - Los Angeles Lakers game in San Antonio.

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Category: News, Rock, Videos Tags: ,
Figures Toy Company
Figures Toy Company

See the New Blood-Spitting KISS Gene Simmons Action Figure

Check out the new blood-spitting Gene Simmons 'demon' action figure.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
Casablanca
Casablanca

39 Years Ago: Kiss Crank It Up With ‘Rock And Roll Over’

KISS released 'Rock and Roll Over' on Nov. 11, 1976. Revisit one of the band's hallmark albums and the story behind it.

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Casablanca Records
Casablanca Records

34 Years Ago: Kiss Hit Rock Bottom With ‘Music From the Elder’

On Nov. 10, 1981, KISS served up one of the bigger missteps of their career with the 'Music From the Elder' album.

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