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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.

   
Kevin Winter, Getty Images (2)
Kevin Winter, Getty Images (2)

N.W.A.’s MC Ren Calls Gene Simmons + KISS ‘A Gimmick’

MC Ren has called Gene Simmons and KISS 'a gimmick' as the two sides continue to exchange words regarding N.W.A's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
YouTube: AceFrehleyVEVO
YouTube: AceFrehleyVEVO

Ace Frehley Releases Music Video for ‘Fire and Water’ Cover With KISS’ Paul Stanley

Ace Frehley's music video for the cover of 'Fire and Water' features KISS' Paul Stanley, marking the first time they've appeared in a video together since 1998.

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Larry Busacca / Scott Gries, Getty Images
Larry Busacca / Scott Gries, Getty Images

Ace Frehley Recalls Crazy Weekend of Debauchery at Dimebag’s House [Exclusive Video]

KISS legend Ace Frehley remembers getting pleasured by a 'hooker' at Pantera legend Dimebag Darrell's house during a weekend of debauchery.

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Ben Gabbe, Getty Images
Ben Gabbe, Getty Images

KISS Legend Ace Frehley Plays ‘Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?’ (Part 3)

For someone like Ace Frehley, who has a career which spans multiple decades, there’s always something else to question in Wikipedia’s catacombs.

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YouTube: heli0tr0pe
YouTube: heli0tr0pe

KISS Perform as Trio as Paul Stanley Undergoes Surgery for Torn Bicep

KISS were forced to perform as a trio at the Race to Erase MS benefit show when frontman Paul Stanley underwent surgery to repair a torn bicep.

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Category: News, Rock, Videos Tags: ,
Loudwire
Loudwire

KISS Legend Ace Frehley Learns He Didn’t Win a Grammy [Exclusive Video]

KISS have only received a single Grammy nomination, but don’t tell that to Ace Frehley!

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Theo Wargo / Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
Theo Wargo / Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Ice Cube: Gene Simmons ‘Just Wrong’ About Rap Artists in Rock Hall

N.W.A.'s Ice Cube continued the debate over rap acts in the Rock Hall, calling KISS' Gene Simmons 'just wrong' in his stance against it.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images / Theo Wargo, Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images / Theo Wargo, Getty Images

KISS’ Gene Simmons Called Out for Rap Criticism By N.W.A. in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Speech

Gene Simmons recently stated 'rap will die' and MC Ren of N.W.A. had some words for the KISS icon during his acceptance speech at the Rock Hall of Fame.

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Kiss
Mary Ouellette, SheWillShootYou.com

KISS Announce Dates for ‘Freedom To Rock’ 2016 U.S. Tour

The mighty KISS will be back on the road this summer, taking part in the 'Freedom To Rock' U.S. tour.

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Category: Concerts, News, Rock Tags:
Gene Simmons
Jim Dyson, Getty Images

KISS’ Gene Simmons: Using Classic Era Makeup With New Members ‘Was the Right Decision’

Though it has ruffled the feathers of some fans, KISS' Gene Simmons says it was the right decision to continue using classic era makeup with new members.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,

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