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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.

   
Frederick M. Brown / Drew Angerer, Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown / Drew Angerer, Getty Images

KISS ‘Politely Decline’ Offer To Play Donald Trump’s Inauguration

KISS will not be performing at Donald Trump's inauguration, but Gene Simmons' family members offered conflicting reasons as to why the band won't be there.

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Category: News, Rock Tags:
YouTube
YouTube

KISS Rock ‘The Voice’ Finale With Winner Sundance Head

Watch as the members of KISS play 'Detroit Rock City' and 'Rock and Roll All Nite' with The Voice winner Sundance Head.

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Category: News, Rock, Videos Tags:
Gus Griesinger of www.backstageaxxess.com
Gus Griesinger of www.backstageaxxess.com

Ace Frehley: Rejoining KISS for Tour ‘Could Be Great’ if Handled Properly

Ace Frehley spoke with Eddie Trunk about the rumors of him rejoining KISS and the guitarist remains open to the possibility.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
Casablanca Records
Casablanca Records

40 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

35 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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Official KISS Expo
Official KISS Expo

KISS Expo Takes Over Tokyo, Japan [Photo Gallery]

Check out a photo gallery of the KISS Expo in Tokyo, Japan.

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Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Report: Gene Simmons + Paul Stanley Owned Arena Football Team L.A. KISS Folds

Reports have surfaced that the Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley owned arena football team the L.A. KISS have folded, following a league-wide trend.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: , ,
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

KISS’ Gene Simmons Joins X Japan Onstage to Play ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’

Gene Simmons was a surprise guest at the first night of the Visual Japan Summit, joining X Japan onstage to play the KISS classic 'Rock and Roll All Nite.'

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

KISS’ Paul Stanley on Music Streaming Revenue: Artists Don’t Get What They Deserve

KISS frontman Paul Stanley has said artists don't get what they deserve from streaming services like Spotify.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
KISS 1975
Casablanca Records

41 Years Ago: Kiss Release the Game-Changing Concert Album ‘Alive!’

On Sept. 10, 1975, KISS set a new standard for live albums with the release of their 'Alive!' album.

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