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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.

   
YouTube
YouTube

Ace Frehley and Gene Simmons Perform Live Together for the First Time in 16 Years

Ace Frehley joined his former bandmate and fellow co-founder of KISS last night at the benefit concert to support the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

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Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

KISS’ Gene Simmons Plays ‘Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?’

This is easily the most bizarre Wikipedia episode we’ve ever filmed.

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Rhino Entertainment
Rhino Entertainment

KISS’ Gene Simmons: ‘If I Could, I Would Trademark the Air You Breathe’

Just as ill will towards Gene Simmons for his trademark attempt of the 'I love you' hand sign was dissipating, the Demon of KISS has reopened Pandora’s Box.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
Loudwire
Loudwire

KISS’ Gene Simmons Shows Off His $2,000 ‘The Vault’ Box Set

Gene Simmons visited our studio with one of his 'Vault' box sets to show us all the intricate details of the $2,000 collection of his personal history.

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Rhino Entertainment
Rhino Entertainment

Gene Simmons to Celebrate 50 Years of Rock With ‘The Vault Experience’

Gene Simmons will be celebrating his 50 years in rock by personally hand delivering his upcoming box set 'The Vault' to fans around the world!

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
KISS
George De Soda, Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Gene Simmons + Ace Frehley to Perform Together for First Time in 16 Years for Upcoming Hurricane Harvey Benefit

An onstage reunion that's been a longtime coming.

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Casablanca Records
Casablanca Records

42 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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Paul Stanley
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

KISS’ Paul Stanley: ‘Charity Is Not an Option, It Is an Obligation’

Read excerpts from a new interview with Paul Stanley on his thoughts on giving back to veterans.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
KISS
Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

KISS’ Gene Simmons: ‘I Regret Nothing’ About Attempted ‘Horns’ Hand Gesture Trademark

Gene Simmons had some bold comments after saying he doesn't regret attempting to trademark a familiar "horns" hand gesture earlier this year.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
YouTube: KENS 5 / Joe Scarnici, Getty Images
YouTube: KENS 5 / Joe Scarnici, Getty Images

This Baby Calf Looks Exactly Like KISS’ Gene Simmons

KISS may have just found a new member… and this one can’t even make the 'I love you' sign, let alone try and trademark it.

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Category: News, Rock, Videos Tags: ,

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