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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.

   
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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Loudwire
Loudwire

Kiss Albums Ranked

See how we ranked Kiss' albums from weakest to strongest.

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Gene Simmons Falls Down
YouTube: Charlie Mulluk

KISS’ Gene Simmons Falls Down Onstage in Montana

KISS bassist Gene Simmons took a hard fall onstage in Montana.

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

KISS’ Gene Simmons Chimes in on Disabling Smartphone Cameras at Concerts

KISS bassist Gene Simmons has offered his thoughts on the new Apple patent that could disable the ability to take still images and record video at concerts.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
Photo: Melina Dellamarggio
Photo: Melina Dellamarggio

KISS Celebrate the Fourth of July With Explosive Show in Arizona

What better way to celebrate the United States’ birthday than with KISS?

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Category: Concerts, Exclusive, News, Pictures, Rock Tags:
eOne / Photo by Dove Shore
eOne / Photo by Dove Shore

‘A Lesson in KISStory’ With Ace Frehley: An Album-by-Album Retrospective

In this 20-minute interview, we go through every KISS album Ace Frehley was a part of, along with all the ups and downs he experienced along the way.

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Kiss Gene Simmons
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

KISS’ Gene Simmons Brings African Foster Son to U.S. For Surgery

KISS' Gene Simmons has invited foster son Zinnah Sambolah from Africa to the U.S. while he undergoes surgery on his leg.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: ,
Photo: Jay Gilbert
Photo: Jay Gilbert

Paul Stanley Shoots Down Ace Frehley Rejoining KISS; ‘There Is Just the Joy and Satisfaction in Reconnecting’

Paul Stanley guested on Ace Frehley's covers album, but insists Frehley won't be rejoining KISS, though he is grateful for the opportunity to reconnect.

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Category: News, Rock Tags: , ,
YouTube / Lip Sync Battle on Spike
YouTube / Lip Sync Battle on Spike

Watch CeeLo Green + Mini-KISS Deliver ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’ on ‘Lip Sync Battle’

CeeLo Green invited Mini-KISS to join him for a performance of 'Rock and Roll All Nite' on Spike's 'Lip Sync Battle.'

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Category: News, Rock, Videos Tags:

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