Kiss

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Kiss were formed in Queens, New York (USA) in 1973. Often stylized 'KISS' they play rock, hard rock and 1980s hair/glam metal.

Easily identified by its members' face paint and flamboyant stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid to late 1970s on the basis of their elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits and pyrotechnics. Kiss has been awarded 24 gold albums to date. The band has sold more than 40 million albums in the United States, of which 19 million have been certified by the RIAA, and their worldwide sales exceeds 100 million albums.

Kiss trace their roots to Wicked Lester (2), a New York City-based rock and roll band led by co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Wicked Lester, with its eclectic mixture of musical styles, never achieved any success. They recorded one album, which was shelved by Epic Records, and played a handful of live shows. Simmons and Stanley, feeling that a new musical direction was needed, abandoned Wicked Lester in 1972 and began forming a new group.

In late 1972, Simmons and Stanley came across an ad in the East Coast version of Rolling Stone placed by Peter Criss, a veteran drummer from the New York club scene, who was previously in bands called Lips and Chelsea. Criss auditioned for and joined the new version of Wicked Lester. The trio focused on a much harder style of rock than Wicked Lester played. Inspired by the theatrics of Alice Cooper and the New York Dolls, they also began experimenting with their image by wearing makeup and various outfits.

In early January 1973, the group added lead guitarist Ace Frehley who impressed the group on his first audition, where he showed up wearing two different sneakers, one red and one orange. A few weeks after Frehley joined, the Wicked Lester name was dropped and the band became Kiss.

The 1973–80 lineup of Paul Stanley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Gene Simmons (vocals and bass guitar), Ace Frehley (lead guitar and vocals), and Peter Criss (drums, percussion and vocals) is the most successful and identifiable. With their makeup and costumes, they took on the personas of comic book-style characters: Starchild (Stanley), The Demon (Simmons), Spaceman or Space Ace (Frehley), and Catman (Criss). The band explains that the fans were the ones who ultimately chose their makeup designs. Paul Stanley became the "Starchild" because of his tendency to be referred to as the "starry-eyed lover" and "hopeless romantic." The "Demon" makeup reflected Simmons's cynicism and dark sense of humor, as well as his affection for comic books. Ace Frehley's "Spaceman" makeup was a reflection of his fondness for science fiction and supposedly being from another planet. Peter Criss's "Catman" makeup was in accordance with the belief that Criss had nine lives because of his rough childhood in Brooklyn. Because of creative differences, both Criss and Frehley left the group by 1982. The band's commercial fortunes also waned considerably by that point.

Buoyed by a wave of Kiss nostalgia in the 1990s, the band announced a reunion of the original lineup (with makeup) in 1996. The resulting Kiss Alive/Worldwide/Lost Cities/Reunion Tour was the top-grossing act of 1996 and 1997. Criss and Frehley have since left Kiss again and have been replaced by Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, respectively. The band continues to perform with makeup, while Stanley and Simmons have remained the only two constant members.

Kiss has been named on many lists. They include Number 10 on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock", 9th on "The Greatest Metal Bands" list by MTV, #1 on Hit Paraders's "Top 100 Live Bands", 56th on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists Of All Time" and 2nd on Digital Dream Door's "Best Hair Metal Bands".

Kiss was nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, ten years after becoming eligible. However, on December 15, 2009 it was announced that Kiss did not make it in.

The band's name – which is often spelled in all capital letters – has been rumored to have many secret meanings, among them an acronym for "Knights In Satan's Service" and "Kids In Satan's Service".

Because of the ambiguity in the distinction between "hard rock" and "heavy metal", Kiss' music has always been labeled one or the other. But shortly after the band's formation, critics called them "thunderockers". They also experimented in the disco/pop (Dynasty, Unmasked), art rock (Music from "The Elder") and grunge (Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions) styles. Their music is described by Allmusic as "a commercially potent mix of anthemic, fist-pounding hard rock, driven by sleek hooks and ballads powered by loud guitars, cloying melodies, and sweeping strings. It was a sound that laid the groundwork for both arena rock and the pop-metal that dominated rock in the late 80s."
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Albums

Kiss - Kiss album art Kiss Kiss (Album) Casablanca Canada 1974 Sell This Version
Kiss - Hotter Than Hell album art Kiss Hotter Than Hell (Album) Casablanca US 1974 Sell This Version
Kiss - Alive! album art Kiss Alive! (Album) Casablanca US 1975 Sell This Version
Kiss - Dressed To Kill album art Kiss Dressed To Kill (Album) Casablanca Australia 1975 Sell This Version
NBLP 7020 Kiss - Alive! album art Kiss Alive!(LP, Club) Casablanca NBLP 7020 US 1975 Sell This Version
Cass.28533 Kiss - Alive! album art Kiss Alive!(2xCass, Album) Casablanca Cass.28533 Ecuador 1975 Sell This Version
Kiss - Rock And Roll Over album art Kiss Rock And Roll Over (Album) Casablanca Scandinavia 1976 Sell This Version
Kiss - Destroyer album art Kiss Destroyer (Album) Casablanca Canada 1976 Sell This Version
NBLP 7025 Kiss - Destroyer album art Kiss Destroyer(LP, Album) Casablanca NBLP 7025 US 1976 Sell This Version
Kiss - Alive II album art Kiss Alive II (Album, Comp) Casablanca, Casablanca US 1977 Sell This Version
Kiss - Love Gun album art Kiss Love Gun (Album) Casablanca, Casablanca US 1977 Sell This Version
NBLP 7006 Kiss - Hotter Than Hell album art Kiss Hotter Than Hell(LP, Album) Casablanca NBLP 7006 US 1977 Sell This Version
NBL8 7076 Kiss - Alive II album art Kiss Alive II(8-Trk, Album) Casablanca NBL8 7076 Canada 1977 Sell This Version
Kiss - Peter Criss album art Kiss, Peter Criss Kiss, Peter Criss - Peter Criss (Album) Casablanca Canada 1978 Sell This Version
Kiss - Gene Simmons album art Kiss Gene Simmons (Album) Casablanca Germany 1978 Sell This Version
Kiss - Ace Frehley album art Kiss, Ace Frehley Kiss, Ace Frehley - Ace Frehley (Album) Casablanca Hong Kong 1978 Sell This Version
Kiss - Paul Stanley album art Kiss, Paul Stanley Kiss, Paul Stanley - Paul Stanley (Album) Casablanca US 1978 Sell This Version
Kiss - Double Platinum album art Kiss Double Platinum (Album, Comp) Casablanca Taiwan 1978 Sell This Version
Kiss - Dynasty album art Kiss Dynasty (Album) Casablanca Netherlands 1979 Sell This Version
Cass.28522 Kiss - Dynasty album art Kiss Dynasty(Cass, Album) Casablanca Cass.28522 Ecuador 1979 Sell This Version
LP-28506 Kiss - Rock And Roll Over album art Kiss Rock And Roll Over(LP, Album) Casablanca LP-28506 Ecuador 1979 Sell This Version
Kiss - Unmasked album art Kiss Unmasked (Album) Casablanca Mexico 1980 Sell This Version
Cass. 28528 Kiss - Unmasked album art Kiss Unmasked(Cass, Album) Casablanca Cass. 28528 Ecuador 1980 Sell This Version
Kiss - (Music From) The Elder album art Kiss (Music From) The Elder (Album) Casablanca Singapore 1981 Sell This Version
Kiss - Creatures Of The Night album art Kiss Creatures Of The Night (Album) Casablanca, Polygram Records Guatemala 1982 Sell This Version

Reviews Show All 14 Reviews

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p34semm

p34semm

December 5, 2017
edited about 1 year ago
I think with KISS you have to remember what they were not the who they are now. First 8 albums are superb. But I understand if people don’t like them. I’d love to have been around when they first broke onto the scene. When I got in rock at 14 in 1989 KISS were a bit naff. But man, those first albums are sweeeeet.
Aussie_Joe

Aussie_Joe

October 8, 2017
When KISS first appeared in 1974 people either loved them, fanatically, or hated them, equally strongly. Nothing has changed in 43 years. I love them.
DannyVanEechaute

DannyVanEechaute

March 14, 2017
http://www.odo.be/kisspicturedisc.htm is an Belgium extensive, non commercial record collection website.
LPWJ

LPWJ

February 16, 2017
The only band that broke Beatles concert records, that's a big thing for my generation

Gene Simmons quotes are words to live by, like don't take crap from anyone, better than what they teach in school

Finally they're back to their roots with Monster at their 40th anniversary

Be well,
LPWJ
TabloidWeasel

TabloidWeasel

November 27, 2016
This may be an unpopular opinion but I always thought Kiss were just okay at best. Albums like Destroyer, Love Gun, and the debut are fine but nothing spectacular. However, Creatures of the Night is the closest to a really good album to me since it's their most metallic-sounding album. Sadly, they can't be taken seriously anymore today as they treat their name like a big brand and don't get me started on the loudmouth that is Gene Simmons.
blackplastik

blackplastik

May 13, 2016
IMO the greatest american Rock band of all-time. I could talk about KISS all day long, everything from the makeup to the non-makeup, pop tracks, metal, glam and yes even disco. The member changes and the marketing (ie Toys and merch)
drosike

drosike

August 23, 2013
Can we put all them Live Kiss shows on their own section??? Misc. could work. Same goes for Metallica, Dream Theater, Fugazi and all them bands that do that.

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