Kiss (often styled as KISS) is an American hard rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. Well known for its members' face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid-to-late 1970s with their elaborate live performances--which featured fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics. The band has gone through multiple lineup changes, with Stanley and Simmons the only remaining original members. Counting the 1978 solo albums, Kiss has been awarded 30 gold albums to date, the most of any American band. The band has sold more than 40 million albums in the United States, of which 25 million have been certified by the RIAA and their worldwide sales exceed 100 million records, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time. The original and arguably best-known lineup consisted of Stanley (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Simmons (vocals and bass guitar), Ace Frehley (lead guitar and vocals) and Peter Criss (drums and vocals).
With their make-up and costumes, they took on the personae of comic book-style characters: The Starchild (Stanley), The Demon (Simmons), The Spaceman or Space Ace (Frehley) and The Catman (Criss). Stanley became the "Starchild" because of his tendency to be referred to as a "starry-eyed lover" and "hopeless romantic." The "Demon" make-up reflected Simmons' cynicism and dark sense of humor, as well as his affection for comic books. Frehley's "Spaceman" make-up was a reflection of his fondness for science fiction and his supposedly being from another planet. Criss' "Catman" make-up was in accordance with the belief that he had nine lives, because of his rough childhood in Brooklyn. Due to creative differences, both Criss and Frehley were out of the group by 1982. The band's commercial fortunes had waned considerably by that point.
Buoyed by a wave of Kiss nostalgia in the 1990s, the band announced a reunion of the original lineup in 1996. The resulting Kiss Alive/Worldwide Tour was the top-grossing act of 1996 and 1997. Criss and Frehley have both since left the band again and have been replaced by Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, respectively. Kiss has been named in many "Top" lists. These include Number 10 on VH1's '100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock', 9th on 'The Greatest Metal Bands' list by MTV, number one on Hit Paraders's "Top 100 Live Bands", 56th on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists Of All Time", and 26th on Gibson's "50 Greatest American Rock Bands". On April 10, 2014, Kiss was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
History[edit | edit source]
Band members[edit | edit source]
Legacy[edit | edit source]
Discography[edit | edit source]
Singles[edit | edit source]
- A World Without Heroes
- All Hell's Breakin' Loose
- C'mon and Love Me
- Crazy Crazy Nights
- Every Time I Look at You
- God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II
- Heaven's on Fire
- Hide Your Heart
- I Just Wanna
- I Love It Loud
- I Was Made for Lovin' You
- Let's Put the 'X' in Sex
- Lick It Up
- Modern Day Delilah
- Psycho Circus
- Reason to Live
- Rise to It
- Rock and Roll All Nite
- Shout It Out Loud
- Sure Know Something
- Tears Are Falling
- Thrills in the Night
- Turn On the Night
- Uh! All Night
- Who Wants to Be Lonely
- (You Make Me) Rock Hard
Further Reading[edit | edit source]
- Kiss Chronology. The Official Kiss Website. Retrieved on October 29, 2009.
- "Artist Tallies". Billboard. Retrieved October 28, 2007.
- RIAA Top Selling Artists. Retrieved on February 7, 2007.
- Reporter, The Age (December 11, 2007). "Gene Simmons shows his Family Jewels". The Age. http://www.theage.com.au/news/tv--radio/gene-simmons-shows-his-family-jewels/2007/12/10/1197135364624.html. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- 100 Greatest Artists of All Time- Hour 5. VH1. Retrieved on October 15, 2009.
- MTVNews.com: The Greatest Metal Bands Of All Time. Mtv.com (March 9, 2006). Retrieved on July 28, 2010.
- Hit Parader top 100 live bands. GNRdaily.com. Archived from the original on 2008-03-19. Retrieved on June 7, 2014.
- RNBmusicblog.com. RNBmusicblog.com (September 10, 2010). Retrieved on October 11, 2011.
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2014 Inductees: Nirvana, Kiss, E Street Band | Music News | Rolling Stone. rollingstone.com. Retrieved on April 11, 2014.