Kiss

Profile:
KISS aka KIϟϟ was 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. Five years later, they were finally inducted.

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

NBLP 7006 Kiss - Hotter Than Hell album art Kiss Hotter Than Hell (Album) Casablanca NBLP 7006 US 1974 Sell This Version
CBLP 9074, CBLP-9074 Kiss - Kiss album art Kiss Kiss (Album) Casablanca CBLP 9074, CBLP-9074 Brazil 1974 Sell This Version
NAL 27012, NAC 7012 Kiss - Dressed To Kill album art Kiss Dressed To Kill (Album) Casablanca NAL 27012, NAC 7012 South Africa 1975 Sell This Version
NBLP 7020 Kiss - Alive! album art Kiss Alive! (Album) Casablanca NBLP 7020 US 1975 Sell This Version
2258 Kiss - Rock And Roll Over album art Kiss Rock And Roll Over (Album) Casablanca 2258 Singapore 1976 Sell This Version
4E 062-97570 Kiss - Destroyer album art Kiss Destroyer (Album) Casablanca 4E 062-97570 Sweden 1976 Sell This Version
RL 19-76 Kiss - Destroyer / Skullduggery album art Kiss / Steppenwolf Kiss / Steppenwolf - Destroyer / Skullduggery(LP, Transcription) Afrts RL 19-76 US 1976 Sell This Version
NBLP 7057 Kiss - Love Gun album art Kiss Love Gun (Album) Casablanca, Casablanca NBLP 7057 Canada 1977 Sell This Version
CALD 5004 Kiss - Alive II album art Kiss Alive II (Album) Casablanca, Casablanca CALD 5004 UK 1977 Sell This Version
BONI 33093, NB 7122 Kiss - Peter Criss album art Kiss, Peter Criss Kiss, Peter Criss - Peter Criss (Album) Casablanca BONI 33093, NB 7122 El Salvador 1978 Sell This Version
NBL8-7120 Kiss - Gene Simmons album art Kiss, Gene Simmons Kiss, Gene Simmons - Gene Simmons (Album) Casablanca NBL8-7120 US 1978 Sell This Version
NBL8 7123 Kiss - Paul Stanley album art Kiss, Paul Stanley Kiss, Paul Stanley - Paul Stanley (Album) Casablanca NBL8 7123 Canada 1978 Sell This Version
NBLP 7121 DJ Kiss - Ace Frehley album art Kiss, Ace Frehley Kiss, Ace Frehley - Ace Frehley (Album) Casablanca NBLP 7121 DJ US 1978 Sell This Version
NBLP 7152 Kiss - Dynasty album art Kiss Dynasty (Album) Casablanca, Casablanca NBLP 7152 Panama 1979 Sell This Version
7144 032 Kiss - Unmasked album art Kiss Unmasked (Album) Casablanca 7144 032 Scandinavia 1980 Sell This Version
6302 163 Kiss - (Music From) The Elder album art Kiss (Music From) The Elder (Album) Casablanca 6302 163 Greece 1981 Sell This Version
6302 219 Kiss - Creatures Of The Night album art Kiss Creatures Of The Night (Album) Casablanca, Casablanca 6302 219 Guatemala 1982 Sell This Version
814 297-1 Kiss - Lick It Up album art Kiss Lick It Up (Album) Mercury 814 297-1 Panama 1983 Sell This Version
RL 43-3 Kiss - Lick It Up / Shout At The Devil album art Kiss / Mötley Crüe Kiss / Mötley Crüe - Lick It Up / Shout At The Devil(LP, Transcription) AFRTS, United States Department Of Defense RL 43-3 US 1983 Sell This Version
LP-28546 Kiss - Animalize album art Kiss Animalize (Album) Mercury LP-28546 Ecuador 1984 Sell This Version
12/2/84 Kiss - The Best Of The Biscuit album art Kiss / Mötley Crüe Kiss / Mötley Crüe - The Best Of The Biscuit(2xLP, S/Sided) DIR Broadcasting, ABC Rock Radio Network 12/2/84 US 1984 Sell This Version
none Kiss - King Biscuit Flower Hour album art Kiss / Heaven (13) Kiss / Heaven (13) - King Biscuit Flower Hour(2xLP, Transcription) DIR Radio Network none US 1984 Sell This Version
826099-4 Kiss - Asylum album art Kiss Asylum (Album) Mercury, Mercury 826099-4 Turkey 1985 Sell This Version
IC-85-02 Kiss - Westwood One In Concert album art Kiss / Twisted Sister Kiss / Twisted Sister - Westwood One In Concert(2xLP, Transcription) Westwood One IC-85-02 USA & Canada 1985 Sell This Version
185244, 832 626-4 Kiss - Crazy Nights album art Kiss Crazy Nights (Album) Mercury 185244, 832 626-4 Chile 1987 Sell This Version

Reviews Show All 29 Reviews

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rickmarin

rickmarin

December 25, 2020
Why is Hotter Than Hell listed before KISS (self-titled) chronologically? KISS was their 1st album. Released February 18, 1974. Hotter Than Hell came out October 22, 1974.
rscott8443

rscott8443

December 2, 2020
Why are some live album releases grouped under a master, but some are their own album?
Spikedge

Spikedge

July 25, 2020
Is it just me or is Dynasty LP not listed?
psubliminal

psubliminal

December 14, 2019
I first heard Kiss on Detroit radio, I think it was "Nothing To Lose," from their debut, then went to see them out of curiosity. The opener was a band called Rush that were pretty good. This was Dec. 74. In Nov. '75 they returned, to Port Huron, and Rush were again the opening act; I went mainly to see them. I wouldn't see Kiss again until Jan. 1978, when I took my little brother, who now liked the band, to see them. The Rockets were the first band on that occasion--I think this was at Olympia Stadium. I liked the first 2 or 3 albums
will1066ad

will1066ad

August 20, 2019
I love Kiss! They are 'The Mcdonalds of Music' they are everywhere and they taste great but I wouldn't want to base my musical diet on them!
jawnh

jawnh

April 7, 2019
Appealed heavily to me in first through third grade, what with the action figures and all that stuff. But even to my kid ears it was always only one or two songs per album that were really any good. I remember selling off all my KISS albums to another kid in middle school as I had started to more fully appreciate music. KISS sounds like absolute garbage to my fifty year old years.
iam_emmo

iam_emmo

December 5, 2017
edited over 4 years 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.

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