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» Kiss

Formed: 1973 in New York, Ne
Active: '70s-2010s Major
Styles: Arena Rock, Heavy Metal, Pop-Metal Major
Members: Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, Bruce Kulick, Eric Carr Representative
Albums: "Kiss", "The Originals", "Double Platinum" Representative
Songs: "Rock and Roll All Nite", "Detroit Rock City", "Deuce"

UPC Type Title
602537570690 CD 5 Classic Albums
044003608368 CD 5 Classic Albums
731453238527 CD Ace Frehley
731453237728 CD Alive
042282278029 (i) CD Alive
4988005677273 (i) CD Alive
4988005677280 (i) CD Alive 2
4988005525710 (i) CD Alive 2
731453238220 CD Alive II
731451477720 CD Alive III
4988005525673 (i) CD Alive!
042282278012 Vinyl Alive!
602517069046 CD Alive! 1975-2000
4988005450333 (i) CD Alive! Box Set
731455885927 CD Animalize
4988005688637 (i) CD Animalize
731455886023 CD Asylum
4988005518415 (i) CD Asylum
4988005688644 (i) CD Asylum
602498624302 CD Best of Kiss-Millennium Collection
600753176252 (i) CD Best of Superstar Series
600753050491 (i) CD Best of-Green Series
731458656128 CD Box Set-Standard
731453632325 CD Carnival of Souls: Final Sessions
4988005749093 (i) CD Carnival of Souls: The Final Session
602537104048 CD Casablanca Singles
602537103744 Vinyl Casablanca Singles
731455886122 CD Crazy Nights
4988005518422 (i) CD Crazy Nights
4988005688651 (i) CD Crazy Nights
731453239128 CD Creatures of the Night
4988005749062 (i) CD Creatures of the Night
4988005518385 (i) CD Creatures of the Night
731453237827 CD Destroyer
4988005311177 (i) CD Destroyer
4988005525680 (i) CD Destroyer
4988005677648 (i) CD Destroyer
602527912042 CD Destroyer-Resurrected
602537105502 Vinyl Destroyer-Resurrected
602537138401 (i) Vinyl Destroyer: Resurrected
731453238329 CD Double Platinum
4988005525727 (i) CD Double Platinum
731453237629 CD Dressed to Kill
4988005311160 (i) CD Dressed to Kill
042282414823 (i) CD Dressed to Kill
4988005525666 (i) CD Dressed to Kill
4988005677631 (i) CD Dressed to Kill
4988005435545 (i) CD Dressed to Kill (Mini LP Sleeve)
602498423936 (i) CD Dressed to Kill (Mini LP Sleeve)
731453238824 CD Dynasty
4988005677679 (i) CD Dynasty
4988005525734 (i) CD Dynasty
4988005313614 (i) CD Dynasty
042281277023 (i) CD Dynasty
731453238428 CD Gene Simmons
4988005518446 (i) CD Gene Simmons
602498637333 CD Gold (Sound+Vision)
602498631546 CD Gold: 1974-1982
731453615922 (i) CD Greatest Hits
731453429925 (i) CD Greatest Kiss
042283891326 CD Hot in the Shade
4988005688668 (i) CD Hot in the Shade
731453237520 CD Hotter Than Hell
4988005435538 (i) CD Hotter Than Hell (Mini LP Sleeve)
4988005525659 (i) CD Hotter Than Hell
4988005677624 (i) CD Hotter Than Hell
602527442181 CD Icon
602527442198 CD Icon
602517823051 CD Ikons
731451275821 (i) CD Killers
731453237421 CD Kiss
4988005525642 (i) CD Kiss
602498423912 (i) CD Kiss (Mini LP Sleeve)
602498233955 (i) DVD Kiss My Ass
602517038325 CD Kiss: Vol. 3-Millennium Collection-20th Century Ma..
602498233894 DVD Konfidential & X-Treme Close Up
600753200421 (i) CD Legends of Rock
731455885828 CD Lick It Up
4988005749079 (i) CD Lick It Up
731453238121 CD Love Gun
4988005313607 (i) CD Love Gun
4988005525703 (i) CD Love Gun
4988005677662 (i) CD Love Gun
602498604786 CD Millennium Collection-20th Century Masters
602537112050 CD Monster
602537170906 (i) CD Monster
4988005730756 (i) CD Monster
602537144006 Vinyl Monster
602537176496 (i) Vinyl Monster
731453239029 CD Music From the Elder
4988005518378 (i) CD Music From the Elder
4988005749055 (i) CD Music From the Elder
731453238725 CD Paul Stanley
4988005518439 (i) CD Paul Stanley
8013252911613 Vinyl Paul Stanley
731453238626 CD Peter Criss
4988005518460 (i) CD Peter Criss
8013252911514 Vinyl Peter Criss
600753261804 (i) Vinyl Peter Criss (Picture Disc)
602517491601 CD Playlist Plus
602517738287 CD Playlist Your Way
731455899221 (i) CD Psycho-Circus
042284803724 CD Revenge
4988005749086 (i) CD Revenge
731453238022 CD Rock & Roll Over
4988005525697 (i) CD Rock & Roll Over
4988005677655 (i) CD Rock & Roll Over
8924817138188 CD Rock Power
042283642720 CD Smashes Thrashes & Hits
731453238923 CD Unmasked
4988005518361 (i) CD Unmasked
4988005749048 (i) CD Unmasked
731452895028 CD Unplugged
044006312224 CD Very Best of Kiss
4988005712165 (i) CD Very Best of
4988011350603 (i) CD You Wanted the Best

Biography: Rooted in the campy theatrics of Alice Cooper and the sleazy hard rock of glam rockers the New York Dolls, Kiss became a favorite of American teenagers in the '70s. Most kids were infatuated with the look of Kiss, not their music. Decked out in outrageously flamboyant costumes and makeup, the band fashioned a captivating stage show featuring dry ice, smoke bombs, elaborate lighting, blood spitting, and fire breathing that captured the imaginations of thousands of kids. But Kiss' music shouldn't be dismissed -- it was 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.

Kiss was the brainchild of Gene Simmons (bass, vocals) and Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar, vocals), former members of the New York-based hard rock band Wicked Lester; the duo brought in drummer Peter Criss through his ad in Rolling Stone, while guitarist Ace Frehley responded to an advertisement in The Village Voice. Even at their first Manhattan concert in 1973, the group's approach was theatrical, and Flipside producer Bill Aucoin offered the band a management deal after the show. Two weeks later, the band was signed to Neil Bogart's fledgling record label, Casablanca. Kiss released their self-titled debut in February of 1974; it peaked at number 87 on the U.S. charts. By April of 1975, the group had released three albums and had been touring America constantly, building up a sizable fan base.

Culled from those numerous concerts, Alive! (released in the fall of 1975) made the band rock & roll superstars; it climbed into the Top Ten and its accompanying single, "Rock 'N' Roll All Nite," made it to number 12. Their follow-up, Destroyer, was released in March of 1976 and became the group's first platinum album; it also featured their first Top Ten single, Peter Criss' power ballad "Beth." Kiss mania was in full swing; thousands of pieces of merchandise hit the marketplace (including pinball machines, makeup and masks, and board games), and the group had two comic books released by Marvel as well as a live-action TV movie, Kiss Meet the Phantom of the Park. A 1977 Gallup poll named Kiss the most popular band in America. The group was never seen in public without wearing their makeup, and their popularity was growing by leaps and bounds; the membership of the Kiss Army, the band's fan club, was now in the six figures.

Even such enormous popularity had its limits, and the band reached them in 1978, when all four members released solo albums on the same day in October. Simmons' record was the most successful, reaching number 22 on the charts, yet all of them made it into the Top 50. Dynasty, released in 1979, continued their streak of platinum albums, yet it was their last record with the original lineup -- Criss left in 1980. Kiss Unmasked, released in the summer of 1980, was recorded with session drummer Anton Fig; Criss' true replacement, Eric Carr, joined the band in time for their 1980 world tour. Kiss Unmasked was their first record since Destroyer to fail to go platinum, and 1981's Music from the Elder, their first album recorded with Carr, didn't even go gold -- it couldn't even climb past number 75 on the charts. Ace Frehley left the band after its release; he was replaced by Vinnie Vincent in 1982. Vincent's first album with the group, 1982's Creatures of the Night, fared better than Music from the Elder, yet it couldn't make it past number 45 on the charts.

Sensing it was time for a change, Kiss dispensed with their makeup for 1983's Lick It Up. The publicity worked, as the album became their first platinum record in four years. Animalize, released the following year, was just as successful, and the group essentially recaptured their niche. Vincent left after Animalize and was replaced by Mark St. John, although St. John was soon taken ill with Reiter's Syndrome and left the band. Bruce Kulick became Kiss' new lead guitarist in 1984. For the rest of the decade, Kiss turned out a series of best-selling albums, culminating in the early 1990 hit ballad "Forever," which was their biggest single since "Beth." Kiss was scheduled to record a new album with their old producer, Bob Ezrin, in 1990 when Eric Carr became severely ill with cancer; he died in November of 1991 at the age of 41. Kiss replaced him with Eric Singer and recorded Revenge (1992), their first album since 1989; it was a Top Ten hit and went gold. Kiss followed it with the release of Alive III the following year; it performed respectably, but was not up to the standards of their two previous live records.

In 1996, the original lineup of Kiss -- featuring Simmons, Stanley, Frehley, and Criss -- reunited to perform an international tour, complete with their notorious makeup and special effects. The tour was one of the most successful of 1996, and in 1998 the reunited group issued Psycho Circus. While the ensuing tour in support of Psycho Circus was a success, sales of Kiss' reunion album weren't as stellar as anticipated. Reminiscent of the band's late-'70s unfocused period, few tracks on Psycho Circus featured all four members playing together (most tracks were supplemented with session musicians), as the band seemed more interested in flooding the marketplace with merchandise yet again instead of making the music their top priority. With rumors running rampant that the Psycho Circus Tour would be their last, the quartet announced in the spring of 2000 that they would be launching a U.S. farewell tour in the summer, which became one of the year's top concert draws. But on the eve of a Japanese and Australian tour in early 2001, Peter Criss suddenly left the band once again, supposedly discontent with his salary. Taking his place was previous Kiss drummer Eric Singer, who in a controversial move among some longtime fans, donned Criss' cat-man makeup (since Simmons and Stanley own both Frehley and Criss' makeup designs, there was no threat of a lawsuit) as the farewell tour continued.

With the band scheduled to call it a day supposedly by late 2001, a mammoth career-encompassing box set was set for later in the year, while the summer saw perhaps the most over-the-top piece of Kiss merchandise yet -- the "Kiss Kasket." The group was relatively quiet through the rest of the year, but 2002 started with a bang as Gene Simmons turned in an entertaining and controversial interview on NPR where he criticized the organization and berated host Terry Gross with sexual comments and condescending answers. He was promoting his autobiography at the time, which also caused dissent in the Kiss camp because of the inflammatory remarks made toward Ace Frehley. Frehley was quite angry at the situation, leading to his no-show at an American Bandstand anniversary show. (His place was taken by a wig-wearing Tommy Thayer, but no one was fooled and the band looked especially awful while pretending to play their instruments during the pre-recorded track.) The appearance was an embarrassment for the group and for their fans, but Simmons was quick to dismiss the performance as another in a long series of money-oriented decisions. The band kept touring the globe with no new album in stores, but in 2008 they returned to the studio, re-recorded their hits, and released Jigoku-Retsuden aka KISSology or Kiss Klassics. The release was exclusive to Japan until a year later when it became a bonus disc for the band's first studio album in 11 years, Sonic Boom. Produced by Paul Stanley and Greg Collins, the album was exclusively distributed in North America by the Wal-Mart chain of stores. In 2012, the band's twentieth studio album, Monster, surfaced, rewriting the cowbell-heavy party rock of their '70s heyday and adding some nods to the sinister metal of 1992's Revenge. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Greg Prato, Rovi