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Kiss

Kiss

Kiss were always about more than the music. From the start, when they covered their faces in makeup, strapped on spiked platform boots and gave themselves nicknames like the Demon and Starchild, the concept behind Kiss mattered more than the music. That’s not to say they haven’t made some great records during their 40-year career; their 1975 ‘Alive!” album remains one of the best concert LPs ever released. But the band’s shrewd marketing campaigns over the years – which has included TV specials to candy to coffins and pretty much everything in between – has made them one of the most recognizable brand names on the planet. All of which makes the music almost secondary in Kiss’ worldview. But their mix of heavy-metal thunder and hard-rock hooks has guaranteed a spot among the most durable bands of the past four decades.

Casablanca
Casablanca

38 Years Ago: Kiss Reach a Turning Point on ‘Love Gun’

Love Gun, the sixth studio album from Kiss and a pinnacle of the band's first golden era, was released in June 1977.

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Category: Anniversaries, News Tags:
'Kiss My Ass'
Mercury

21 Years Ago: Kiss ‘Kiss’ Their Own Ass

Elton John, Jimi Hendrix, and the Eagles all received the all-star tribute album treatment in the early '90s. Why not Kiss?

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Category: Anniversaries, Longform, News Tags:
YouTube
YouTube

36 Years Ago: ‘The Return of Kiss’ Tour Hits a Snag

Kiss' biggest and boldest shows yet would unfortunately mark the end of an era.

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Peter Cade, Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Peter Cade, Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Watch Vintage Footage of Kiss Performing Without Makeup at Ace Frehley’s Wedding in 1976

The members of Kiss played their first official concert without their signature makeup in 1983, but they took the stage together au naturel years before that — at guitarist Ace Frehley's wedding in 1976.

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Kevin Winter / Michael N. Todaro, Getty Images
Kevin Winter / Michael N. Todaro, Getty Images

Tommy Thayer on Ace Frehley: ‘I’m Not Going to Say Anything Bad About Him’

Tommy Thayer makes no apologies for the way he assumed Ace Frehley's stage persona when he accepted his position in Kiss, but don't expect him to sling any mud at his predecessor.

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Kiss Seattle Times Review
Peter Cade, Hulton Archive, Getty Images / Seattle Times

41 Years Ago: Kiss Receive a Scathing — and Inspiring — Concert Review

Kiss have never had a very friendly relationship with rock critics, but sometimes even the most brutal reviews can be used for inspiration.

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Kiss 1979
Casablanca

‘Dynasty’ No More: When the Wheels Came Off the Kiss Empire

Even though they saw it coming, Kiss were unable to stop the wheels from coming off their careers starting with the release of 1979's disco-influenced 'Dynasty.'

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Theo Wargo, Getty Images
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Gene Simmons Vows Kiss Will Make Another Album

Gene Simmons believes Kiss could head into the studio to record their next album as soon as 2016.

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Kiss Unmasked
Casablanca

Defending ‘Unmasked,’ the Kiss Album Even Paul Stanley Calls ‘Crappy’

To their loyal fans' horror, Kiss went even deeper into the pop world for their eighth studio album, 1980's 'Unmasked.'

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Jeff Kravitz, Getty Images
Jeff Kravitz, Getty Images

22 Years Ago: Kiss Release Their Only Live Album Without Makeup, ‘Alive III’

The non-makeup version of Kiss got their one and only shot at strutting their stuff on a live album with the release of 1993's Alive III.

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