KISS (US rock band)

~ Group


Despite the name "KISS" appearing on the title for marketing purposes, the 4 1978 albums that were released under each members' names were solo albums. As such, you will find them listed under their respective artist names: Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss.

Annotation last modified on 2006-01-14 08:53 UTC.


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 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 "Space Ace" 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 departed 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.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1974 KISS 3.5 17
1974 Hotter Than Hell 4 14
1975 Dressed to Kill 4 16
1976 Destroyer 4 19
1976 Rock and Roll Over 4 17
1977 Love Gun 4 20
1979 Dynasty 4.35 16
1980 Unmasked 4 14
1981 Music From “The Elder” 4 18
1982 Creatures of the Night 4.5 17
1983 Lick It Up 3.5 14
1984 Animalize 2 13
1985 Asylum 2.5 14
1987 Crazy Nights 2 14
1989 Hot in the Shade 2 10
1992 Revenge 2 12
1997 Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions 2 10
1998 Psycho Circus 4 11
2009 Sonic Boom 8
2012 Monster 5 11

Album + Compilation

Year Title RatingReleases
1978 Double Platinum 14
1978 The Best of Solo-Albums 1
1982 Killers 9
1988 Chikara 1
1988 Smashes, Thrashes & Hits 5 8
1996 You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best!! 5
1996 Greatest KISS 5 13
1997 Greatest Hits 3 1
2001 Box Set 4
2002 The Very Best of KISS 3.5 9
2003 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of KISS 3
2004 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of KISS, Volume 2 2
2005 KISS Gold 7
2006 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of KISS, Volume 3 2
2008 Playlist Plus: KISS 3
2008 The Complete Collection 45 1
2008 地獄烈伝〜ニュー・レコーディング・ベスト〜 2
2008 Ikons 3
2010 Icon 2 2
2012 The Casablanca Singles 1
2014 KISS 40: Decades of Decibels 6
2015 KISS 40: Decades of Decibels 3
Eddie Kramer Demo & Nightbird Interview 1974 1

Album + Compilation + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
2006 KISS Alive! 1975–2000 4

Album + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
1975 Alive! 3 17
1977 Alive II 13
1993 Alive Ⅲ 7
1996 MTV Unplugged 4 6
2003 KISS Symphony: Alive Ⅳ 5 4
2004 Instant Live: Smirnoff Music Centre, Dallas, TX 06/11/04 1

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