Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kiss- A History

This is something I made on MySpace two years ago. I've updated it and I'm hoping in gets attention. In the excitement of Sonic Boom, here is the history of Kiss. Hope you enjoy it.
Update (10/10/09): As I'm trying to keep this page copyright friendly, I've decided not use any pictures in this post as I'm too specific with pictures for this particular post. I will use RateYourMusic still. If you'd like to see pictures of the line-ups, please go on www.kissfaq.com and look at the fabulous line-up page. You can find a lot of things on this site. My favorite Kiss site, personally!

Kiss Mach I (1972-1980)

Gene Simmons- bass/vocals (The Demon)
Paul Stanley- r.guitar/vocals (The Starchild)
Ace Frehley- l.guitar/vocals (The Spaceman)
Peter Criss- drums/vocals (The Catman)

Notes: The classic line-up that everyone loves. Gene and Paul first met in the late 1960's in a band called Wicked Lester. They didn't get along at first but soon found out they had the same ideas of putting a rock band together. When Wicked Lester split, they found an ad in Rolling Stone that said 'basic drummer willing to do anything to make it'. This is how Peter joined and Ace was hired after countless auditions. The band didn't hit it big till the release of the 1975's live album "Alive!". In 1978, the band all release solo albums on the same day. The line-up ends when Peter leaves in 1980.

Albums: Kiss, Hotter Than Hell, Dressed To Kill, Alive!, Destroyer, Rock And Roll Over, Love Gun, Alive II, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, Dynasty, Unmasked


Album Notes: Ace wasn't present much beginning with Destroyer. Peter only played and sang on one track off Dynasty and played nothing on Unmasked. This role was filled by Anton Figg, who is currently the drummer for David Letterman's late night show band.


Kiss Mach II (1980-1982)

Gene Simmons- bass/vocals (The Demon)
Paul Stanley- r.guitar/vocals (The Starchild)
Ace Frehley- l.guitar/vocals (The Spaceman)
Eric Carr- drums/vocals (The Fox)

Notes: A young drummer named Eric Carr fills in the shoes of Peter Criss. Eric is respected by the fans and the band has a very succesful tour in Austrailia. In 1981, the band promised to make their heaviest album and hire bob Ezrin to produce. He had produced Detroyer years earlier. Ezrin convinces the band to try a concept album. Using a story Gene wrote about a boy becoming a warrior, the makes "The Elder". It tanks. Ace hated the album so much that he is hardly present. Ace is present for pre-tour arrangements for the album after 'The Elder' but he quits in 1982.
Album: Music From 'The Elder"
Album Notes: The album is recorded in Ace's home studio.


Kiss Mach III (1982-1984)
Gene Simmons- bass/vocals (The Demon)
Paul Stanley- r.guitar/vocals (The Starchild)
Vinnie Vincent- l.guitar/vocals (The Egytian Warrior)
Eric Carr- drums/vocals (The Fox)

Notes: The band's next album, 'Creatures Of The Night', turn out to be their heaviest to date but tanks in the charts again. Vinnie played on most tracks and is chosen to replace Ace for the tour supporting the album. In September 1983, the band decides to take off the make up. Gene and Paul felt it was time to take it off and start a new chapter in the band's history. The resulting album, 'Lick It Up', becomes succesful and goes gold. After the tour for the album, Vincent is fired for personal reasons.
Albums: Creatures Of The Night, Lick It Up
Album note: On 'Creatures', The band is pretty much a three-piece band.




Kiss Mach IV (1984)

Gene Simmons- bass/vocals
Paul Stanley- r.guitar/vocals
Mark St. John- l.guitar/vocals
Eric Carr- drums/vocals

Notes: Mark takes Vinnie's place in April 1984. When the band is ready to tour for 'Animalize', Mark is diagnosed with Reiter's Syndrome. This causes his hands to swell and unable to play guitar. Guitarist Bruce Kulick fills in for him and Mark is able to play three shows. In December 1984, Mark is fired by Gene and Paul. This wasn't because of his condition but his personality, which was like Vinnie's. Bruce becomes the new member the next day.
Album: Animalize
Album note: Gene wasn't present for some songs since he was co-starring in the thriller 'Runaway' with Tom Selleck. The film tanks.


Kiss Mach V (1984-1991)

Gene Simmons- bass/vocals
Paul Stanley- r.guitar/vocals
Bruce Kulick- l.guitar/vocals
Eric Carr- drums/vocals

Notes: Nothing much to say then Bruce replaces Mark. The band keeps making music and recruite Bob Ezrin for their next album (later released in 1992). Around April of 1991, Eric Carr has open-heart surgery. Doctors find out that Eric has cancer. Hoping Eric will get better, the band asks Eric Singer to fill in till Carr felt better. Sadly on November 24th, 1991, Eric Carr passed away at the age of 41. Freddie Mercury, singer of Queen, dies on this day too.
Albums: Asylum, Crazy Nights, Hot In The Shade


Kiss VI (1991-1996)

Gene Simmons- bass/vocals
Paul Stanley- r.guitar/vocals
Bruce Kulick- l.guitar/vocals
Eric Singer- drums/vocals

Notes: Singer replaces Carr. 'Revenge' is released in 1992. The band tours till 1996 when the band does MTV Unplugged. Ace Frehley and Peter Criss do come out to play some songs. It isn't long until...
Albums: Revenge, Alive III, Unplugged, Carnival Of Souls (shevled till 1997)

Kiss Mach I a (1996-2001)

Gene Simmons- bass/vocals (The Demon)
Paul Stanley- r.guitar/vocals (The Starchild)
Ace Frehley- l.guitar/vocals (The Spaceman)
Peter Criss- drums/vocals (The Catman)

Notes: The original band reunites with the make-up back on! This leads to many sold-out shows till in 2000, the band annouces that the 2000 tour will be their Farewell Tour (which it isn't!!!). Somewhere towards the end of the tour, Criss quits once again.
Album: Psycho Circus


Kiss Mach VII (2001-2002)

Gene Simmons- bass/vocals (The Demon)
Paul Stanley- r.guitar (The Starchild)
Ace Frehley- l.guitar (The Spaceman)
Eric Singer- drums/vocals (The Catman)

Notes: Eric Singer returns in the Catman make-up, which makes many fans cringe. After the Farewell Tour, the band isn't stopping! They close the 2002 Olympics! However when some minor gigs are scheduled, Ace refuses to go and quits the band.
Albums: None.

Kiss Mach VIII (2002)
Gene Simmons- bass/vocals (The Demon)
Paul Stanley- r.guitar/vocals (The Starchild)
Tommy Thayer- l.guitar/vocals (The Spaceman)
Eric Singer- drums/vocals (The Catman)

Notes: Ex-Black'N'Blue guitarist Tommy Thayer replaces Ace. This line-up performs a few gigs including the American Bandstand's 50th anniversery show (which I don't have a picture of. Sorry people!).
Albums: None.


Kiss Mach IX (2002-2004)

Gene Simmons- bass/vocals (The Demon)
Paul Stanley- r.guitar/vocals (The Starchild)
Tommy Thayer- l.guitar/vocals (The Spaceman)
Peter Criss- drums/vocals (The Catman)

Notes: Peter returns for the February 2003 performance with the Melbourne Symphony Orhcestra. This performance is recorded in video and audio. This becomes 'Alive IV'. The band also tours the same year with Aerosmith. Criss leaves in 2004.
Album: Alive IV


Kiss Mach VIII a (2004-present)

Gene Simmons- bass/vocals (The Demon)
Paul Stanley- r.guitar/vocals (The Starchild)
Tommy Thayer- l.guitar/vocals (The Spaceman)
Eric Singer- drums/vocals (The Catman)

Notes: Eric returns once again for the summer Rock The Nation 2004 tour. This line-up currently plays gig here and there. The hottest band in the world is still hot!
Albums: Sonic Boom

Special Note: In July 2007, Paul Stanley was rushed to the hospital for rapid heartbeat. His heartbeat was up to 140! On that day, the band had a concert to perform. The fans wanted the band to play still and Gene, Tommy, and Eric performed as a trio. Days later, Paul annouced he was alright and explained he has had rapid heartbeat since he was a teenager.

Very Special Note: On April 5th, 2007, former Kiss guitarist Mark St. John suddenly passed away from a cerebral hemmoraging. He was only 51. Despite his 8 month stay in Kiss, tributes poured out in public and on the web.

Post-Kiss Careers
Peter Criss- Peter released two solo albums in the 1980's. He also tried getting a band together in the early 1990's. Currently, Peter is still performing. In July 2007, Peter released One For All.


Ace Frehley- After leaving Kiss, Ace formed his own band called Frehley's Commet. They lasted for a few years. In 2009, Ace released Anomaly.

Vinnie Vincent- In 1986, Vinnie formed The Vinnie Vincent Invasion. The line-up included vocalist Robert Fleishman, bassist Dana Strum, and drummer Bobby Rock. Their self-titled debut did alright but Fleishman was axed in 1987 for vocalist Mark Slaughter. All Systems Go was released in 1988 and the band broke up. However, Strum and Slaughter formed a new band called Slaughter. The band is still together to this day. Vinnie has made apperances at Kiss Konventions and Expos. Currently, Vinnie is living a quiet life and it's unknown what he is doing now.

Mark St. John- Mark, along with his brother Michael, formed the band White Tiger in 1986. They lasted for one album and less than a year. Mark did make some apperances at Expos and recorded some music before his death in 2007.

Bruce Kulick- Bruce has been touring with Grand Funk Railroad for many years now. In 2003, he released Transformer. Kulick almost had his life taken that same year when a man was shooting random bullets. One of them hit Kulick and luckily survived. Kulick has also been supporting the Kissology DVD series.

There you go people. Hope you enjoyed.

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