Kiss is one of the most famous rock and roll bands of all time, most famous for their black and white face make-up. The band currently compromises Paul Stanley – vocals, rhythm guitar (1973–present), Gene Simmons – vocals, bass (1973–present), Eric Singer – drums, percussion, vocals (1991–1996, 2001–2002, 2004–present) and Tommy Thayer – lead guitar, vocals (2002–present). Kiss has changed members a number of times throughout the years.
The original members were Ace Frehley – lead guitar, vocals, Peter Criss – drums, percussion, vocals, Eric Carr – drums, percussion, vocals (1980–1991; died 1991), Vinnie Vincent – lead guitar, vocals, Mark St. John – lead guitar (1984; died 2007) and Bruce Kulick – lead guitar, vocals.
The band have released over 37 albums in over 36 years and sold over 100 million albums worldwide. Kiss originally came from New York, USA and the band was started by co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley in the 1970s who were originally in a band called Wicked Lester.
Peter Criss answered an advert in Rolling Stone for a drummer and the band really came about from there.
The famous Kiss logo was designed by the guitarist Ace Frehley in 1973 and after a number of early shows; the band signed to Casablanca Records in 1973 and embarked on their first North American tour in 1974.
After their debut album Kiss (1974), the band produced their second Hotter Than Hell (1974), which failed to live up to expectations, however; Kiss were getting a reputation for their crazy live shows with pyrotechnics, fire, spitting blood – more memorable than the music.
Through the late ‘70s, Kiss produced more albums Rock and Roll Over and June 1977's smash hit Love Gun and it seemed like Kiss were on the road to success when they got voted the #1 band in America by Gallup Poll. Some of their best albums such as Alive and Alive 2 came out of the ‘70s along with later hits such as Creatures of the Night (1982) and Animalize (1984).
During the 1980s, one of the biggest shows Kiss performed at was for 137,000 fans at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Kiss went from strength to strength and continued to have success in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
During the 2000s they got involved on a political level by performing at Camp Pendleton Rockin' The Corps concert and toured the world.
In 2006, they began the Kissology series which was highly successful – going over five times platinum and in 2009 Kiss appeared on the finale of American Idol.