Members: Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer
Genre: Heavy Metal
Hometown: New York City, New York
Albums: Kiss (1974); Hotter Than Hell (1974); Dressed to Kill (1975); Destroyer (1976); Rock and Roll Over (1976); Love Gun (1977); Dynasty (1979); Unmasked (1980); Music from "The Elder" (1981); Creatures of the Night (1982); Lick It Up (1983); Animalize (1984); Asylum (1985); Crazy Nights (1987); Hot in the Shade (1989); Revenge (1992); Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions (1997); Psycho Circus (1998); Sonic Boom (2009);
Awards: 1 Grammy Nomination
Hits: "Detroit Rock City," "Rock and Roll All Nite," "Calling Dr. Love," "I Was Made for Lovin' You," "Forever," "Psycho Circus"
Other: Worldwide sales of over 100 million albums.
There really are no other bands quite like KISS. Thanks to an elaborate stage show, iconic make-up and a penchant for fast living, the band has become one of the most popular acts of all time, selling more than 100 million records throughout the world over their legendary career. Although they have been around since the early '70s, KISS is still performing and recording like they were in their prime.
The band was formed in the early '70s by founding members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. After recording and performing, the duo found a pair of musicians, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, to complete the group, and released its self-titled debut album in 1974. The record was a moderate success at the time, managing to break onto pop charts, and it included some of their most classic and popular songs such as "Strutter" and the band's first single, "Nothin' To Lose."
After an unsuccessful sophomore album, it appeared as though KISS' career would fail to take off. However, 1975's Dressed to Kill proved otherwise. The album managed to push its way to number 32 on the pop charts, and featured their most iconic song "Rock and Roll All Nite." During this time, the band was beginning to gain notoriety for their explosive live shows, and decided to take advantage of the buzz by releasing a live album, Alive!, in 1975. The record was immensely popular and catapulted KISS into stardom.
Throughout the rest of the '70s, the band continued to release hits. The slow ballad "Beth" broke into the top 10, and displayed a more versatile, soft sound than their previous tracks. After a trio of popular albums capped off by another live release, Alive II, the band was widely considered to be the most popular act in America by the latter part of the decade.
By the early '80s however, the band seemed to be losing steam, and in 1983 they ditched their trademark make up and sparked somewhat of a resurgence. Though unable to match the immense success of the '70s, KISS continued to be a popular act during this time.
Throughout the '90s they began to release albums less often, and by the end of the decade, it seemed as if there would be no more new records for the KISS Army to enjoy. However, in 2009 Stanley, Simmons and the rest released Sonic Boom
, the band's first album in 11 years, and, much to the delight of fans, announced that a follow up would be in the works for 2011.