KISS

Hard Rock / Glam Metal / Heavy Metal / Non-Metal • United States
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Kiss is an American hard rock/glam metal band formed in New York City in 1973. The group has performed and recorded continuously since their formation. KISS has sold over 100 million albums worldwide and has been awarded 45 gold albums to date, and has certified sales of 19 million records in the United States.

Easily identified by their trademark face paint (registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office) and stage costumes, KISS quickly rose to prominence on the basis of their elaborate live performances, which featured fire-breathing, blood spitting, smoking guitars and pyrotechnics.

The original lineup of Gene Simmons (bass and vocals), Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar and vocals), Ace Frehley (lead guitar and vocals) and Peter Criss (drums and vocals) became the most successful and identifiable in the band's history, and released a series of gold and platinum albums throughout the 1970s. Due to substance abuse problems
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KISS Discography

KISS albums / top albums

KISS Kiss album cover 3.61 | 33 ratings
Kiss
Hard Rock 1974
KISS Hotter Than Hell album cover 3.38 | 30 ratings
Hotter Than Hell
Hard Rock 1974
KISS Dressed To Kill album cover 3.47 | 29 ratings
Dressed To Kill
Hard Rock 1975
KISS Destroyer album cover 4.08 | 43 ratings
Destroyer
Hard Rock 1976
KISS Rock And Roll Over album cover 3.81 | 28 ratings
Rock And Roll Over
Hard Rock 1976
KISS Love Gun album cover 3.58 | 33 ratings
Love Gun
Hard Rock 1977
KISS Dynasty album cover 2.99 | 26 ratings
Dynasty
Hard Rock 1979
KISS Unmasked album cover 3.08 | 24 ratings
Unmasked
Hard Rock 1980
KISS Music From The Elder album cover 3.22 | 27 ratings
Music From The Elder
Hard Rock 1981
KISS Creatures Of The Night album cover 3.92 | 28 ratings
Creatures Of The Night
Heavy Metal 1982
KISS Lick It Up album cover 3.27 | 26 ratings
Lick It Up
Glam Metal 1983
KISS Animalize album cover 3.01 | 25 ratings
Animalize
Heavy Metal 1984
KISS Asylum album cover 2.43 | 22 ratings
Asylum
Glam Metal 1985
KISS Crazy Nights album cover 3.09 | 25 ratings
Crazy Nights
Glam Metal 1987
KISS Hot In The Shade album cover 3.39 | 22 ratings
Hot In The Shade
Glam Metal 1989
KISS Revenge album cover 4.16 | 30 ratings
Revenge
Hard Rock 1992
KISS Carnival Of Souls: The Final Sessions album cover 3.97 | 22 ratings
Carnival Of Souls: The Final Sessions
Hard Rock 1997
KISS Psycho Circus album cover 3.70 | 19 ratings
Psycho Circus
Hard Rock 1998
KISS Sonic Boom album cover 3.95 | 28 ratings
Sonic Boom
Hard Rock 2009
KISS Monster album cover 4.09 | 19 ratings
Monster
Hard Rock 2012

KISS EPs & splits

KISS live albums

KISS Alive! album cover 4.52 | 29 ratings
Alive!
Hard Rock 1975
KISS Alive II album cover 3.87 | 24 ratings
Alive II
Hard Rock 1977
KISS Alive III album cover 4.08 | 20 ratings
Alive III
Hard Rock 1993
KISS MTV Unplugged album cover 4.36 | 19 ratings
MTV Unplugged
Non-Metal 1996
KISS Kiss Symphony: Alive IV album cover 3.62 | 13 ratings
Kiss Symphony: Alive IV
Hard Rock 2003
KISS Alive! The Millennium Concert album cover 3.60 | 6 ratings
Alive! The Millennium Concert
Hard Rock 2006

KISS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

KISS First Demo album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
First Demo
Hard Rock 1973
KISS Paul Stanley album cover 3.43 | 11 ratings
Paul Stanley
Hard Rock 1978
KISS Ace Frehley album cover 3.85 | 13 ratings
Ace Frehley
Hard Rock 1978
KISS Gene Simmons album cover 2.83 | 11 ratings
Gene Simmons
Hard Rock 1978
KISS Peter Criss album cover 1.96 | 9 ratings
Peter Criss
Non-Metal 1978
KISS Kiss Instant Live album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Kiss Instant Live
Hard Rock 2004
KISS Kiss Alive 35 album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Kiss Alive 35
Hard Rock 2009
KISS Sonic Boom Over Europe album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Sonic Boom Over Europe
Hard Rock 2010

KISS re-issues & compilations

KISS The Originals album cover 4.08 | 6 ratings
The Originals
Hard Rock 1976
KISS The Originals II album cover 3.33 | 3 ratings
The Originals II
Hard Rock 1978
KISS Double Platinum album cover 3.85 | 13 ratings
Double Platinum
Hard Rock 1978
KISS Best Of Solo Albums album cover 3.83 | 6 ratings
Best Of Solo Albums
Hard Rock 1979
KISS Killers album cover 2.93 | 14 ratings
Killers
Hard Rock 1982
KISS Chikara album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Chikara
Hard Rock 1988
KISS Smashes, Thrashes & Hits album cover 3.45 | 11 ratings
Smashes, Thrashes & Hits
Hard Rock 1988
KISS You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best!! album cover 3.38 | 8 ratings
You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best!!
Hard Rock 1996
KISS Greatest Kiss album cover 4.25 | 6 ratings
Greatest Kiss
Hard Rock 1997
KISS Greatest Hits album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Greatest Hits
Hard Rock 1998
KISS The Box Set album cover 4.43 | 7 ratings
The Box Set
Hard Rock 2001
KISS The Very Best Of Kiss album cover 4.25 | 4 ratings
The Very Best Of Kiss
Hard Rock 2002
KISS The Best Of Kiss Volume 1 album cover 4.33 | 3 ratings
The Best Of Kiss Volume 1
Hard Rock 2003
KISS The Best Of Kiss Volume 2 album cover 3.38 | 4 ratings
The Best Of Kiss Volume 2
Hard Rock 2004
KISS Gold album cover 4.00 | 6 ratings
Gold
Hard Rock 2005
KISS The Best Of Kiss Volume 3 album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
The Best Of Kiss Volume 3
Hard Rock 2006
KISS Kiss Alive! 1975–2000 album cover 4.42 | 6 ratings
Kiss Alive! 1975–2000
Hard Rock 2006
KISS Playlist Plus album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Playlist Plus
Hard Rock 2008
KISS Jigoku-Retsuden album cover 3.10 | 5 ratings
Jigoku-Retsuden
Hard Rock 2008
KISS Ikons album cover 4.10 | 5 ratings
Ikons
Hard Rock 2008
KISS The Casablanca Singles 1974–1982 album cover 1.00 | 1 ratings
The Casablanca Singles 1974–1982
Hard Rock 2012
KISS Kiss 40: Decades Of Decibels album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Kiss 40: Decades Of Decibels
Hard Rock 2014

KISS singles (57)

.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Nothin' To Lose
Hard Rock 1974
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Kissin' Time
Hard Rock 1974
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Strutter
Hard Rock 1974
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll
Hard Rock 1974
.. Album Cover
3.25 | 2 ratings
Rock And Roll All Nite
Hard Rock 1975
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
C'mon And Love Me
Hard Rock 1975
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Rock And Roll All Nite (Live)
Hard Rock 1975
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Shout It Out Loud
Hard Rock 1976
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Flaming Youth
Hard Rock 1976
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 2 ratings
Detroit Rock City
Hard Rock 1976
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Beth
Non-Metal 1976
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Hard Luck Woman
Non-Metal 1976
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Calling Dr. Love
Hard Rock 1977
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Christine Sixteen
Hard Rock 1977
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Love Gun
Hard Rock 1977
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Then She Kissed Me
Hard Rock 1977
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Shout It Out Loud (Live)
Hard Rock 1977
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Rocket Ride
Hard Rock 1978
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Strutter '78
Hard Rock 1978
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Sure Know Something
Hard Rock 1979
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 3 ratings
I Was Made For Loving You
Hard Rock 1979
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Shandi
Non-Metal 1980
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Talk To Me
Hard Rock 1980
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Tomorrow
Hard Rock 1980
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
A World Without Heroes
Hard Rock 1981
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
I
Hard Rock 1981
.. Album Cover
3.25 | 2 ratings
I Love It Loud
Heavy Metal 1982
.. Album Cover
3.25 | 2 ratings
Killer
Heavy Metal 1982
.. Album Cover
3.25 | 2 ratings
Creatures Of The Night
Heavy Metal 1983
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 2 ratings
Lick It Up
Glam Metal 1983
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
All Hell's Breakin' Loose
Glam Metal 1984
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Heaven's On Fire
Glam Metal 1984
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Thrills In The Night
Glam Metal 1984
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Tears Are Falling
Glam Metal 1985
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Crazy Crazy Nights
Glam Metal 1987
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Turn On The Night
Glam Metal 1987
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Reason To Live
Glam Metal 1987
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Let's Put The 'X' In Sex
Glam Metal 1988
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
(You Make Me) Rock Hard
Glam Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Hide Your Heart
Glam Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Forever
Glam Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Rise To It (Remix)
Glam Metal 1990
.. Album Cover
2.50 | 2 ratings
God Gave Rock & Roll To You II
Glam Metal 1991
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Unholy
Heavy Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Domino
Glam Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
I Just Wanna
Glam Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Every Time I Look At You
Glam Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
I Love It Loud (live)
Hard Rock 1993
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Rock And Roll All Nite (Unplugged)
Non-Metal 1996
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Jungle
Hard Rock 1997
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
You Wanted The Best
Hard Rock 1998
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
We Are One
Non-Metal 1998
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Psycho Circus
Hard Rock 1998
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Modern Day Delilah
Hard Rock 2009
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Say Yeah
Hard Rock 2009
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Never Enough
Hard Rock 2010
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Hell Or Hallelujah
Hard Rock 2012

KISS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
1.81 | 9 ratings
Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park
Hard Rock 1978
.. Album Cover
3.43 | 7 ratings
Animalize: Live Uncensored
Glam Metal 1985
.. Album Cover
3.43 | 7 ratings
Exposed
Glam Metal 1987
.. Album Cover
3.20 | 5 ratings
Crazy Nights
Glam Metal 1988
.. Album Cover
3.30 | 5 ratings
X-treme Close-Up
Hard Rock 1992
.. Album Cover
3.20 | 5 ratings
Konfidential
Hard Rock 1993
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 4 ratings
Kiss My Ass
Hard Rock 1994
.. Album Cover
4.29 | 7 ratings
MTV Unplugged
Hard Rock 1996
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Psycho Circus
Hard Rock 1998
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Second Coming
Hard Rock 2000
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 4 ratings
Symphony: The DVD
Hard Rock 2003
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best Of Kiss: The Dvd Collection
Glam Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
4.75 | 6 ratings
Rock The Nation Live!
Hard Rock 2005
.. Album Cover
4.07 | 7 ratings
Kissology Vol. 1: 1974-1977
Hard Rock 2006
.. Album Cover
4.21 | 7 ratings
Kissology Vol. 2: 1978-1991
Hard Rock 2007
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 7 ratings
Kissology Vol. 3: 1992-2000
Hard Rock 2007

KISS Reviews

KISS Creatures Of The Night

Album · 1982 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Unitron
Kiss have always been more known for their image and live shows than their actual music, and it's not too hard to see why. While they always make sure to put on a spectacular stage show, when it comes to albums, there's usually a few great songs among a bunch of filler. They're also followers of trends, as seen by their excursion into disco in the late 70's, their attempt at a concept album after the success of Pink Floyd's The Wall, and then Creatures of the Night is the band making a heavy metal album with the genre increasing in popularity.

Surprise surprise, they actually nail it! This has always been my favorite Kiss album, not because it's a metal album, but because it's their strongest collection of songs in a studio album format. Don't know how they did it, but each song on here is a booming arena metal behemoth with hooks and riffs that all stand up with their best songs in the 70's but in a whole album context.

It's hard for me to pick highlights, rare for a Kiss album, but it's book-ended by two classics The crashing opening title track contrasts with the massive swaggering groove of War Machine. Keep Me Comin', Rock and Roll Hell, and Danger are some other really great songs. Even the power ballad of I Still Love You is pretty good.

Kiss is a band that has several great songs, but I often find their albums too inconsistent. Creatures of the Night however, is a fantastic collection of classic heavy metal with the band's songwriting at its strongest.

KISS Hotter Than Hell

Album · 1974 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
I’ve never been a big KISS fan. I had a couple of the eighties albums on cassette in the eighties and in the last couple of years I bought “Lick It Up” and the debut. I actually found the debut kind of interesting and liked three, maybe four tracks. The other tracks were alright. But I heard that the debut was not the strongest album even though it’s held in fairly high regard compared to some albums. I watched a video where one fellow was listing some of his favourite hard rock albums of the seventies and he mentioned that this, “Hotter Than Hell”, was his favourite KISS album of that decade. As I often have the same opinion or close to the same as this guy, I went and ordered KISS’s second album.

The CD notes said that the debut had been a disappointment, unable to capture the vitality of the band’s live act. This album was said to be a grand improvement. After the first listen, however, I felt the album was totally unmemorable except for perhaps one track, possibly two. A second listen didn’t make it sound better. “Hotter Than Hell”? This album doesn’t even get hot enough to keep toast warm, I thought. So I put on my reviewer cap and gave the album one more listen, a careful one!

The opening track, “Got to Choose” is pretty mild. It’s mid-tempo, lacks any thrill and rush, and in no way hints that this is supposed to be a band with a spectacular live act. The song lyrics are pretty lame, too. It’s about a guy who finds out his girlfriend might leave him for another guy. So she “has to choose”. Deep, man.

The album does improve, though. “Parasite” is a little heavier than hard and sounds like it could go somewhere when played on stage. But “Goin’ Blind” is goin’ bland and just another throwaway power ballad. The title track should be a thrilling rocker I imagine but I isn’t. It starts with one of those typical hard rock riffs: power chords, pause, power chords, pause. But I’ve heard it a lot of times and done way better. The lead break is the only thing that kind of stands out.

“Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll” is alright and we are actually starting to rock out more. A typical blues-based rocker, it reminds me a little of Rush’s debut album. It’s not my favourite approach to seventies rock but the song moves. Then there’s “All the Way”, which is surprisingly not about “going all the way”. This song strikes me as KISS trying to do a hard rock song a little differently from the rest of the album. There’s some cowbell! It’s a good follow up to the previous track because at least now we seem to have gotten our asses of the couch even if it's just to confirm the track number.

At last I feel the band is making use of the dual guitars and bass when we reach track 7, “Watchin’ You”. Good riffs and musical structure. I am now finally warming up to this album! Then with "mainline" the band decides to do a southern rock-styled song that sounds like something I’d hear on a Nazareth album, like “Gone Dead Train” from “Show No Mercy” except Nazareth were better at it. Who is doing the vocals here? Ace?

“Comin’ Home” (these guys don’t like the “g” in the present continuous). What happened? This sounds like a demo! Paul Stanley sings this fun-ish rock song with a melody. Maybe something you’d hear from Cheap Trick. Then we get another heavy track, possibly one of Gene’s, with “Strange Ways”. It’s not bad but sounds very familiar, it doesn’t particularly stand out for originality. I get the impression that KISS were better at wearing make up and costumes than they were at writing and recording songs. Maybe that's why they were most popular among my friends when we were 9 years old.

It’s okay, I guess. There are some tracks that are worthy of adding to a seventies’ mixed playlist or that should be good live. Perhaps that was KISS’s strong point after all: their live shows. I have plenty of albums in my collection that totally rock out, songs that make you want to do scissor kicks and punch the air. This album needs to be cranked at a frat party and then only certain tracks played. Perhaps it’s best for people loaded on beer and hormones. Or am I too finicky?

KISS Dressed To Kill

Album · 1975 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
Another Kiss album, and not a lot different than the previous two. Short, sleazy, rock songs about the usual 1970’s affair... sex, women, partying, sex, drinking, women, and occasionally, something different, like sex, women and partying all at once.

It’s easy to see how this might have been a bit more revolutionary in the 70’s, but these albums sound pretty tame and immature by today’s standards. The production is decent enough, and the playing is consistently good (though again, pretty laid back), but after two previous albums of similar material, ‘Dressed to Kill’ just tends to bore.

‘Room Service’, ‘Getaway’ and ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’ (admittedly, an early Kiss classic), are the only really half-decent tracks here worth remembering. Still, it’s only half an hour long, so it’s not doing any harm, and Kiss will always be a guilty pleasure of mine, and everyone else’s.

With that said, despite three pretty mediocre releases, the next album is where my fandom for the band really begins, for it’s the album that changed my life. The best is definitely yet to come...

KISS Hotter Than Hell

Album · 1974 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
Impressively released barely three months after their debut, Kiss are back with their second album, ‘Hotter Than Hell’. While I admire a lot of these early rock bands from back in the day for their non-stop work ethic which saw them chug out so many releases in such a short space of time, the end result is usually average at best.

Take Kiss’ early days, for example. Mediocre, sleazy rock ‘n’ roll, at its very finest. I guess. I didn’t really enjoy the bands self-titled debut, and this certainly isn’t any better. From the rather dreary riffs to the forgettable lyrics, the only real shining quality about this album is the apparent chemistry amongst the band members, in particular, guitarists Paul Stanley and Ace Frehley. While it’s nothing remarkable by today’s standards, there’s definitely a synergy between the two, and if nothing else, it’s reassuring to know that these guys will go on to release much better material in the future.

‘Got to Choose’ and ‘Parasite’ are the only two songs I’d even consider passable, and the latter is mostly thanks to Anthrax’s cover of it. There’s a couple of decent guitar solos, but not decent enough that I remember which song I heard them in, and I have no desire to go looking for them.

While Kiss’ early works probably fare better if you were around in the 70’s, or you were exposed to it at an early age, to me, ‘Hotter Than Hell’, much like its predecessor, is a fairly rubbish album. It lacks the energy and bombast of later efforts, and just tends to drag along boringly with no real passion. Mercifully, it’s barely half an hour long.

KISS Kiss

Album · 1974 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
It's crazy to believe that this uninspiring release would spawn one of the most iconic and legendary rock bands in history. Though, what Kiss would lack in memorable hits they certainly made up for in marketability. Admittedly, I've always had a soft spot for the band. In fact, it was their 'Destroyer' album that changed the life of 12 year-old me back in 1999 when it introduced me to rock music. So going back to the bands early albums has sadly failed to live up to expectations.

Not that there really were any expectations to begin with, mind you. Kiss have always had a penchant for dumb, womanizing, sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll anthems, but their biggest trait has always been their image and their ability to sell products. Especially when their early albums were as lacklustre as this one.

Featuring ten tracks that top in at 35 minutes, 'Kiss' is a very raw release that is very straight forward and to the point. Songs about women, partying, drinking and more partying is the name of the game, but none of these songs are as noteworthy as the groups later material.

If I had to be generous, 'Strutter', 'Cold Gin' and 'Let Me Know' are alright, but pale in comparison to albums like 'Destroyer', 'Love Gun' and 'Creatures of the Night', and considering a lot of the other rock bands that were around in 1974, it's not hard to imagine where this band would be right now if not for their iconic face paint and stage shows.

Still, it's Kiss. How can you be mad at them?

KISS Movies Reviews

KISS Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park

Movie · 1978 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Vim Fuego
KISS have long had a reputation for doing anything for a buck, and getting their name out in public. There are KISS coffins, er… sorry I mean KISS Kaskets, KISS cologne, KISS checkers, KISS Visa cards, and of course, the KISS comic books. Is it over-the-top tacky marketing of image over substance, or is it capitalism and market forces in action, and simply giving people what they want? With KISS, it’s an unclear mixture of both.

The Marvel Comics Super Special 1977 comic book saw Space Ace, the Demon, the Starchild, and the Catman battling villains Dr. Doom and Mephisto with their superpowers. The comic even has the band members’ blood mixed in with the ink. And so what does every comic book superhero want? A live action movie of course.

So the world got “Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park”, which first aired on the NBC network on 28 October 1978.

It’s like an overlong live action episode of Scooby Doo, but without the stoner humour. The plot is a bit convoluted. KISS are playing a series of shows at an amusement park. However the park is inhabited by a mad scientist who is supposedly developing animatronic robots for the park. But of course, he’s mad and therefore evil, so he’s creating robots of real people. He creates a Demon Gene robot which smashes up the park. While the band are busy performing, another robot is sent to steal their talismans, from which their superpowers come. And then it starts to get silly and confusing…

There’s more than half an hour of snoozefest before there’s any “acting” from the band themselves. None of the four had any acting experience, and the stilted delivery of their dialogue shows. Originally, all Space Ace was scripted to say was “Ack!” When the real Ace found out, he threatened to pull out unless he got some more lines. After demanding more lines, Frehley also didn’t show for filming some days, so his stunt double filled in. Peter Criss’ Catman lines were mostly feline puns, and his voice ended up being overdubbed anyway, as he didn’t turn up for looping (re-recording lines in post-production), and his broad accent. Gene’s Demon voice ended up either a demonic roar or a Satanic hiss.

Despite all the cheap and nasty sets, effects, and costuming, the fight scenes are actually pretty entertaining. There’s a kung fu fight after one of the concerts onstage and in the empty arena, and there’s a great slapstick/comic book-style brawl against various classic horror movie monster robots. And of course, there’s the climactic KISS robots vs KISS superheroes fight in front of a crowd going wild.

There’s concert footage interspersed through the movie. These parts offer sweet relief from the hammy acting. It was a real concert at a real theme park, set up especially to be filmed for the movie. After the real concert, the band also lip synched several tracks for filming. As you’d expect from KISS, the live performances are flamboyant and over-the-top. Perhaps a more traditional concert movie would have been a better idea?

So how did it all turn out? It was a fucking disaster of course! KISS hated it. For years, after, it was forbidden to mention the movie to anyone in the band. Gene Simmons compared it to “Plan 9 From Outer Space”, often considered the worst movie of all time.

Fans hated it. It got a worldwide release in theatres to a pretty tepid response. It was oddly popular in Australia, but this was probably because free tickets could be obtained by cutting 20 diamond shaped coupons from an ice confectionery cup called an "Icee" and pasting them onto a printed sheet.

KISS fans being what they are, eventually warmed to the movie. It slowly gained cult status, and was released on DVD as part of the “Kissology Volume Two: 1978-1991” box set. It’s one of those movies you see to say that you’ve seen it, but won’t remember well, and definitely won’t remember for the right reasons. The thought of a second viewing is a brand new horror show all of it’s own…

KISS Symphony: The DVD

Movie · 2003 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
Kiss’s Symphony: Alive IV DVD was recorded back in 2003 in Melbourne, Australia, with David Campbell conducting the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. The band consists of stalwart members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanely as well as origional drummer Peter Criss and ‘new’ guitarist Tommy Thayer in place of Ace Frehly, all back in make up and costumes.

The concert is split into three sections, one with just the band playing up tempo rock songs, one with the band and a string section playing ballads and another with the band as well as the complete symphony orchestra playing hits and rock songs. There are all sorts of explosions, pyro, band members flying on wires, fake blood, special lighting and big screens making the whole thing as interesting to watch as you’d expect from Kiss and this is in addition to the whole orchestra made-up in Kiss style make up.

As a concert; this is a great success, vastly entertaining, visually stunning, well performed and great sounding. The DVD is let down largely however by a crazy and over enthusiastic editing job that flits hyper-actively around, concentrating on all the right things and rarely settling long enough for you to get into anything. I can understand how the makers wanted to convey the excitement and scale of this special concert, and wanted to keep your attention but in my opinion things have been taken too far. After all, as a home viewer most people will want to watch the band play live, not the audience members dancing or jiggling their chests.

If you can get over this larger problem as well as any personal problems you may have with track listing or general cheesiness (people have complained on various levels including Paul Stanley’s dialogue, the more syrupy songs like ‘Shandi,’ or with the orchestra being painted up etc) then you will find a fantastic DVD that is a lot of fun to watch.

In addition to the concert, there is a fairly substantial, but not astounding, making-of documentary covering the origins, practices and build up to the concert.

Newcomers or people who actively dislike mixtures of rock and orchestras may be better suited checking out the fantastic Rock The Nation or Kissology Vol. 1 DVDs; however overall, Kiss Symphony: Alive IV is a very good product, hampered by odd editing choices, but ultimately worth the time and money of most Kiss fans.

KISS Rock The Nation Live!

Movie · 2005 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
Kiss have a lot of DVDs on the market, all of varying quality and taken from all different eras of the band’s career. 2005′s Rock The Nation DVD is taken from their successful 2004 Rock The Nation Tour which sees the band, now with Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer in the line up (as on their following ‘Sonic Boom,’ and ‘Monster,’ studio albums) replacing Peter Criss and Ace Frehly on drums and guitar after a classic-line-up reunion.

The band absolutely deliver in terms of performance, the songs are delivered in an absolutely professional and yet energetic fashion, with a set list that concentrates primarily on rock songs from the 70s as opposed to focusing more on ballads and later material. If you like Kiss mostly for their rock songs from the 70s, then pick up a copy of this DVD right away, but if you only like their 80s output then their are other Kiss DVDs out their which will serve you better.

As a DVD, Rock The Nation is excellent; with fantastic sound and mixing, as well as great camera work and editing (as opposed to the over-edited Symphony DVD) and it is really one of, if not the best looking and sounding DVDs Kiss have released.

Classics like ‘Deuce,’ ‘Shout It Out Loud,’ ‘Love Gun,’ and ‘Detroit Rock City,’ are all in evidence, as well as a few choices you wouldn’t expect like ‘Unholy,’ and ‘War Machine,’ both of which are fantastic additions. Of course you get all the pyro, smoke bombs, make up, fake blood, big screens and flying band members that make Kiss so entertaining live and Paul Stanley is very communicative with the crowd, helping the band to come across like they really appreciate being up there on stage.

In terms of extras; There is a multi-angle feature called Kiss Power Vision, where you can choose which band member you want to see, which can interrupt the screen with picture in picture scenarios, but it can be turned off. Also there is a behind the scenes documentary and set of interviews, but rather than be accessible as a complete feature separately, it is inter-cut with the main concert every few songs or so.

If these two special features potentially interrupting a complete concert don’t sound like they’d annoy you, if you like Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer in the band and if you like the track listing (They can’t play every song you like on every DVD) then get yourself a copy of Rock The Nation, otherwise content yourself with one of the many other Kiss DVDs on the market, such as Kissology Volume 1.

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