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Hard Rockers Kiss Still Rocking On
by Jimmy Cox
The American band Kiss was formed in New York around 1973. Now over the past 34 years Kiss have sold over 19 million records in the U.S. alone and a whopping 80 million records worldwide. They have even been awarded with 22 gold records since their formation, even though the group has a history of different band members.

Kiss is well known for their live performances, having gimmicks like fire breathing, smoking guitars, blood spitting, pyrotechnics, and other extraordinary on stage antics. Because of their entertaining performances and unique sound, it`s no surprise Kiss has quickly developed a fan base worldwide.

The original members of Kiss were Gene Simmons, a schoolteacher and bass player, and Paul Stanley, a singer and guitarist who were both members of a band called Wicked Lester.

When Simmons and Stanley decided to leave Wicked Lester, they brought with them their bad boy image and formed the band Kiss with a horror style of presentation. This image later became the reason for being dubbed as one of the greatest rock and roll bands in the world of popular music.

Kiss became a complete band after recruiting Paul Ace Frehley (vocals and lead guitar) and Peter Criss (vocals and drums) through a newspaper advertisement that Stanley and Simmons set out.

The band Kiss produced a series of successful albums throughout the 1970s. With their donning, elaborate face make ups and black leather outfits, the Kiss band instantly became a hit and even adopted each of their own personas and stage names Stanley The Star Child, Simmons The Demon, Criss The Cat and Frehley The Space Man.

In 1974, Kiss` self titled debut album and Hotter Than Hell came out, which were both filled with crushing, raw music that would later become classic Kiss songs like Hotter than Hell, Strutter and Cold Gin. However, the band`s commercial stardom began with their 1975 album Dressed to Kill, which gave Kiss their signature tune Rock and Roll All Nite.

Around 1976 and with their release of Destroyer, Kiss was dubbed as the greatest rock n` roll band in America due to its Top 10 hits and its growing Kiss Army. The group, then, released Love Gun and Rock and Roll Over, which both became Platinum.

Unfortunately, because of creative differences and substance abuse, Frehley and Criss were both out of the band by 1982. As a result, the band`s commercial fortune and fan base also decreased during this time.

Without the make up, Kiss made a major comeback in 1983 and enjoyed a successful resurgence all through the early 1990s. Kiss` original lineup reunited in 1996, with their world renowned make ups on and performed in 210 cities for the Kiss Alive Worldwide Tour, which attended by over two million Kiss fanatics worldwide.

After the tour, Criss was replaced by Eric Singer and Frehley by Tommy Thayer, after both deciding to leave Kiss for good. The band still performs with Simmons and Stanley the only constant band members.

To this day with their evolving music, elaborate live acts, outlandish costumes and millions of fans and worldwide, Kiss remains as one of the greatest rock and roll bands in the world.

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