KISSis an American rock band which formed in 1973 in New York City. The group wore a lot of face paint and stage costumes. They were very popular in the 1970's because of their live performances. They had acts where they breathed fire, spit blood, and had smoking guitars. They have recorded and been awarded 40 Gold albums and have sold over 80 million albums worldwide. The first KISS performance was for an audience of 3 at the Popcorn Club in Queens on January 30, 1973. In March they recorded a five song demo with producer Eddie Kramer. Bill Aucoin offered to become their manager in October after he had seen a few of their performances in the summer of 1973. Their first label was Emerald City records which was later renamed Casablanca records. Their first tour started in February, 1974 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They promoted their album, KISS, that spring and summer. In 1973, while performing at the Academy of Music in new York City, Simmons accidentally set his hair on fire while performing his firebreathing act. This was the first of many times to come. His hair contained hair spray.
The group originally consisted of Gene Simmons (bass and vocal), Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar and vocal), Ace Frehley (lead guitar and vocal), and Peter Criss (drums and vocal). Criss and Frehley both had substance abuse problems and left the group in 1982.
In 1983 the group got rid of their makeup and worked for the next ten years. They appeared in public for the first time without their make up and costumes on September 18, 1983. This appearance was on MTV. The group was releasing their new album, Lick it Up, at the same time. Then, in 1996 the original group decided to put the costumes and makeup back on and the KISS Alive/Worldwide Tour was the most successful act of 1996. Since then Criss and Frehley have left the group again and have been replaced by Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. The band continues to perform. The group performed on the Dick Clark Show on television show and also on the Mike Douglas Show. In the 1980's the group released a series of albums which made platinum. They did not achieve the success they had in the 1970's but they still had many successful releases. The group is still releasing albums (as of 2004 anyway) and have changed some of the members of their group periodically. The lineup of Stanley, Simmons, Carr, and Kulick were the most stable mix since the original group and through the 1980's. The present lineup of the group are Simmons, Stanley, Thayer, and Singer.
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