This is a short walkthrough in the KISS history. (with credits to Alex Carranza, from whose KISS FAQ I got most of the material) Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley met for the first time in 1970, when Gene played one show with Pauls band Uncle Joe. In 1971 Gene formed the band Rainbow along with Stephen Coronel. Paul stanley wants to join Rainbow, but is beeing turned down on the phone. This does not stop Paul from turning up at the auditions, and this time he gets hired. 1972 Rainbow develops into Wicked Lester and gets a record deal with Epic Records.
They record their debut album, but Epic drops the band and the record is never released. Gene and Paul discovers Peter Criss through an ad in Rolling Stone Magazine and the band changes name to KISS. In 1973 KISS advertises in Village Voice for a guitarist, and after auditions they hire Ace Frehley. Now the band starts wearing makeup, and Ace comes up with the KISS logo.
They enter the Electric Lady Studios in June and record their first album KISS, and in August they sign a record contract with the new label Casablanca Records. The album is released in February 1974, and KISS starts of their first tour. In August they start recording their second album Hotter Than Hell at Village Recorder Studios in LA, and in October the album is released. The touring goes on until February 1975, when they start to record their third album Dressed To Kill, released in March that year.
More touring was to come and the recorded live material resulted in KISS Alive! , released in September 1975 and sold gold in December. In March 1976 Destroyer, their second gold selling album was released. The same year in May they made their first performance in Europe on the "KISS Around The World" tour. This year they also released a tour album to promote the summer U. S. tour, and Casablanca released the compilation The Originals, which consisted KISS first three studio albums.
In November they released Rock and Roll Over, and Destroyer received their first platinum certification. Love Gun, released in June 1977 became their first record to ship Platinum, and later that year their second live album Alive II does just the same. The Alive II tour went on until February 1978, and in April that year the greatest hits compilation Double Platinum was released. In May and June 1978 the film KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park was filmed at Magic Mountain in Valencia.
The film had premiere in October. In September no less than four KISS albums were released, one solo album for each member of the band. In May 1979 Dynasty was released, and a year later in May 1980 Unmasked was released. Now Peter leaves the band, and Eric Carr replaces him as drummer.
In August that year the first pictures of the band without makeup becomes official. In January 1981 Best Of Solo Albums was released all over the world with exception of North America. This year KISS recorded and released their first and only concept album The Elder. In May 1982 the greatest hits album Killers was beeing released all around the world, once again with the exception of North America. In October that year the album Creatures Of The Night was out on the market. In November 1982 the KISS lineup changes again when Ace leaves the band, and was replaced by Vinnie Vincent.
In June 25 1983 the band does their last pre formance in makeup... atleast in this era. Later in 1983 Vinnie does his recording debut on Lick It Up, which was the only KISS album he was involved in. Vinnie was fired from the band during the European tour, but came back to play the American part of the tour. When the tour closed in March 1984 Vinnie leaved the band for good, and Mark St. John took his place.
1984 they released the album Animalize with Mark on guitar, but later that year he was forced to leave KISS due to a disease called Reiter's Syndrome. His place was taken by Bruce Klick, and in 1985 they release Asylum. In 1986 the members did all kinds of different stuff besides KISS, like Gene starring in various movies and so on. Therefore no album was released this year.
In March 1987 the band went into the studio to record a new album, which was released in September under the name Crazy Nights. To celebrate that KISS now has been around for 15 years, they released the compilation Smashes, Thrashes And Hits in November 1988. 1989 the album Hot In The Shade was released, and the the year after they went on tour with their largest stageshow ever. In 1991 it was announced that Eric Carr suffered from cancer in the heart, and in November 24, a very sad day for all KISS fans, he dies due to this. Eric Singer now takes on the part as drummer in KISS, and in May 1992 the album Revenge, dedicated to Eric carr, was released.
During the Revenge tour the material to Alive III was recorded, and the album was released in May 1993. In 1994 and 1995 they tour and appeared in various TV-shows. In August the thing that all fans had wished for happened. The original lineup was reunited for a stageshow filmed and recorded by MTV, for their unplugged series. The original lineup preformed two songs, and two more songs was preformed with both the current and the original lineup. The rest of the show was done with the current KISS setup at the time.
Then the band entered the studio again to record a new album, which did not not get released at the time, but become known as Head or Carnival Of Souls. In March 1996 the KISS Unplugged album was released, and rumors were that there would be a reunion of the original members. The band wouldn't comment on this but in February that year they showed up at the Grammy Award in full makeup. In April they finally announced that they would do a reuniontour in 1996 and 1997. In June 1996 the album You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best! , with old material (some previously unreleased), was released to celebrate the reuniontour. In europe they also released a compilation album called Greatest KISS in late 1996.
Bruce and Eric left the band, and KISS started out on a big world tour with the original members. In the summer of 1997 rumors started spreading that the unreleased album was going to be released, and under the name Carnival Of Souls - The Final Sessions, the album hit the stores in late october. After the tour the band went into the studio to record a brand new album with all new material. This album is planned to be on the market in early 1998, with a major tour following. There will also be a collectors box to buy in 1998. And the saga continues....