KISS was originally released in April of 1974 but was re-issued in June of 1974 with the added track, Kissin' Time.
Before the release of the album, Eugene Klein (Gene Simmons) was working as a school teacher; Paul Frehley (Ace Frehley) was driving a taxicab; George Criscuola (Peter Criss) was in several bands including Lips and Chelsea; and Stanley Paul Eisen (Paul Stanley) was a struggling art student playing in various bands at night hoping to get discovered. Stanley and Eugene would form a group called Wicked Lester with a mutual friend named Steven Coronel in 1970 after Coronel introduced the two. As Wicked Lester, they even recorded an album's worth of demos for Epic Records in 1971-72 that never got released. Some of these songs would show up on later KISS albums. Peter was enlisted around April 1972 and Ace followed in January 1973 to become the hottest band in the world . . . KISS!
KISS' first gig was at The Coventry in New York on January 31, 1973--only 2 weeks after Ace joined the band.
Names for the band before KISS was decided on included "Albatross", "Rainbow", and "Crimson Harpoon". Gene was once quoted as saying that he wanted to call the band F**K but thought it wouldn't fly with record companies. This was later shown to be just a joke. The acronym Knights in Satan's Service that many anti-rock preachers claimed was what KISS stood for was made up by
November 1, 1973--KISS signs with Casablanca records for a four-album deal.
KISS' biggest musical influences were Alice Cooper, the New York Dolls, and The Beatles.
Gene's hair caught on fire several times while performing his fire breathing act.
The cover of KISS was created by having the band sit under a heavy (and reportedly hot) black curtain. The band wanted the cover to resemble the classic 'Meet The Beatles' album cover.
To get the silver look in his hair, Ace used silver spray-painted that he assumed would wash right out. He was mistaken.
Nothin' To Lose/Love Theme From KISS was the first single released by the band.
KISS re-recorded Strutter as a "new" track for 1978's Double Platinum.
KISS only reached # 87 on Billboard's charts and dropped off very quickly.
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