By Adam Freeman / http://www.playboy.com/articles/playboy-library-kiss-alive
We are not going to debate the music of KISS. If you love it, nothing I say will convince you otherwise; if you hate it, nothing I can say will make you reconsider.
Let’s talk facts: Forty-plus-year career. Over 100 million albums sold. Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame (albeit begrudgingly) Inductees. The industry and music elitists may not take them seriously, but a few million fans beg to differ. Sure, Pearl Jam is a hell of a band, but they don’t have their own army.
KISS rose from the ashes of Wicked Lester, a Jethro Tull-tinged prog-rock band led by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. Realizing they were good but not great, Stanley and Simmons severed ties with Epic Records and set out with one goal in mind — create the rock band they had never seen, but wished they did. Stripping down their sound, abandoning the jazz flute and Hammond organ and bringing lead guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss into the fold, they focused on louder guitars and catchier melodies.