Do you have a few minutes? I hope so, 'cause you'll need them to read this post.
I first discovered KISS in 1988 when "Let's Put the 'X' in Sex" was their current video-hit on MTV's Dial-MTV show. I must admit, this song didn't strike me as the greatest song ever, but it did introduce me to the band I would soon call my favorite.
The following year, KISS released "Hot In The Shade". It was this album that turned me onto KISS for good. Still an MTV child, I saw the video for "Hide Your Heart" on an almost daily basis. At this time in my life I was supporting my fledgling music collection (of cassette tapes!) with my daily newspaper delivery route. I usually could afford 2-3 tapes in a month. I bought Hot in the Shade shortly after the video-hit "Forever" was released. I quickly became a fan of this album and also grew curious to learn more about this band who had 24 albums (that number amazed me).
Around this time, a couple of my Jr. High School friends had been "racing" to see who could collect all of Aerosmith's 15 albums (at the time... Pump was brand-new!) first. I thought this might be a cool idea for my best-friend & I to try with the KISS back-catalog. He was also into the "Hot in the Shade" album, and said "Sure, why not?" Little did we know the monster we would soon create (or rather, uncover!)
And so, over the next couple of years my collection of KISS albums grew. I know the 2nd album I bought was "Unmasked", followed by "Hotter Than Hell". After that I don't recall the exact order I collected them in. In the end my best friend won the race (he beat me by 2 albums if I recall correctly). However I was the first to get their next new album "Revenge", which quickly became our new favorite. Ever since then, I've kept up with any new release by KISS.
It wasn't until my sophomore year of college when the most significant event in KISStory happened; the original members of KISS joined the then-current 90's line-up for an MTV Unplugged performance in New York (KISS' hometown). This was followed by a full reunion, reunion tour, numerous nostalgic compilations, and a new studio recording "Psycho-Circus". It was on the tour in support of "Psycho-Circus" when I finally saw KISS in concert for the 1st time. Since then I've seen them on thier "Farewell" Tour and when they co-headlined with Aerosmith.
KISS now seem to have finally called it quits, but Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley have each released solo material recently. Ace Frehley, probably my favorite original member of the band, has seemed to remain in obscurity, but there are rumors he has new solo material in the works. I'll follow the members as long as they keep writing new music, but for now I should get to my KISS top recommendations:
Albums: Anyone who knows anything about KISS should know what the first album to recommend should be. Ready....
Destroyer (1976) (good job KISS fans!)
Creatures of the Night (1982)
MTV Unplugged (1996)
Love Gun (1977)
Carnival of Souls [The Final Sessions] (1997)
Songs: (more coming soon... check back later!)
Detroit Rock City
God of Thunder
Creatures of the Night
Rip It Out
Under the Gun
Hide Your Heart
Goin' Blind (unplugged)
(images from: kissonline.com/ & www.its-official.com/kiss.html)