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Ken Sharp has been writing articles about KISS for nearly three decades in such publications as Goldmine. He has also worked as a writer/researcher for music programs on the cable network VH1.
David Leaf is a rock journalist who has written biographies of the BeeGees and the Beach Boys, among others.
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 92 commentaires
35 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Not bad, 3 1/2 to 4 stars 14 octobre 2003
Par C. Davis - Publié sur
Format: Relié
What makes this book a must-get for Kiss fans is the first section. During this segment, a never-before-released text from 1979 reveals an incredible amount of commaraderie and friendship among the members of Kiss, even during their most difficult era. It actually illustrates the sweeter side of the band and how much they genuinely cared for one another as individuals. It was also refreshing to be able to read quotes from Gene Simmons that were not practiced hype intended to promote the Cult of Simmons to the market. This first segment was written before Gene became GENE SIMMONS INC. and is a poignant snapshot of what the man - hopefully - is really like. But also, the vulnerability of a young Paul Stanley, the wit, charm and intelligence of a young Ace Frehley and the sentimentality of a young Peter Criss shine in the opening of the book.
To their credit, the band,in authorizing this bio, have allowed the inclusion of a number of credible sources from outside the realm of the band's influence that add an authenticity to the book. The quotes and stories from Bill Aucoin, Sean Delaney, Joyce Bogart, Bob Kulick and others dispute many myths surrounding the band and help clarify many hazy aspects of the band's history. It is clear that Kiss is not the House That Simmons Built. Rather, it was - and has always been - a group effort, culling from the talents of dozens of people at a time.
The second section has the band members and various insiders quoting on thoughts about almost every Kiss song and album recorded. I say almost because many details about Peter Criss' and Ace Frehley's 1978 solo albums were excluded - from the onset, a minor flaw, but one that becomes a tragic omission when bearing in mind that every song from "Hot in the Shade" is covered. A better biography would have paid particular attention to those two solo albums, since their releases were the catalysts to the band's eventual split. Ace Frehley's was the most successful of the four - clarifying the idea that he did not need Kiss - while Peter Criss', possibly the most melodic and creative - was the least successful - clarifying that Kiss was keeping him from a wider audience. But all of this is ingnored while the drummer from Gene's solo album is allowed to wax philisophic about the sessions in England.
Among other things this book shows the brilliance of Bill Aucoin. Indeed, until Doc McGhee took over as manager, Kiss floundered after Aucoin's dismissal. So paying homage to Aucoin earns this book one star. Giving Peter Criss and Ace Frehley a fair amount of the spotlight earns it two stars. Dispelling the many concocted myths created by the Simmons Propoganda Machine earn it one and a half more.
While Kiss is gradually become more and more of a band comfortable release newer compilation albums, this book may be arriving at just the right time. With Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley both working on solo albums and Kiss reduced to nothing more than a touring act (we can hardly call them a band anymore, with anyone able to be replaced - it's more like the best circus you've ever seen. And why not?), we may have seen the last of any new material from the band. If that's the case, and even if it isn't, this is a book that's worth it's price and then some.
28 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A treasure for KISS fans. 2 avril 2004
Par M J Heilbron Jr. - Publié sur
Format: Relié
The key factor of the success of this book is that the first half was written in 1979. KISS was the biggest band on the planet, had peaked in their popularity, and was just about to start a tremendous career slump. The manuscript lay dormant fro a few decades until renewed interest sparked it's release.
The second half of the book consists of edited comments from band members, producers and sundry musicians, regarding all of their albums, songs and career choices. This half is fairly dry and clinical, but for those of you unfamiliar with their later phases, indispensible.
Let me return to the first portion of the book. What struck me was the singlemindedness displayed by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons from day ONE.
These guys had a plan and despite all odds, took themselves to the top. They were driven. I found their biographies to be they got be who they are.
I was the perfect age to be a KISS fan in the seventies. I loved comics. I was in junior high. My father took me to the L.A. concert that was recorded for "Alive II"
I still have the "I Was There" button.
I am the person this book was written for.
Having said that, I loved following the development of their "act".
Wanting only to "rock". Wanting only to entertain. Wanting to do something that no one had ever seen. I was impressed by their dedication to the concept of KISS.
I was also impressed by their candid comments. When they screw up, they're the first to speak up. When they got a bit too full of themselves, they tell you exactly when that happened.
The tensions between the two "factions" within the group, Paul/Gene vs. Ace/Peter is well described, and all of them are brutally about the faults of their bandmates as well as themselves.
Business ruthlessness or substance abuse, everybody's vice is on display here. Not in any tabloid sensationalistic fashion, but as clear sober history.
The album-by-album, track-by-track notes section is awesome for fans like myself. I joined the "KISS Army" between the "Alive" albums. "Destroyer", "Rock and Roll Over" and "Love Gun" were albums I knew inside and out. Played them 'til they were grooveless. I've developed a new appreciation for that era of their music. There's stuff here I didn't know or hadn't considered.
I enjoyed this book far more that I anticipated, and I anticipated that I was gonna like it a lot.
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
For All the Spacebears and Curly fans out there!! BUY IT!!! 28 novembre 2003
Par Spacebeard07 - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Where do I even begin to start in my review of this book? This is my first venture into reviewing books so bare with me.
Kiss - Behind The Mask is simply the be all, end all of books out on the market talking about the real history of the band. This isn't KISSTORY where Paul And Gene are the ones basically telling you their side of the story. This book has some of the best quotes ever seen in a KISS book. Put it this way, the small entry in part 2 of the book about Bob Kulicks recording experience with Paul and Gene on KILLERS had me laughing and clamoring for more info.
The book is broken into two parts. The first part, an unreleased piece done by David Leaf circa 1979. It's not explained as to why this wasn't released in 1980 but after reading it I can tell why this wasn't released to the public back then. This would've damaged KISS at a time where they were basically marketing themselves to a younger audience. The Quotes about the band by great bands such as THE WHO, THE RAMONES, THE REPLACEMENTS and OZZY were very cool additions to a book that was a classic upon page 1 being read. Someone mentioned Gene Simmons's quotes not being contrived and planned out diatribes and this is very true indeed. Peter Criss is let loose in this portion of the book as well as Ace. The background stories of the original 4 band members from this perspective is the best pre-KISSTORY document I've ever read. It's more interesting coming from the original band members themselves rather than from some ghost author attempting to tell their stories. It's nice to see Gene Simmons And Paul Stanley shown in a completely different light than what we're used to seeing lately. Thankfully, Ken Sharp convinced David Leaf to unearth this Gem because KISS fans finally get what they've wanted for a long time. A truthful document on the story of the band without Gene Simmons and Paul Stanleys mitts all over it (ie: KISSTORY, Gene Simmons 2 books)
The second part of the book is where you think to yourself, "As if it wasn't enough reading the first part of the book, now I get THIS!!?". This is because you get an incomplete but 95% complete history of KISS's studio/Live and Complilation albums (with the exception of KISS MY ASS, GREATEST KISS and ALIVE 4). Only on a few of the albums are songs left out. Most likely due to the lack of information about albums such as Peter Criss's solo album and Ace's Solo album as well. I doubt this was intentional at all but this is a moot point. In this section of the book you get quotes from Producers, band members, Session musicians, management, you name it, they're in this book. This was hands down my favorite part of the book because there is so much info thrown out there for the first time. stuff that Gene and Paul would rather have kept behind closed doors, studio doors that is. This was great and disappointing at times. Disappointing only in that once you read certain things about certain albums you felt betrayed in a way. KISS fans have always known that since Dressed To Kill the members of KISS wouldn't always play on the records but what Part two of this book reveals is simply amazing at times. You'll lose count as to who played on what for who and where it was done. This extensive coverage is as amazing as it gets. Ken Sharp should be given awards for this piece that he offered to the book. I can only imagine the amount of work that went into the writing of this book.
No Matter what the price is on this book here on Amazon, this is a MUST BUY for all fans but especially DIE HARD Kiss fans like myself. This will make you see the band differently than you've ever seen them before and alot of times make you laugh out loud. This is a brilliant and well written book that's destined to become the Must own book about the band. I don't know who's going to top this but his name starts with BILL and ends with AUCOIN. That's not likely to happen anytime soon so this will serve as the BOOK to own about KISS.
My top 3 Favorite Books about KISS:
2. KISS - ALIVE FOREVER - The Complete Touring History
3. KISS N SELL by C.K. Lendt
17 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The story behind the band 4 janvier 2004
Par SPM - Publié sur
Format: Relié
This is a very detailed book. It's so detailed, in fact, that I was exhausted after reading it. The first section makes it clear that the two masterminds behind the band, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, wanted to be pop stars, not respected musicians. That's great, of course, especially when they make it clear that their gimmicks are just a little more honest than other rock stars.
Stanley and Simmons, two Jewish New Yorkers who grew up on television and British bands, joined together to form Wicked Lester. They got a record contract and recorded an album, but the deal fell through. Then they met Ace and Peter, two guys with a little more interest in music (and getting really loaded). They changed their name to Kiss and started experimenting with makeup. The decision to disguise themselves and create four alter egos was a stroke of genius. Even if you never buy a Kiss album, you know Kiss and you'll never forget them.
But they needed songs to go with the image --- products to sell and music to play in concert. When you get into the third section, an album-by-album (and, at times, track-by-track) review of the entire output of the band, you see how Ace and Peter complimented (and frustrated) the two masterminds. This section is a long list of co-writers for the songs, album producers, and new band members who replaced Ace and Peter. By the end of the book, your head is spinning with names. Gene and Paul are at the center of it all, trying to keep their entertainment empire going.
Even if you have no interest in Kiss, you'll learn a lot from this book. It's as much about the music business as it is about the band. Even for those who don't care for Kiss' music, the phenomenon is worth reading about. You'll learn about overdubbing live albums, following trends to stay on the charts, and paying radio to play your songs and turn them into 'hits.' If you like Kiss, you have to read this book. There's so much information here, you'll have trouble putting it down.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
BEST KISS BOOK EVER! 10 octobre 2003
Par "madamejess" - Publié sur
Format: Relié
"Kiss: Behind The Mask" stands as the best book ever written about Kiss. The 431-page book has it all, amazing information, extensive interviews with the Kiss, and members of their inner circle. It's packed with many rare photos that I've never seen before, both in color and black & white. These include shots of Ace from 1968, alternate pictures of the "Alive!" album cover and the "Alive II" inner sleeve, the band without makeup from 1974 posing for Creem magazine, the infamous "Hotter Than Hell" party photo, Paul and Gene in the studio sans makeup from the late 70's and more. The comments from the band's peers is incredible too with The Who, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Ozzy, and many more talking about the band.
It's easy to pick my favorite part of the book. It has to be the spectacular album by album, song by song section. This could be a whole book on its own. Every Kiss album and Kiss song features quotes from the band, producers, engineers, songwriters, musical sidemen and more. Yes, that includes "the Elder"...The sections on Wicked Lester, and the "Destroyer" album are real standouts, so much new info is revealed for the very first time. Kiss has let me down a lot in the past but not with this book. "Kiss: Behind The Mask" is the ultimate book for the Kiss Army, and an indispensable resource for fans of the group. Highly recommended.
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