Encyclopedia of Kiss by Brett Weiss

I spent two years between ages 12 and 14 listening to KISS virtually every day. Alive II was on a constant cycle among me and my friends – so much so that we could speak and sing every word that was uttered on that album. It wasn’t the only one, but it was definitely part of the soundtrack of our lives.

It took some time for me to receive this book and it was worth the wait. So much so that I read it in one sitting! This is not your average encyclopedia. This is a very detailed; very cross referenced volume of information that is perfect for super fans and average fans alike.

Organized alphabetically, each entry covers any aspect of KISS that you can think of: personnel, events, music, songs, individual projects, related bands, former bands, venues, producers, merchandising etc.

Not only are these areas covered, they are cross referenced. Some entries are substantial. This is true in particular about the members of the group – original and replacements. Each is covered in equal depth.

What I loved the most about this book is that it is not filtered through the Gene Simmons/Paul Stanley prism. Equal weight is given to Peter Criss and Ace Frehely as there is to Eric Carr, Tommy Thayer and others. Too many times in “official” KISStory, the story cuts out the original members who we grew up loving.

This is such a fun read. I literally could not put it down and stayed up way too late absorbed in all the details. After I finished, I dug out Alive II and flashed back to my teen years – black light posters, incense and KISS! It rocked!

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