COLUMN WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
Rock music fans usually fall into one of two categories when it comes to the grease-painted foursome of Kiss. They either love them or hate them, but one thing that can’t be discounted is Kiss’ enduring popularity, evidenced in the news this week that they have earned more Gold album record awards than any American band in the history of The Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA’s) Gold & Platinum Awards certifications.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Kiss has earned 30 Gold albums by way of 26 recordings by the band and the four solo albums that were all released simultaneously in 1978 − a feat never before achieved by any band. The band also has 14 Platinum albums, with three albums being multi-Platinum.
“Congratulations to Kiss – the new Gold standard for albums by American bands,” said Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO of RIAA in a statement. “What an extraordinary achievement for an enduring band. Forty years later and the band is still rocking. Congratulations to Kiss on their Gold album milestone and continued success.”
Despite detractors – including many voting members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who consider Kiss nothing more than a novelty at best or a talentless and tired joke at worst − the group continues to outlast the competition, and even wore down the Hall of Fame with help from its legion of fans dubbed the Kiss Army, becoming inducted last year.
Whether Kiss is one of the most influential bands in the history of music is up for debate, but what isn’t is decades of record-breaking tours around the globe which have included high-profile appearances at Super Bowl XXXIII, the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the Rockin’ The Corps concert dedicated to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, special guest appearance on the 2009 American Idol finale that boasted 30 million viewers and a 2010 Dr. Pepper Super Bowl commercial and advertising campaign in support of their “Hottest Show On Earth” tour.
Co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, with longtime members Tommy Thayer on guitar and Eric Singer on drums, have cemented a legacy that has been embraced by new generations. Their last album, ‘Monster,’ had impressive sales and topped the charts worldwide while debuting at number three on the Billboard 200 chart.
It is worth noting none of the albums which achieved Gold status with the current lineup, which has put out two records together, but it’s also a time in the music industry where selling a few hundred thousand is the equivalent to going multi-Platinum two decades ago.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, send an email to email@example.com. Also, check out his blog at our sister publication www.delcotimes.com