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KISS: Behind the Mask - Official Authorized…
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KISS: Behind the Mask - Official Authorized Biogrphy

by David Leaf, Ken Sharp, Ken Sharp

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This is the umteenth time I've read this book. As a huge KISS fan, I didn't think I'd get much out of it considering I'd bought KISSTORY, the $150 coffee table book put out back in the 90s that was supposed to have detailed the history of the band. And it did...but only from two primary perspectives--those of founding members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. "KISS: Behind the Mask" takes place in three parts. The first does better what KISSTORY should have done as it is a biography that never got released in the late 70s/early 80s. It details the lives of all four original members including Stanley, Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley. The latter two were most interesting if only because there's little out there about them.

The second part is actually quite redundant as it's culled from interviews from band members (which is repetitive from the first part in many ways) as well as managers, road crew, and other peers of the time. The interview topics appear in chronological order.

It's the third part of the book that's most interesting. "Speaking in Tongues" recounts virtually every song the band has released (up through 1998's KISS' "reunion" album "Psycho Circus"). The band themselves, managers, producers, other musicians, and co-writers all chime in on each song. What's amazing to me is how many times the band poo-poos the sound of the albums. They often lament how their demos were much more raw and powerful. My reaction is "Why the hell did you let producers and engineers muck it up, then?!" I don't know anything about the process of creating an album, but as professional as Stanley and Simmons are, I'm surprised how often they gave the reigns of an album to someone else, then didn't correct problems before the album was released.

If you're a KISS fan, you'll enjoy the book...even if you know much of its contents. If you're not a KISS fan, why are you even reading this review?! ( )
  Jarratt | Aug 9, 2010 |
A great book telling the tale of the Hottest Band in the World! There are many things that I did not know contained within these pages. Kiss has always been heroes of mine and it was a little painful to hear the bickering and fighting going on backstage. No one wants to know that their heroes are real flesh and blood! One thing I would like to have read was more comments by Ace and Peter. I also wished that it had more quotes from Eric Carr. Over all an enlightening story of one of the most influential rock bands of all time. ( )
  Chris177 | Feb 25, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Leafprimary authorall editionscalculated
Sharp, Kenmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Sharp, Kenmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446695246, Paperback)

Now everything is finally revealed about one of rock music's most outrageous and enduring phenomena. In this definitive, official authorized biography, authors David Leaf and Ken Sharp were given full, unprecedented access to Kiss and their inner circle. Hear the true, uncensored stories from Gene Simmons, the fire-breathing Demon; Paul Stanley, the acrobatic Starchild; Ace Frehley, the axe-slinging Spaceman; and Peter Criss, the levitating Catman drummer. Chronicling the group's amazing story, this one-of-a-kind book also offers interviews with some of the biggest stars in rock music, including Pete Townshend, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, Ozzy Osbourne, and many others. The only book that truly captures the inimitable and exuberant spirit of the fiery foursome who gave America its second national anthem, "Rock and Roll All Nite," Kiss: Behind the Mask is a must-have for the band's legion of Kiss Army acolytes. * Dozens of never-before-seen photos * The band's story, told in their own words * Exclusive album-by-album, song-by-song commentary * In unique interviews, today's rock superstars tell why they love Kiss.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:09 -0400)

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