Some fans thought rock n’ roll is dead, and due to the fact that band lineups are constantly changing throughout the years. It’s hard to keep track when bands been together for decades then shifts will happen. That being said, here’s our look of History Of KISS’ Line Up Changes.
1973-1980: Gene Simmons / Paul Stanley / Peter Criss / Ace Frehley
The band’s original lineup in 1973, when Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley formed KISS after leaving their previous band, Wicked Lester. They’ve recruited drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley to form Kiss in early 1973.
1980-1982: Gene Simmons / Paul Stanley / Ace Frehley / Eric Carr
KISS found themselves with the absence of Criss throughout the 1979’s ‘Dynasty’ album because of his injuries he got from a car accident. He was also not present again during the sessions for 1980’s ‘Unmasked’ LP; after releasing the LP, they officially announced that Peter Criss is no longer with them and found a replacement, Eric Carr.
1982-1984: Gene Simmons / Paul Stanley / Eric Carr / Vinnie Vincent
Ace Frehley was next to depart because of conflicts with Simmons and Stanley. In December of 1982, after releasing their Killers’ and ‘Creatures of the Night’ LPs, they’ve announced that Frehley had been replaced by Vinnie Vincent, and the conflicts got heated even more.
1983: The Makeup Comes Off
The first and only album with Vinnie Vincent, they’ve decided to remove their band’s trademark face paint. Simmons said Stanley had to convince him with the change: “‘Let’s prove something to the fans,’ Paul said, ‘Let’s go and be a real band without makeup.’ I reluctantly agreed. I didn’t know if it was going to work, but I heard what Paul was saying — there was nowhere else for us to go.”
1984: Gene Simmons / Paul Stanley / Eric Carr / Mark St. John
Vinnie Vincent may have been a great contributor for the band, but they’ve decided to let him go by the Spring of 1984, and during that September of that year, he was replaced by Mark St. John with the ‘Animalize’ LP.
1984-1991: Gene Simmons / Paul Stanley / Eric Carr / Bruce Kulick
Shortly after joining Kiss, Mark St. John was hit with reactive arthritis and prevented him from playing and forced him to leave the band for good. Bruce Kulick officially replaced him in December 1984.
1992-1996: Gene Simmons / Paul Stanley / Bruce Kulick / Eric Singer
By 1991, KISS was ready to unleash their newest album, ‘Hot in the Shade,’ but something happened, Eric Carr was diagnosed and the doctors discovered that he has a tumor on his heart. He passed away on Nov. 24, 1991, at the age of 41. New drummer Eric Singer took his position.
1996-2001: Gene Simmons / Paul Stanley / Peter Criss / Ace Frehley
The sudden reunion of the classic lineup after a long-running feud Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer remained with them for the Carnival of Souls’ album and by late April of 1996, for Criss and Frehley officially returned for a world tour.
2001-2002: Gene Simmons / Paul Stanley / Ace Frehley / Eric Singer
After reuniting with the band, Peter Criss got fed up and departed once again over a contract dispute and was replaced by Eric Singer.
2002: Gene Simmons / Paul Stanley / Eric Singer/ Tommy Thayer
Ace Frehley once again left KISS following Peter Criss’s out. Tommy Thayer who copied his makeup replaced Frehley, and Frehley took it as an insult.
2003: Gene Simmons / Paul Stanley / Peter Criss / Tommy Thayer
Peter Criss was surely unstable and constantly changes his mind as he once again joins the band for another round of tour dates, and the making of another live album, ‘Kiss Symphony: Alive IV’.
2004-Present: Gene Simmons / Paul Stanley / Tommy Thayer / Eric Singer
KISS are surely inconsistent, probably because of the attitude Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley allegedly has. This would presumably be the final lineup changes when KISS’s announced their first farewell trip.