Published this past pay, Brett Weiss’ Encyclopedia of KISS: Music, Personnel, Events and Related Subjects (McFarland) is one of the most in-depth and interesting books to cover the world of one of the hottest bands in the land, and of course I speak of Kiss. Like most encyclopedia, it gets into the origins of what helped to form Kiss, where each member came from and pretty much everything that has been part of their path, from the hoopla over the mania that happened in the second half of the 1970’s, the die-down of the hype, the Music From The Elder era and when they decided to remove their make-up in the early 80’s, all of this is mentioned somewhere in the Kiss encyclopedia.
The book is done in alphabetical order by subject and name so if you wish to know a bit more about Paul “Ace” Frehley, you’ll also know about his former wife that he married in 1976 to the daughter they had together. Magazines, tours, endorsements, documentaries, events of interest, they’re pretty much here. Not being a deep Kiss fan as I once was, I couldn’t tell you if this book has anything and everything you could want. You’ll find out about the tour they went on for their Crazy Nights album but you will not see the complete tour itinerary or set-lists to find out if they stayed the same for the entire tour or when there were changes. You are able to find all of that “extra” stuff online and perhaps if you’re a much deeper Kiss fan, you already have links on where to go.
Nonetheless, if you have been looking for everything you could ever want about Paul, Gene, Ace, Peter, Eric, Vinnie, Bruce, and everyone else that has been part of the Kiss empire since the beginning, Encyclopedia Of Kiss is the perfect starting place.
(NOTE: The book now has a new cover in its second edition that was released in August. The new version has a silhouette of Gene Simmons playing bass.)