Picks and Pans Review: Dressed to Chill. Kiss Smacked of Excess

updated 03/07/1994 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/07/1994 01:00AM

With their pyrotechnical stage shows and makeup that made them look like Kabuki spiders, Kiss defined late-70s heavy metal. In two words: too much. Yet the influence of Kiss's rock-and-roll theater persists. "We can't go to see any band, from Garth Brooks to Metallica, without someone saying they're doing what they're doing because of us," says bassist Gene Simmons, 44. The band, best known for such incendiary anthems as "Rock and Roll All Nite," is still putting out albums, although original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss are gone (Simmons and Paul Stanley remain). The elaborate makeup, which the group tried never to be seen without, was retired in 1983. With good reason, says Simmons: "We were losing all our friends."

1980

...Heaven's Gate found Hell at the box office...

De Niro charged through Raging Bull...

Timothy Hutton was extraordinary in Ordinary People...

Nothing came between Brooke and her Calvins...

John Lennon scored a posthumous hit with "(Just Like) Starting Over"...

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