Black Sheep Hit: KISS' highest-charting single in the United States is "Beth", which is a tender ballad that uses a piano and a string quartet with Peter Criss on vocals. It's radically different than typical KISS songs with feature guitars and drums with either Paul or Gene on vocals.
Creator Backlash: In some interviews in the early 90s, Gene pretty much disowned everything from Lick It Up through Hot in the Shade.
In October 1993, Gene and Paul rated their work to that point for Goldmine Magazine. When it came to Music from "The Elder", Paul gave it a question mark and Gene said, "As a Kiss album I give it a zero. As a bad Genesis album, I give it a two."
Ace said that he threw a tape of the album against the wall because most of his solos had been edited out.
Interestingly, one song, "A World Without Heroes", was revived for the MTV Unplugged show..
They didn't have much good to say about their Made-for-TV MovieKISS Meets the Phantom of the Park either.
The Pete Best: Ron Leejack, lead guitarist when the band was still called "Wicked Lester"
Promoted Fanboy: Tommy Thayer used to be in a Kiss tribute band. He then co-wrote a couple of filler songs for Kiss during The Eighties. Then he was a session musician in the Psycho Circus album. Moreover, he also used to be Kiss' tour manager and Ace Frehley's guitar coach during The Nineties reunion era before finally being made a band member and taking over Frehley's guitar chores.
What Could Have Been: The Keep, the only band that had two former KISS members, Peter Criss and Mark St. John, as official members. Recorded a couple of demos which were poorly received, and the band promptly imploded.
Couple of songs were eventually re-recorded and released on different solo projects by both members, however.
What about the amusement park project at the same year ?
Eric Carr initially used to take the persona of an hawk. Needless to say, it didn't looks great◊. Paul even noticed the resemblance with Big Bird !
Also, after the failure of Unmasked, the band started to work on an album called "Rockin With The Boys", which was supposed to be a return back to their Hard Rock roots and included the songs "Partners In Crime", "Nowhere To Run" and the original "Love's a Deadly Weapon". However, they ended up with Bob Ezrin and produced instead one of the less liked albums overall,Music from "The Elder", which sold even worse than Unmasked.
After Ace Frehley left, before they brought in Vinnie Vincent, KISS seriously considered bringing in Eddie Van Halen. Gene had briefly managed Van Halen before they got their record deal and Eddie was very unhappy with the direction of the band at the time (particularly his frequent clashes with David Lee Roth and being forced to record so many covers). Ultimately both KISS and Eddie decided it would be best if Eddie stuck with Van Halen and KISS sought a new guitarist elsewhere.