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.
Cash Cow Franchise: One of the most egregious examples in any medium. They have all kinds of licensed merchandise, including action figures, comic books, condoms, and, last but not least, the infamous Kiss Kaskets (in one of which Dimebag Darrell was buried). As of 2013, Gene and Paul now own their own arena football team in Los Angeles. The team will be named the LA Kiss and use the band's logo. In addition, purchasing a season ticket will also include access to a KISS concert.
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.
Executive Meddling: Music from "The Elder" had its song order rearranged so that both sides would start with songs the record company wanted to be singles. This is why the story on the American edition makes no sense.
Money, Dear Boy: Possibly the Trope Codifier for musical artists. If you accuse Gene Simmons of being a sellout, he'll just laugh and agree with you wholeheartedly. He has stated several times over the years that the reason he became a rock musician was because he wanted to get rich and get girls, which is exactly what he did, many times over. Further exemplified by the fact that Simmons actually owns the trademark to the image of a sack of money with a dollar sign on it. When British indie rockers Teenage Fanclub put that image on the cover of their 1991 album Bandwagonesque, the band's label wound up giving Simmons a cut of the royalties.
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.