These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Singer and Thayer after they took Criss and Frehley's makeup.
Heck, any lead guitarist not named Ace to an extent. Vinnie Vincent in particular.
Brilliant, but Lazy: Ace, as characterized by both Peter and Paul in their autobiographies, he would often refuse to move band equipment with the rest of the band and was well-known for showing up late to recording sessions.
Chorus-Only Song: Hard to find someone who isn't a hard-core fan note or who wasn't a teenager in 1975 who knows the verses for "Rock and Roll All Nite".
Many people forgot than "New York Groove" (the most well known track in Ace's 1978 solo album) was a song by Argent, originally by Hello.
The Power Ballad "God Gave Rock n' Roll to You", which was also originally by Argent. When KISS covered it, they added a "II" to the title, possibly to differentiate the two songs more clearly, as KISS' version has completely different lyrics except for the chorus.
Critical Dissonance: Critics tend to really HATE this band. Doesn't stop it from selling tons of stuff.
Specifically, The various editions of the Rolling Stone Album Guide give good ratings to Alive! and Destroyer...and that's about it.
For many, the 1979-1981 period, from Dynasty to Music for the Elder. To be specific...
it's unarguable that it was perhaps the biggest commercially successful studio album in the entire history of the band (if one ignores the Alive compilations), but what most people don't know is that, in the long run, Dynasty itself almost destroyed the band when it was first released. With the shift to the far more mainstream disco genre, although the album proved to be a commercial success, it pretty much alienated the fans that had followed the band since its early beginnings, resulting in nearly empty arenas and stadiums when the band went on tour, something unheard of when it came to KISS concerts and their particular fame.note In fact, they lost money during this tour, as each concert cost no less than ONE million dollars each !
After promising a return to the heavier sound they were known for they proceeded to release Unmasked, which was a critical flop due to the still present "pop sound". To make matters worse, the following album was...
The (in)famous Music from "The Elder"
The band's Concept Album proved to be a catastrophic commercial and critical flop which lead to the outright cancellation of the album's tour, once again a first for any KISS release.
Creatures of the Night, while successful critically due to being the heaviest KISS album yet and featuring the band's strongest songs in some time, didn't fare any better on the commercial and on the tour side of things (many people also attribute this to two founding members, lead guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss leaving the band around the same time).
...And finally, they remove their makeup and released Lick It Up, which didn't chart very high, but was still certified gold within a few months of release. This is largely considered attributable to publicity generated by the band's decision to do away with the makeup and costumes concurrent with the album's release. Then Animalize was released, went gold quickly, and the band's finances were back at normal (excluding contractual issues with Vinnie Vincent and health issues with Mark St. John), although sell-out concerts would still elude them for one more album, finally going to back to their usual tour success with Crazy Nights.
To some fans, the years without make-up were the whole dork-age.
To others, any time when the line-up doesn't include Criss AND Frehley.
Ear Worm: Several. "Rock and Roll All Nite" and "I Was Made for Lovin' You" are very good examples of this.
Epic Riff: You know the house is gonna come down when "Detroit Rock City" and "Rock and Roll All Nite" (and others!) start playing.
Their second drummer Eric Carr is universally beloved by the fanbase thanks for being a veryNice Guy, especially in the wake of his tragic death in late 1991.
Ace is probably the fan favorite. Having the best 1978 solo album helps.
Mark St. John after his death in 2007 sort of became this, and although the debate of who's the best KISS guitarist will go around forever. Most fans universally agree he was a DAMN good guitar player, and perhaps the most technical guitarist KISS ever had.
Face of the Band: Simmons and Stanley, particulary the former; justified as they're the only original members still in the band.
The Music from "The Elder" album sounded so much unlike anything KISS had released to that point that fans and critics alike universally panned it, and sales were so poor that anything related to the album was instantly scrapped. The band quickly moved forward and forgot about the whole fiasco as fast as possible.
In the 90s, Tommy Thayer is in a KISS tribute band called "Cold Gin" and took the role of Ace Frehley. And guess which member he remplaces (makeup inclued) ?
Mark St. John liked to tell a tale about how he was introduced to Vinnie Vincent one night and was told that he was "KISS' new lead guitarist." Mark St. John's reply? "KISS, what a shitty band!" Fast forward two albums later...
Minor one, the album title "Unmasked" became funny when KISS would become Unmasked for real 3 years later by taking off their makeup.
Magnum Opus: Most fans consider Destroyer to be the best studio album by the classic KISS lineup (Simmons, Stanley, Frehley, Criss), while Revenge is often considered the best studio album made during the unmasked years.
Memetic Sex God: Try to find ONE fangirl who never dreamt about sleeping with Stanley, or at least admitting he looks good.
And, of course, Gene Simmons claims that he's had sex with over 4,000 women in his life. Even if he's exaggerating (which wouldn't be impossible, considering Gene's personality) he still has a reputation as one of the most notorious womanizers in rock and roll.
One-Scene Wonder: Mark St. John, KISS' third lead guitarist. Only played on one album (Animalize), got reactive arthritis, and was replaced almost instantly with Bruce Kulick. Accounts vary on how many shows of the album's tour he played in, but most agree that St. John played very few, if any, and that Kulick ended up filling up for him in most of them.
The Prima Donna: Stanley and Simmons have stated how horribly difficult it was to collaborate with Vinnie Vincent, although some say it was partly their own fault.
In a quote from Vincent in an interview with Kerrang! he says that he felt responsible for giving them "a musical credibility that they'd never had before" but felt that they weren't letting him get the recognition he felt he deserved.
Stanley also has this opinion on Criss, in his 2014 autobiography he claimed that Criss made many unreasonable requests and was often painful to work with(particularly in the reunion tour and onwards)
Signature Song: "Rock and Roll All Nite", which almost always serves as the final encore at KISS concerts.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: This will generally be the attitude among a vocal portion of the band's fandom whenever a personnel shakeup takes place. The current lineup especially gets people riled up, since Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer are wearing the makeup of the absent original members, and there are some out there who still resent Singer for not being Eric Carr.