Here's a few short reviews of some of the most commonly available books here in the UK.
"KISS - Virgin MoDERN iCoNS" (£4.99, published by Virgin, ISBN 1-85227-688-6). It's a small hardback book (a bit smaller than A5 size) that is quote 'packed to the hilt with facts and essential quotations from the idols and those who knew them, loved them, worked with them, envied them and hated them'.
It has a well written introduction by Sylvie Simmons (of Kerrang! fame) and it contains loads of cool colour pictures, interesting facts and brilliant quotes (taken from the UK press over the years). The quotes are mainly from the band but also from others such as Gene's mum, Cher and others.
Ok, as usual there are some (small) mistakes, and once again the non make-up eras seem
to have been brushed aside (there's only one picture of Bruce), but this book is
definitely worth getting hold of - it's a bargain at just less than a fiver. Interestingly
there have only been 7 other bands than have made it into the MoDERN iCoNs series of
books, I thought we'd have to wait much longer to see KISS up there with the rest of them,
Presents KISS (£10.99, Hal Leonard, ISBN 0-7935-8078-1). Found this book at Tower
Records, Birmingham. Basically it's just various Guitar World interviews from over the
last few years (including quite a good one of Paul & Bruce from around the time Alive
III was released). If you've already got the Guitar World KISS special that came out in
1995 then don't bother with this - its exactly the same apart from a couple of newer
interviews (and the book doesn't have any colour photos).
Is Sweet (£12.95, Joe Stevens, published by Omnibus, ISBN 0-7119-5820-3). This is a UK
book that's well worth the money, it contains loads of KISS facts from the beginning in
the 70's right through to the re-union tour. Unlike most other books this one also has
some really cool non-make up photos along with a full discography in the back. I
understand that there was a bit of controversy as to whether this book was a rip off of
the original KISS faq, but as far as I'm concerned KISS history is KISS history, anyone
should be able to publish it.
The Hottest Band In The Land (£9.99, Michael Heatley, published by UFO music, ISBN
1-873884-74-5). Another UK book that's a 'must have'. This one is written from a UK point
of view and contains lots of UK photos (such as the famous 70's London pictures). It also
contains pictures of various pieces of KISS merchandise from through the years and like
'Revenge Is Sweet' above, it also contains a history of the band from the beginning to the
re-union tour. This book is worth buying for the pictures alone.
Live! (£4.95, Mick St Michael , published by Omnibus, ISBN 0-7119-6008-9). This is
basically a cut down version of 'Revenge Is Sweet', except it contains a large pull-out
poster. It's worth buying if you already have 'Revenge Is Sweet' though as it does has a
few different pictures and only costs a fiver!
Drop me (Paul Finn) an E-mail.