Kiss Unplugged

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Kiss Unplugged
KISS Unplugged.jpg
Live album by
ReleasedMarch 12, 1996
RecordedAugust 9, 1995, Sony Studios, New York City, New York
GenreHard rock, acoustic rock
ProducerAlex Coletti
Kiss chronology
Alive III
Kiss Unplugged
You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best!!
Singles from Kiss Unplugged
  1. "Rock and Roll All Nite"
    Released: 1996

Kiss Unplugged is an MTV Unplugged album by the American rock band Kiss, released in 1996. It is the first live album by the band that is not part of the Alive! series.


On August 9, 1995, the band performed on MTV Unplugged. Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons contacted former members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley and invited them to participate. It marked the only time the original lineup performed publicly without their trademark makeup and was also the only time Frehley and Criss shared a stage with Eric Singer and Bruce Kulick. It was the first time Singer had part of a lead vocal on an album (shared with Criss on "Nothin' to Lose").

Fan reaction to Criss and Frehley at the show was so positive that, in 1996, the original lineup of Kiss reunited, with all four original members together for the first time since 1979.

"The sound was deafening: the sound of rock 'n' roll history coming full circle in a TV studio", wrote Kerrang!'s Don Kaye in a review of the taping at New York's Sony Music Studios. "Complete pandemonium ensued as they struck the opening chords to '2,000 Man', and it continued when Ace's voice rang out in the clear, sardonic manner we all know and love.[1]


On March 12, 1996, the concert was released on CD. On December 18, 2007, the performance appeared as part of the Kissology Volume Three: 1992–2000 DVD set. This included the original DVD release of the concert plus five previously unreleased songs: "Hard Luck Woman" (with Stanley on vocals), "Heaven's on Fire", "Spit" (mostly sung by the audience), "C'mon and Love Me", and a country version of "God of Thunder". The LP version of the album includes a poster and some were pressed on yellow marbled vinyl.[citation needed]

A stand-alone VHS and DVD documentary were produced around the same time as the CD release, with archival footage of the band's rehearsal sessions at SIR Studios in New York. It also shows the first "KISS Konvention" appearance earlier in the year, with Criss joining the touring members on stage to sing a few tunes. According to Criss, this invite gave Simmons the idea of reaching out to both him and Frehley to be a part of the Unplugged taping in an unannounced reunion. Because of the contentious split, the worldwide fan base never thought this would happen, and it was kept a closely held secret until the day of the event.[citation needed]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Metal Nightfall[4]

Allmusic gave the album three out of five stars, stating, "They exceeded expectations and, given their newfound energy, charisma, and love for the music, their performance provided the catalyst for the beginning of a successful world reunion tour."[6]

"Cheatingly, the ambience is muscularly electro-acoustic," observed Danny Eccleston in Q, "but the tunes happily hail from the classic slap period, throwing the simply great pop of 'Goin' Blind' and the Beatley 'Sure Know Something' into pin-sharp focus."[7]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Lead VocalsLength
1."Comin' Home"Ace Frehley, Paul StanleyStanley2:51
2."Plaster Caster"Gene SimmonsSimmons3:17
3."Goin' Blind"Simmons, Stephen CoronelSimmons3:37
4."Do You Love Me?"Stanley, Bob Ezrin, Kim FowleyStanley3:13
6."Sure Know Something"Stanley, Vini PonciaStanley4:14
7."A World Without Heroes"Stanley, Simmons, Ezrin, Lou ReedSimmons2:57
8."Rock Bottom"Frehley, StanleyStanley3:20
9."See You Tonite"SimmonsSimmons2:26
10."I Still Love You"Stanley, Vinnie VincentStanley6:09
11."Every Time I Look at You"Stanley, EzrinStanley4:43
12."2,000 Man"Mick Jagger, Keith RichardsFrehley5:12
13."Beth"Peter Criss, Ezrin, Stan PenridgeCriss2:50
14."Nothin' to Lose"SimmonsEric Singer, Criss3:42
15."Rock and Roll All Nite"Stanley, SimmonsSimmons, Frehley, Criss4:20
16."Got to Choose" (Japanese release)StanleyStanley4:01


Additional musicians
  • Ace Frehley – acoustic guitar (12–15), lead vocals (12, 15), backing vocals (14–15)
  • Peter Criss – drums (12, 14–15), lead vocals (13–15), backing vocals (14–15)
  • Phillip Ashley – piano on "Every Time I Look at You"
  • Alex Coletti – producer
  • Joe Perota – director
  • Randy Ezratty – engineer
  • Jimbo Barton – mixing
  • Ralph Patlan – mastering
  • Tat – mastering
  • Stephen Marcussen – mastering assistant
  • Don C. Tyler – mastering assistant
  • Jon Grindstaff – conductor, string arrangements on "Every Time I Look at You"
  • Susan McEowen – design


Chart (1996) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[8] 4
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[9] 16
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[10] 20
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[11] 32
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[12] 18
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[13] 47
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[14] 60
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[15] 9
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[16] 5
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[17] 35
UK Albums (OCC)[18] 74
US Billboard 200[19] 15
Single Chart (1996) Position
"Rock and Roll All Nite" US Mainstream Rock Tracks[20] 13


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[21] Gold 30,000^
United States (RIAA)[22] Gold 500,000^
United States (RIAA)[23]
Gold 50,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Kaye, Don (September 23, 1995). Kerrang!. No. 564. Wasted Talent Ltd. {{cite magazine}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Kiss Unplugged at AllMusic
  3. ^ "Kiss - MTV Unplugged". Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  4. ^ "KISS: UNPLUGGED (1996)". Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  5. ^ Q, April 1996
  6. ^ Haney, Shawn M. "MTV Unplugged - Kiss". AllMusic. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  7. ^ Eccleston, Danny (April 1996). Q. Bauer Media Group. {{cite magazine}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ " – Kiss – MTV Unplugged". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  9. ^ " – Kiss – Kiss Unplugged" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 2925". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  11. ^ " – Kiss – MTV Unplugged" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Kiss: MTV Unplugged" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  13. ^ " – Kiss – MTV Unplugged" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  14. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005 (in Japanese). Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  15. ^ " – Kiss – MTV Unplugged". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  16. ^ " – Kiss – MTV Unplugged". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  17. ^ " – Kiss – MTV Unplugged". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Kiss | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Kiss Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Billboard chart history-Kiss singles". Retrieved February 13, 2009.
  21. ^ "Argentinian album certifications – Kiss – Unplugged". Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers.
  22. ^ "American album certifications – Kiss – Unplugged". Recording Industry Association of America.
  23. ^ "American video certifications – Kiss – Unplugged". Recording Industry Association of America.