Paul Stanley said the villagers unwittingly made the kiss look really bad

In his memoir, Paul Stanley discussed how Kiss and the Village People were once on the same label. Stanley felt it was bad for his classic rock band. Plus, there was a certain aspect of the Village People aesthetic that he really didn’t like.

Paul Stanley of Kiss | Tom Hill / WireImage

Paul Stanley revealed why Kiss received so much criticism in the 1970s

In his book Facing the music: a life unmaskedStanley said Kiss faced negative reception on two fronts. On the one hand, some religious protesters mistakenly believed the group to be satanic even though they tried to promote positivity and empowerment. In contrast, critics did not like Kiss.

Stanley said critics wanted Kiss to look more dangerous. Critics also felt that the group lacked credibility because they were selling so much. The press claimed that the group used stage theater as a substitute for good musicality.

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What Paul Stanley thought of the Village People

Stanley felt that his group’s label, Casablanca Records, and its founder, Neil Bogart, contributed to the group’s poor reception. “The label released Donna Summer’s disco anthem ‘Love to Love You Baby’, which became a smash hit during 1976,” Stanley wrote. “Hit singles were Neil’s thing, and it changed the way he did business. He made Casablanca a label focused on singles and focused on groups like the Village People. “

Stanley said the outfits worn by Village People and Angel, another Casablanca Records group, didn’t make Kiss any better. “Kiss has gone from being Casablanca’s signature band to being part of a sideshow label – part of a menagerie,” Stanley said. “Instead of being in rock band company, we shared a label with a bunch of guys dressed like construction workers and cops and a bunch who wore ballet slippers. People who wanted to see us as papouilles or artifices had only to look at the society we were in to reinforce their suspicions. It solidified any negative impressions people had of us.

RELATED: Paul Stanley regrets telling another Kiss member not to perform on this hit song before his death

The impact of Kiss and the villagers

While Stanley had issues with the Village People, the audience seemed to embrace the group. Two of their singles reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100: “YMCA” peaked at No. 2 while “In the Navy” peaked at No. 3.

RELATED: Paul Stanley of Kiss thinks these artists don’t belong to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

While Stanley was upset that the critics didn’t like his band, Kiss may have had the last laugh. Vulture reports that Kiss was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. Upon the group’s induction, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave said, “Kiss has never been a group of critics. Kiss was a popular band! Some critics have even embraced the group, because their album Living! was on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 best albums of all time. Kiss has a dedicated fan base even though the band has previously shared a label with the Village People.


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Corina C. Butler

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