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Peter Criss


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Peter Criss (real name: Peter Criscuola), born December 20, 1945, is an American rock musician. He was one of four founding members of seminal group Kiss. Nicknamed the ‘Cat Man’, he was the drummer and co-singer of the band, known as the mellow side of KISS singing hits like “Beth” and “Hard Luck Woman”. Yet he also brought the fire into songs like “Black Diamond” and “Nothin’ To Lose.”

Peter’s first solo album came out in 1978 along with the other three member’s solo albums. Although receiving major play for the tune “Tossin’ And Turnin’”, the album was the least favorite of the four, in large part because it strayed away from the ‘Kiss sound’ and focused on the slower, more chill sounds that Criss favored. Criss grew up listening to crooners such as Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. Said facts were a sign of how the four band members had significantly drifted apart.

In 1979, KISS released Dynasty. Criss’s only contribution to the album was the track “Dirty Livin’”, which featured him on lead vocals. Kiss used a session drummer, the famous Anton Fig, for the rest of the album.

Criss left Kiss in 1980, with the drug and alcohol abuse plaguing his life as well as musical differences coming to a head. He started a solo career that led to sporadic touring and three additional studio releases. Even though Criss was featured on the Unmasked album cover, he did not play a single beat on the album. The band replaced him with Eric Carr.


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