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THE STORY BEHIND THE SLEEVE

#21 KISS SOLO ALBUMS

KISS

With a string of million-selling albums under their belt, KISS were one of the biggest bands on the planet in 1977, but personal divisions were beginning to form. In a bid to maintain momentum, the band launched a plan to release four solo albums on the same day in September 1978. Their label, Casablanca Records, flooded US stores with over a million copies of each album, ensuring Platinum status. Howard Marks Advertising’s art director Dennis Woloch wanted a timeless, collectible set of designs and decided on portraits. Having already assigned a colour to each member, Woloch enlisted Chicago-based Italian artist Eraldo Carugati, who delivered four striking paintings. That wasn’t the end of the story, though, with the consensus being the Gene Simmons version needed an extra touch. Carugati produced a paint palette from his pocket and set to work, there and then. “I’m saying, ‘Oh, fuck me. He’s going to screw it up now’,” Woloch told KISSFAQ. “And like a magician, out of nowhere, boom, this beautiful little drop of blood with the shadow and the highlight on it…”

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