Kiss’ Paul Stanley Revealed How Alice Cooper Inspired His Band


  • Kiss’ Paul Stanley saw Alice Cooper perform during the Billion Dollar Babies Tour.
  • Stanley felt Cooper went beyond the limits of a normal rock ‘n’ roll live show.
  • All four of the singles from Billion Dollar Babies hit the Billboard Hot 100.
Alice Cooper holding a microphone
Alice Cooper | Steve Kagan/Getty Images

Kiss and Alice Cooper are two of the most famous classic rock acts of the 1970s. During Cooper’s peak era, Kiss’ Paul Stanley watched his band live. Subsequently, Stanley revealed how Cooper inspired Kiss.

Kiss’ Paul Stanley discussed what he thought when he watched Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies Tour

In his 2014 book Face the Music: A Life Exposed, Stanley discussed watching Cooper on tour. “In June, I saw Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies Tour and the theatricality made a huge impression on me,” he said. “He really opened my eyes to the possibilities of a rock ‘n’ roll show. 

“Although it was more staged than anything I wanted to do — it seemed quite choreographed, and the whole thing had a scripted feel to it — I liked the atmosphere and environment he created,” Stanley said.

RELATED: How Kiss’ Paul Stanley Was Involved in Bon Jovi’s Biggest Studio Album

What Kiss’ Paul Stanley purchased after watching The Billion Dollar Babies Tour

Stanley discussed how he wanted Kiss to mimic Cooper’s band. “I wanted Kiss to do things as visually arresting as that, but I wanted the band to be the show, by itself, as opposed to something that was providing a soundtrack for a separate drama,” he wrote. 

“I wanted Kiss to command the same kind of attention without the use of dancers or giant toothbrushes,” Stanley added. “The question was, how?”

Stanley decided to buy something. “It would be a while before we fleshed out anything along those lines, but one thing we did immediately was buy a truckload of empty speaker cabinets,” he said. Stanley noted the speaker cabinets were inexpensive and they looked like Marshall amps. Kiss made sure the cabinets were not hit by spotlights so nobody would know they were empty.

RELATED: Kiss’ Paul Stanley Thinks These Artists Don’t Belong in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

How Alice Cooper’s ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ and its singles performed on the pop charts in the United States

Billion Dollar Babies became one of Cooper and his band’s most famous albums. The album topped the Billboard 200 for one week, making it the group’s only No. 1 album in the United States. It stayed on the chart for 50 weeks altogether, longer than any of the band’s other albums except for their earlier album Killer.

Cooper released four singles from Billion Dollar Babies: “Elected,” “Hello Hooray,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” and “Billion Dollar Babies.” The songs reached No. 26, No. 35, No. 25, and No. 57 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively. This was one of the most commercially successful eras of Cooper’s career.

Billion Dollar Babies was a huge hit and the Billion Dollar Babies Tour impacted Kiss. 

RELATED: Gene Simmons Reacts to Rolling Stone Ranking This Kiss Album Above The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ [Exclusive]