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Kix have had exactly one hit -- the power ballad "Don't Close Your Eyes," from their 1988 album Blow My Fuse. But to call it a power ballad is to imply that the band was no different from the rest of the hard rock/heavy metal bands debuting in the late '70s and early '80s. The truth is, they were different. Kix was different simply because they were much better -- they had better hooks, they rocked harder, and they could write songs. They were also more clever than the average heavy metal band, yet that never meant they treated their adolescent anthems as jokes; it meant that they loved the music they were making so much that their albums sounded like a constant party. Naturally, they were critics' favorites and never became big stars, even in heavy metal circles; when Metallica was all the rage during the '80s, Kix's good-time metal was seen as wimpy by most metal fans. However, Kix's albums hold up better than any of the pop metal bands that sold millions of records while they were struggling in the clubs.

Originally calling themselves Shooze and eventually changing their name to the Generators and ultimately, Kix, Baltimore's favorite hard rock band garnered quite a reputation for themselves as one of the East Coast's most exciting live cover bands within just a few years of forming in 1978. Led by frontman Steve Whiteman and creative mastermind/bassist Donnie Purnell, the band was rounded out by drummer Jimmy Chalfant and guitarists Ronnie Younkins (nicknamed "10/10") and Brian Jay Forsythe. Hitting the club circuit six nights a week for three straight years resulted in the band cultivating a huge local fan base and led to a contract with Atlantic Records in 1981. Their self-titled debut followed that same year. Kix featured live favorites like "Atomic Bombs," the glorious "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah," and "The Kid." To support the release, the quintet set out to hit every city up and down the East Coast. Their 1983 follow-up, Cool Kids, showcased a slightly more commercial side of the band. Spearheaded by the single "Body Talk," rumors ran rampant that the song was written to appease the band's label, who, eager to capture some steam at radio, also forced the band into shooting a horrendous video for the song which featured the band in full-on workout mode. Other songs like "Restless Blood" and "Mighty Mouth" fared a little better. Eager to get back in the studio, Kix partnered up with Ratt and future Warrant producer Beau Hill and released Midnite Dynamite -- their "self-proclaimed favorite record ever." The album featured a great single, "Cold Shower," and some other notable cuts like "Sex" and "Bang Bang (Balls of Fire)."

Then a funny thing happened on the way to album number three. As the band got ready for a brief West Coast jaunt, the boys kept hearing some fishy stuff about another young, good-looking frontman by the name of Brett Michaels. The big hoopla around town was that the young upstart was said to have stolen singer Steve Whiteman's stage act. Rumor proved fact; prior to Poison relocating to Los Angeles, the band had often come out to see Kix perform live. Now local heroes in their own right, it was clear that Michaels had more than borrowed a few stage moves from the charismatic Kix singer. Sadly, when Kix got the opportunity to open for Poison at L.A.'s Country Club, their worst fears were confirmed while watching a younger, better looking, musically challenged Poison from the side of the stage.

Weathered but not out, Kix returned to the studio with hard rock veteran Tom Werman to record what became their one and only breakthrough record. The band's fourth effort, Blow My Fuse, was released in 1988 and finally featured the monstrous hit the band had worked so hard for -- the "Dream On"-inspired "Don't Close Your Eyes." As the song raced up the charts, the band began to garner the recognition they had fought so long and so hard for. To the band's credit, Blow My Fuse was a strong album. First single and video "Cold Blood," and "Blow My Fuse," "Red Lite, Green Lite, TNT," and "No Ring Around Rosie" all showcased the band doing what they did best. Kix finally graduated to arena venues, and for the next year and a half, they opened for heroes like AC/DC and Aerosmith, plus a slew of others including David Lee Roth and Ratt. Kix were on top of the world -- if only momentarily, but problems were looming on the horizon. The band's financial matters were in a state of complete disarray. Severely indebted to Atlantic, Kix faced a painful wake-up call when they realized that they hadn't made a penny off Blow My Fuse. To make matters even worse, the label had plans to shift Kix from their roster to the label's new imprint EastWest Records America. This proved to be a disastrous move for the quintet; they now had to deal with a new regime to work on their yet-to-be released fifth record. By the time Hot Wire finally hit record stores, the musical climate of 1991 had shifted dramatically from just three years earlier. Grunge was all the rage, making a band like Kix look like a laughingstock. The new trend made it virtually impossible for Kix to garner the radio support necessary for them to prosper commercially.

In hindsight, Hot Wire may have proved to be the band's best-sounding record ever. Bolstered by a little MTV airplay, the album's first single, "Girl Money," showcased everything that made Kix a first-rate bar band. With double-entendre verses in the vein of classic Bon Scott-era AC/DC, great musicianship, and a hearty sense of humor to boot, the track would have probably been huge in 1989. Selling just under 200,000 units, the album came and went while Kix returned to doing what they had done all along -- hitting the road. The band toured Asia and recorded a live record in Japan in 1992. It was released by Atlantic one year later as Kix Live, fulfilling the band's contractual obligation to the label. By the time Kix Live was released, founding member and guitarist Brian Forsythe had quit the band -- although he returned to the fold in 1994, just in time to record Show Business, the band's ill-fated debut on CMC. Released in 1995, Show Business tanked and the band decided to call it quits.

Still, after a three-year hiatus away from the music biz, Steve Whiteman re-emerged in Baltimore as the singer for Funny Money. Forming its own label, Kivel Records, Funny Money released a self-titled debut in 1998 and a sophomore follow-up, Back Again, in 1999. Forsythe played in Deep Six Holiday and Rhino Bucket, while Younkins kept active with various musical projects. Kix re-formed in the early 2000s, although without bassist and chief songwriter Donnie Purnell. Occasional summer touring followed during the 2000s, and in 2012, the band signed to Frontiers. First came the concert album Live in Baltimore, and in 2014, a full-fledged studio album titled Rock Your Face Off. It performed very well, almost equaling the chart success (if not the sales numbers) of Blow My Fuse. ~ John Franck & Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: Can't Stop The Show (Live)

1. Wheels In Motion (Live)

2. Rock Your Face Off (Live)

3. Cold Shower (Live)

4. Mean Miss Adventure (Live)

5. You're Gone (Live)

6. Cold Blood (Live)

7. Can't Stop The Show (Live)

8. Girl Money (Live)

9. Love Me With Your Top Down (Live)

10. Blow My Fuse (Live)

11. Love Pollution (Live At Sirius/XM)

12. Midnite Dynamite (Live At Sirius/XM)


Track List: Can't Stop The Show (Live) (Single) (Explicit)

1. Can't Stop The Show (Live)


Track List: Rock Your Face Off

1. Wheels In Motion

2. You're Gone

3. Can't Stop The Show

4. Rollin' In Honey

5. Rock Your Face Off

6. All The Right Things

7. Dirty Girls

8. Inside Outside Inn

9. Mean Miss Adventure

10. Love Me With Your Top Down

11. Tail On The Wag

12. Rock & Roll Showdown


Track List: Rhino Hi-Five: Kix

1. Love At First Sight

2. Cool Kids

3. Midnite Dynamite

4. She Dropped Me The Bomb

5. Get Your Monkey's Out


Track List: Hot Wire

1. Hot Wire

2. Girl Money

3. Luv-A-Holic

4. Tear Down The Walls

5. Bump The La La

6. Rock & Roll Overdose

7. Cold Chills

8. Same Jane

9. Pants On Fire (Liar, Liar)

10. Hee Bee Jee Bee Crush


Track List: Blow My Fuse

1. Red Lite, Green Lite, Tnt

2. Get It While It's Hot

3. No Ring Around Rosie

4. Don't Close Your Eyes

5. She Dropped Me The Bomb

6. Cold Blood

7. Piece Of The Pie

8. Boomerang

9. Blow My Fuse

10. Dirty Boys


Track List: Midnite Dynamite

1. Midnight Dynamite

2. Red Hot (Black & Blue)

3. Bang Bang (Balls Of Fire)

4. Layin' Rubber

5. Walkin' Away

6. Scarlet Fever

7. Cry Baby

8. Cold Shower

9. Lie Like A Rug

10. Sex


Track List: Cool Kids

1. Burning Love

2. Cool Kids

3. Love Pollution

4. Body Talk

5. Loco-Emotion

6. Mighty Mouth

7. Nice On Ice

8. Get Your Monkey's Out

9. For Shame

10. Restless Blood


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They are one of my favorites! I liked them ever since the Kix album. Love At First Sight and Midnite Dynamite are my favorites, but I really love the majority of their songs.
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I was in high school when this chick that sat behind me made me listen to Red Hot Black and Blue. Been a fan ever since.
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Always loved the song don't close your eyes. Was better back on the day when you could put music to the video MTV was pretty cool back then.
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Everyone knows Don't close your eyes but
Layin Rubber and Book to Hypnotize are oldies but goodies too. Criminally underrated band.
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Miss these days! Miss those people!
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Get this garbage off of mys station. Thumbs down losers
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Saw them fri nt in Houston TX.....STILL KICKING A**
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Saw them in the 80's and as recent as last year for Kixmas! In small venues like an American Legion and large Arena settings.
Always a fantastic show! SCARLET FEVER is my favorite KIX song ;)
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Hammerjacks, I saw them there in 94 and it was awesome
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Yes indeed
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gogreenarmy. j d
You cant even begin to understand this band until you've seen them live!
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Kix,diffentl y some classic stuff...
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gogreenarmy. j d
Grew up in music scene with these guy's in Baltimore! They set the bar around here for the live show....And still do today!
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These songs remind me of being at the carnival when I was young about to get on that gravitron ride lol!
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Best music of all time! Hair Bands forever!
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Their first 3 albums are so unique - I remember blasting the cassette tapes in my Firebird back in the 80s. Got to see them once. One of my favorite bands ever. :)
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I knew Don't Close Ur Eyes, would b there best hit off Blow My Fuse. Ronnie I luv ya man.. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Don't close your eyes. cl;assic hair band song. rock on...
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My friends knew I was bipolar and we were all metalheads hanging around together. This is one of the songs they played to support me. Thanks guys, great song.
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One of my favorite songs by this band..
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remember sitting on the rafters at Hammerjac
ks listening to them. Good ole days
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I've seen them many times from the 80's until now, they still rock!
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great band, never saw them live though as they always cancelled their Cleveland dates back in the 80's
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Awesome band
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Great album, great music, and a really nice set of musicians. I've met them a few times and they are always a lot of fun.
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Pandora make our day. Put the kix first 2 albums on here. Kix n cool kids. I want my atomic bombs!!!!!
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i have to disagree with the bio when they say Kix has exactly one hit when they mention the song Don't Close Your Eyes. If I'm not mistaken, I believe that Cold Blood was also a hit and was in heavy MTV rotation before or within the same time frame as Don't Close Your Eyes. Nevertheless , an underrated, fantastic band, IMO.
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mysteriousst r a n g e r s 8 6
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I still talk 2 Ronnie, he's gotta nother band called BLUES VULTURES, they rock. Not 2 many ppl know Don't Close Ur Eyes was written due 2 Ronnie's girlfriend lisa which had an overdose but made it.... I have the actual demo b4 Blow My Fuse came out an I told Ronnie that would b there biggest hit, an it was.... ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Don't Close UR Eyes,, absolutely the best tune off Blow My Fuse.. This one's 4 Cary God bless u.. I grew up with Steve an Ronnie, I'm from MD, many yrs ago they played at the Rabbits Foot an won the battle of the bands, That's wat took em 2 become one of the ones who made it. But they've never 4gotten there hometown friends
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A hit in the music industry constitutes a song that makes the top 100 Chart. Although other songs were amazing (Not a single bad song on Blow My Fuse) and popular among rock fans and even got air play they never made the top 100.
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C' Mon more than one hit!!! Better than Poison and many more unique sound!!
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Baby won't you let me in????lol
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If you ever need help. Let me know
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how about Kix at Shiley Acres......w h a t a show they were ....and Shiley Acres in West Va was the best party venue since Woodstock... . y o u name it, it went on at Shiley Acres. Miss those days. Wonderful memories of bands that still sound good.
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I'm from the DC area and KIX has a huge following here. I'll be seeing them at the annual East Coast hair metal fest M3 this weekend!
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Love it ������������
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Why aren't other kix albums on here?
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truly a very awesome band
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Way underrated
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So frigging underrated.
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One HELL of a song Love it
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It's a dam shame that they have been around over 30 yrs and still haven't gone global or financial success
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But sadly not the new stuff it's ok but this stuff is real rock and roll
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Only if they still had this music.
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Don't Don't tell me no!
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Wow what would this world be with out monster ballads!!!!
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