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Kix

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
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Comments

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Agreed billstacy177 so true. Don't Close Your Eye's was there num 1 hit off Blow My Fuse and still 2day.. Awesome tune. ROCK ON Everyone
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A great band to see live!
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Great song,...the 80's were great,this music today,just has no heart,its dead...lol
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My favorite ;-). ;-)
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As 4 u boboninit wtf r u talking about another stupid hair metal band,? Really man, u r the f**kin poser if u think that. Everyone is untitled 2 there opinion if it's not a stupid f**kin one. Agreed Matt Smith Pandora doesn't play there first albums especially walking away.. ROCK ON Everyone
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Don't Close Your Eye's best song off Blow My Fuse. In my opinion. Hammerjacks, the Bayou and of course the Rabbits Foot where they won the Battle of the bands, from there they took off. I'm from MD and Ronnie Yunkins has another great band called Blues Voltures,, I booked him in every bar I worked. Great band. Hagerstown boys all the way they never 4get where they came from either. ROCK ON Everyone
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Why are these poseurs and losers on my station ? One has only to look at their photo to see they are just another stupid hairmetal band with every possible musical cliche going on.
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Where's their first album (self-titled 'Kix') and second (Cool Kids) on Pandora....M i s s i n g out on the best of Kix music with those two missing albums.....C * m ' o n Pandora, get with the program....D o n ' t , don't tell me No... tell me Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!!!!
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tommytitanfa n
SONG STIRS EMOTION IN ME...
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tommytitanfa n
DAMN GOOD SONG DONT CLOSE UR EYES......
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Hold on tight
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Awesome love this song don't close your eyes why you call me on the phone ;-)
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Awesome ballad.
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Don't Close Your Eyes, this is the one song that came from the heart with my dear friend Ronnie Yunkins, his girlfriend almost overdosed an while in the ER he started writing down his feelings an it became there num 1 song off Blow My Fuse. He didn't get credit 4 writing it but as god is my witness he did. I grew up with Steve , and Ronnie in Hagerstown, md. They won the battle of the bands @the Rabbits Foot in Frederick, Md and the rest is history. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Love this song
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Freakin LUV cold blooded..thi s album didn't get NEARLY the air time it should have! KIX AZZ!!!!
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saw them in the Rockit club ,Tampa Bay Florida. excellent show
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mfijut0
Blow my fuse baby!
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mfijut0
What's up?
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mfijut0
Hi colleen
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Don't close your eyes is a sad but awesome song...
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Og oldschool jam takes u back to the good ol days
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��❤️��
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Love the hair bands!
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Love it perfect for this morning
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Don't Close Ur Eyes, this was there biggest hit off of Blow My Fuse. Ronnie Yunkins girlfriend tryed 2 commit suicide an he wrote this in the ER . I told them that this will b the song that takes off.an it did look at em now. A bunch of Hagerstown, Md boys who made it. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Get It While It's Hot,,,, Blow My Fuse great cd.. Way 2 go Kix, they finally got noticed when the won the Battle of the Bands at the Rabbits Foot in Frederick, Md. They took it all. I grew up with Steve and Ronnie Yunkins great guys. Ronnie has another band called Blues Vultures he plays locally. Ck em out. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Aww my favorite song why you call me on the phone
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Momma can't slove your problem s
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My favorite song
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Killer Band !
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Hell yeah listen
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awesome song
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One Hell of a song .Love it
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greatest band ever....
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So so so good!!!! Don't go to sleep.....
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Bleugene

Me and my crew rocked to these guys all over the Maryland nightclub seen in the early 80's. Still one of the best and these guys were really fun to party with backstage, those were the days. A little known fact, they called themselves the Baltimore C**ks for a brief period in their transition from the Shooze to the Kix.
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Awesome band !!!!!! They kick a** ....love this song !!!!!
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sexylaughalo t 3
.ahh... the good 'ol days! :-)
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We had some wild times at the concerts kix Cinderella, great white , LA guns. Good times
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KIX s back. They released a new album July 2014.
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shooze,gener a t o r s , k i x thursday nights at the sand bar with free pizza and 25cent drafts,doesn t get any better than that, oh yeah kix facedancer at painters mill
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Its TNT!!!
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So f**king awesome just killer !!!
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So good just f**king awesome !!!
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M3 festivals at Merriweather Post Pavillion. KIX is the best live band you will ever see at any venue for any price no matter how far you travel to see them. Hanging with best friends seeing KIX can't get better than that!!! Kenny The Beer Guy!!!
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I want a piece of the pie!!!
I got wat u lookin for!!watch those dirty boys!!!;-);- )
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bobnascar88
Kick a** group they roll
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grissrh
These guys still ROCK....seen em many years ago ...Shilley arces, Old Mill in Hagerstown Md....
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Their new album Rock Your Face Off does exactly that!
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