Part 4 of my series of Kiss reviews, leading up to the release of Monster!
KISS – Alive! (1975)
For the record I would recommend the Alive Box over this, simply because you get the first 3 Alives in one set with extra material. Buut we’ll get there evenually.
Kiss Alive!…what can you say? Greatest live album of all time? Not really live? Who cares! It sounds amazing and 35 years later people are still buying it. The same cannot be said of many live albums from the era. Live At Last by Black Sabbath was recorded around this time, nobody buys that record now. It’s one of a handful of classics. Frampton Comes Alive, and Live & Dangerous (Thin Lizzy) are up there with it.
Is it live? Sort of. Paul’s guitar playing and singing was not up to snuff for the live album that producer Eddie Kramer wanted to make (too much jumping around) so a lot of it was done in the studio. Can you tell? Absolutely not. You can’t tell at all.
The sound: Epic, loud, superior in every way to the studio albums. The songs: Played faster, more intense, solos are crazier and longer. Paul’s stage raps became popular because of Kiss Alive! Now everybody knows the rap about “a taste of alcohol” (“Cold Gin”), and the big middle section to “100,000 Years”.
You can’t fault one single song inclusion on Kiss Alive!, and indeed this version of “Rock And Roll All Nite” has become more well known than the original. Sure, there are other great Kiss songs that didn’t make it here, but when a live album becomes too long it also becomes harder to listen to.
This (or the Alive Box) should be your first Kiss purchase if you’ve never bought one before.