Part 44 of my series of Kiss reviews, leading up to the release of Monster!
KISS – Alive! 1975–2000 (2006, 4 discs, Best Buy bonus CD, iTunes bonus track)
This is it folks. This here is the only way to get your Kiss Alive on.
All tracks are digitally remastered of course, and all albums are complete, not truncated. They managed to squeeze both Alive! and Alive II onto single discs without editing out any music or banter. Alive III (1993) makes up the third disc. The fourth CD is the previously unreleased album, Alive IV – The Millenium Concert.
This concert, from December 31, 1999 at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, was to be released in 2000 but shelved. It was released for the first time in this box set, and remains exclusive to this box set. I’m not too keen on it myself.
I think the Millenium Concert sounds dull and uninspired, and maybe that’s part of the reason that it wasn’t released in 2000. The band are playing by-the-numbers versions of the songs with few surprises. Perhaps this was an indication of the deeper problems setting in within the original Kiss lineup again. The production also sounds over polished, and the crowd noise distracting.
One song from this concert, “Rock And Roll All Nite”, was included in the Kiss Box Set as a sneak preview.
There were bonus tracks included on the discs to render obselete your original versions (and entice you to buy them again). The second CD includes the radio edit version of “Rock and Roll All Nite (Live)”. The Alive III CD finally includes the Japanese and vinyl exclusive track, “Take It Off”.
When I first pre-ordered Alive IV back in 2000 before it was shelved, I pre-ordered the Japanese version which was advertized to have three bonus tracks: “God of Thunder”, “2000 Man”, and “Detroit Rock City”. These three songs remain bonus tracks, exclusive to different versions of this box set.
There was a Best Buy limited edition that contained “2000 Man” and “God of Thunder”. But somebody screwed up and put the wrong CD inside the first few thousand copies. Those unfortunate buyers received the regular disc of Alive IV, no bonus tracks. This was rectified by sending those customers a fifth CD, the corrected version of Alive IV. I paid $100 for my copy with fifth CD included. It is pretty rare.
iTunes have their own bonus track, which is “Detroit Rock City”. When I bought the song, it was available on its own for $1.29 or whatever. Prior to this, you had to shell out $40 to buy the whole set again, just to get that one song!