KISS ALIVE 3 came out in 93 and with KISS albums you know there would be hype!
Hype there was but basically with the KISS fans that were still leftover by that point (basically me) and just like when no one thought KISS was cool in the early 80’s(basically me) Kiss was kinda not cool again in the early 90’s as Kurt Cobain and his Tattered Up Cardigan demolished all that KISS and other acts(especially those 80’s bands) had built up!
Well to be fair it wasn’t all that bad for KISS in the early 90’s as it was 10 years earlier in the 80’s. KISS was still putting out albums(Selling Gold at best) and still touring arenas( Ticket sales were sluggish) but for the diehards when word dropped that Alive 3 would be unleashed in May of 93 I was pumped as I knew Kiss would deliver to me in Thunder Bay Ontario another Live album over tweaked in the studio and featuring a drummer who was overplaying everything in sight! Take a bow Eric Singer!
Still though I was stoked! Hell yes! New KISS product! The bigger score for me was when I even talked my pal Tbone to open up his Vault,I mean wallet and squeeze out a 20 dollar bill for KISS ALIVE 3 in Winnipeg Manitoba of all places! (we were in the Peg to see Paul McCartney). You’re welcome Gene Simmons!
It had been a few years since Tbone purchased any KISS maybe it was back in 87 with Crazy Nights or maybe even 85’s Asylum. Not sure though but Tbone was onboard for KISS ALIVE 3 and no doubt with Tbone’s purchase help push ALIVE 3 to Gold in Canada!
Let’s get to the Nitty Gritty shall we!?
Speaking of Tbone many years back he went to the U.S and I asked him to grab me a copy of that 4 Disc KISS ALIVE;1975-2000 box set which included all the Alive albums plus the unreleased Alive 4 which was recorded in Vancouver back on New Years Eve 1999! Alive 1975-2000 was a slick little package complete with the original packaging of course shrunk down to CD Booklet size. Alive 3 had the added bonus track of ‘Take it Off’ which wasn’t included in the original CD pressing back in 93!
To be fair Alive 3 has been completely off of my radar now for years until I was cruising Amazon.ca a few weeks back and for Shatz and Giggles I typed in KISS Vinyl…Course all the band’s Vinyl was there but the one that got my attention was of all things ALIVE 3!
Yeah ALIVE 3 that just a few months ago over at Mikey’s site when he reviewed ALIVE 3. Here’s what I had to say about it along with the Mighty HMO...
So why all of a sudden did ALIVE 3 jump out on the Amazon page? Who knows why? Like has the Bermuda Triangle ever been solved? Haha! Maybe because it was reissued on double vinyl and looked cool! Then It smacked me outside the Mellon!
On Vinyl I have KISS ALIVE. Why not add the two missing studio I mean Live albums to the collection. That being ALIVE 2 and 3! So basically it was a done deal. My parents gave me some dough for my Birthday so I ordered ALIVE 3 while my daughter Lauren bought me Alive 2! (Alive 2 was my first ever purchased KISS record back in 1978!).
Now my KISS collection is patchy at best but it’s coming along nicely here and their, piece by piece slowly and surely. You get the point!
But Yeah ALIVE 3 back on my radar after a long time away and only three months removed from my kinda dissing it on Ladano’s site!
KISS when releasing lIve albums are very consistent in that ALIVE 3 just like the Brilliant Alive (1975) and almost near Brilliant Alive 2(1977) is beyond fixed up in the studio with the audience sounding like it was dubbed in. Paul Stanley and his stage raps here are borderline goofy(dub dub dub) with my fave of Paul’s when he intro’s ‘I Just Wanna’ adding the lines of “The Good Bad and the Ugly” haha whatever that means…..
ALIVE 3 is 18 tracks of KISS in there 1992 Glory. A ramped up steroid driven beast that is way different from the original era of the band. Maybe that’s why the tempo is sped up. KISS was trying to move with the times. We may be an old age KISS but let’s show these young guys how we can still roll! Mean Gene even was sporting a goatee looking like your tough Uncle Albert who shows up to your house only at Christmas time and has an aura about him that is part charming and part ridiculous!
ALIVE 3 has those tracks that up to that point had never been released on a live KISS(cough cough) album before. Actually 11 tracks make their first appearance here with opening track Creatures of the Night rocking right out of the gate! Bruce Kulick zips along his fretboard as you would expect him to. Onto ‘Deuce’ where Mean Gene tells us all that ‘OL Jim is working hard this year’ and this is where I had issues with Singers drumming. Eric plays it at hyper speed but perhaps being 25 years removed from this album I get what he is doing now. He’s following the Bosses orders! KISS even brought back producer Eddie Kramer who produced the first two KISS ALIVE albums as well!
Demon and Starchild made a Heavy Cranky Sounding Studio album called ‘Revenge'(1992) which for all intent purposes was pretty good considering the times KISS and music in general was living in back in the early 90’s! Speaking of Revenge KISS goes 5 tracks deep on Alive 3 with ‘God Gave Rock N Roll To You’/Unholy/I Just Wanna/Domino/Take It off. Nice smattering selection of current KISS(at the time) and of course the rest of the album is filled with the classics Rock N Roll All Night/Detroit Rock City/Watchin You/Detroit Rock City. Course the late70’s/ 80’s is represented with those fun and dumb tunes Lick it Up/Heaven’s On Fire/ I Was Made For Lovin You and the sappy Forever. I will go on record and say that Steamin Gene blasts out a real slick version of ‘I Love it Loud’ which just stomps along with a real cool catchy chorus and better yet the solo which sounds so cool yet sounds so primitive!
ALIVE 3 came out at a time when many an act were hemorrhaging and the only real hard rock bands that were selling records were Aerosmith and Bon Jovi. Everyone else was dying a slow death in the sales department! I betcha that Gene and Paul thought by putting out a live album and calling it ALIVE 3 would skyrocket up the charts and sell zillions.
Mmmmm not quite. You know the rest. KISS got Frehley/Criss back in 1996 and raked in millions. Thinking it’s safe to say that even Gene and Paul knew there was no going back to the non makeup years when ALIVE 3 didn’t rule the world!
For myself ALIVE 3 is a slick added edition to my trilogy of the KISS ALIVE series on vinyl. Course ALIVE 3 would be my third favourite KISS Live album after the first ALIVE followed by ALIVE 2! Give KISS credit as well as they didn’t scale back the big rock show look even though their attendance had dropped off. Cool to have the Gatefold of this album and that’s the power of the double live appearance!
It’s cool to hear these tracks live and once you can get by Paul’s dumbo arena cock rock raps and Singers thrashing of his drums on the classics you realize that KISS had to do what they had to do to survive in the year of 1992-93!