Hey Folk’s! To keep things interesting round these parts I have decided to start a new series called “Impact Albums” in which I will discuss how an album by an artist/group has resonated with me through years and in some instances decades! Some of these albums I have reviewed but have decided to redo and rewrite them from a different angle. Course when I started this Blog over Three and a half Years ago I was posting like a lunatic and now over time when I reread some of them it’s like “damn I should have said this in my review” Well here we go….
Well believe it or not I have not reviewed KISS Alive! Todays the day Kid’s!
Now I have made it no secret through various blogs that Alive in the KISSTORY of all recorded material is in both my Favourite KISS Live album category and it also lies in my Top 3 all time Favourite KISS Studio album’s category!
As we all know KISS redid and did a fabulous job at basically recording the whole thing in the studio(insert live audience). From what I’m lead to believe is just Peter Criss’s drums were pretty much the only thing Live! Going on memory here folks with that little tidbit!
Guess what….I Don’t Care!
ALIVE entered my world when I was 11(1978) to be exact and KISS has been part of my listening habits for almost 4 decades!( HOLY Shit!) While Demon and Starchild are still out there donning the grease paint and emptying thousands of wallets worldwide (at times mine as well) with a couple of Hired Guns filling the roles of The Cat and The Spaceman there really seems no end in sight with these guys…
In 1978 well into 1979 KISS ruled supreme. My addiction began on rock mags buying up anything with KISS on the cover which went straight to the bedroom walls and God Bless my Sunday Church going Parents who never once told me to turn down the stereo once they realized I went bonkers for four dudes wearing makeup and once of them wearing kabuki like makeup and spitting fire and dripping blood from his yap!
Alive though from opener Deuce to end of album closer Let Me Go Rock N Roll deliver a quicker heavier tempo than the three studio albums (Self Titled Debut/Hotter Than Hell/Dressed To Kill) could muster up! KISS Alive is KISS at its best! At the time of its release KISS was floundering. Album sales were nil but touring was there forte and by doing so they broke through and Alive kicked down the door’s and viola KISS was a household name!
Alive and of course ALIVE 2 were the first ever two live albums I had heard and of course they came with a Peter Criss( “On the drums!”says Stanley) and Ace Frehley guitar solo! Something which fried my mind back than as I had no idea anyone did this until Neil Peart entered my world and had heard his drum solo for the first time and well I will leave it at that!
Alive featured rip-roaring songs which have of course become staples in their sets still like Duece/Rock N Roll All Night/Strutter. But for me it was those tracks basically Side’s 2 and 3 of Alive that I find the best. Nothin To Lose/C’mon And Love Me/Parasite/She make up Side 2 and it’s just Kiss getting down to business with little in the effect of Stanley stage raps(that’s to come) but man KISS are on fire as Gene Simmons takes the Frehley written Parasite over and Kiss slays this version while Gene goes right into the Street Hooker rock of She complete with the Space Ace solo workout……(speaking of which Ace’s solo on Hotter Than Hell is that indeed)
Not to be outdone. Side 3 of ALIVE with Watchin You/100,000 Years/Black Diamond has KISS stretching their musical muscle. Watchin You is a great track another Gene tune if we are keeping score! 100,000 Years complete with Petey on the drum soloing and Paul yammering at the crowd about being ‘high” and the bad ass dude stuff that emulates itself through a frontman’s mic keeps the party going that night in Detroit or ummm the studio or wherever it was!
Black Diamond features Pete on the lead vocal( who sounds vocally like Rod Stewart going straight into the depths of hell but make no mistake Pete had a good voice when the other two dudes would allow Criss to sing.) Black Diamond features that crazy ass long ending where there playing those power chords and letting them ring out and you hear pyro blasts. Geezus hit the deck folks were under attack!
Must also mention Rock Bottom as well which is another track that is a KISS fav of mine. Too bad its been in the KISS song Graveyard more often than not but it’s another stellar track!
Still love this album to this day! The cover is KISS Live. Smart move as it’s a classic live shot (done at a sound check or so I believe) but it didn’t matter it got its point across and when I last seen KISS live (2003) the T-shirt I bought at the show has the KISS Alive cover! Smart move fella’s!
How many times has DEke’S been ALIVE?
Purchased on vinyl (1978) CD(1989)# also have it as part of KISS LIVE 1975-2000 4 CD set(2006) and finally bought this back on vinyl in 2016!
#-the CD version I purchased on 1989 was atrocious! The suits and ties at the record label basically dubbed the vinyl straight to CD. It was a huge disappointment(audio was distorted in spots especially on C’mon And Love Me) and I felt totally ripped off! Much greater improvement when It was added to the KISS Live 75-2000 Set…