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Alive II

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★★★★☆
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  • KISS’ eighth album Alive II was released in November of 1977 in time for the Christmas sale that year.
    The album was recorded over three nights at the LA Forum in Los Angeles in August of 1977.
    The songs that were live were pretty much most of the album (save “Hard Luck Woman” and “Tomorrow and Tonight” which were recorded in the studio with crowd noises and there were some edits on the live tracks and overdubs). They attempted those aforementioned songs live but didn’t work during rehearsals. However, “Detroit Rock City”, “King of the Night Time World” (the former are rumored from the KISS live shows in Japan from 1977), “Ladies Room”, “Makin Love”, “Love Gun”, “Calling Dr Love”, “Christine Sixteen”, “Shock Me (with a slightly edited Ace Frehley guitar solo)”, “I Stole Your Love”, “Beth” (rumored to be from Japan 1977), “God of Thunder” (with edited Peter Criss drum solo), “I Want You” and “Shout it Out Loud” surpass their studio counterparts.
    KISS felt that repeating songs from 1975’s Alive! album would have been useless (though I do like later live versions from the 1977 tour of “Firehouse”, “Black Diamond” and “Rock and Roll All Night”) so the band decided to record five new tracks at a theater with a mobile truck without an audience. With Ace Frehley gone AWOL (he does play guitar and bass and sing on his composition, the killer rocker “Rocket Ride”), rhythm guitarist/singer Paul Stanley, bass player/singer Gene Simmons and drummer Peter Criss went and recorded four new tracks (with Bob Kulick doing lead guitar to mimic Ace’s playing on the first of the three new tracks) which were Paul’s rocker “All American Man” and two Gene rockers out of “Rockin in the USA” and “Larger Than Life”. There’s also a cover of Dave Clark Five’s “Any Way You Want It” recorded as a five piece.
    When the album was released, it went Double Platinum and hit #6 on the Billboard Top 200 and was the second Top 10 album for KISS in 1977, the year they were kings of American rock. I first got this cassette in June of 1988 when my older sister gave it to me. Then, eventually got on CD then bought the digitally remastered edition which comes with the book and tattoos that were on the original album and the sound is superb 30 years on!
    Highly recommended!

    Posted on January 7, 2010