I received this LP as my 9th birthday present when it had just come out, and recently bought a used copy of the remaster of it.
All the complaints about how artificially-enhanced this album is are spurious, as if 3/4 of the “live albums” in history aren’t re-constructed and optimized for maximum effect in the post-production. Eddie Kramer did an amazing job, and his role was central in making this one of the ear-splatteringest, heaviest records of all time. I listened to the remaster in headphones on 11 and afterwards I had to lie down it was so head-crushingly loud.
The versions of the tunes on this make their studio counterparts sound like “Alvin and the Chipmunks Play Kiss”. Every song just completely obliterates its corresponding appearance on the first 3 albums that preceded it, as if their studio records were just a run-through and the live one was meant to be “here’s our songs played by Satan on steroids” by comparison.
What’s telling is that there are no visuals, and despite this band’s reliance on the poly-pyrotechnic stage show and all the criticism about how the theatrics were there to conceal the crappy music, the tunes stand up just fine. The truth is that without good tunes nobody would have cared that the drumkit was levitating or that the bass player was breathing fire. Someone said that in the ’70s even the bad music was great, and the very worst twaddle on this album is like Vivaldi compared with the crap that passes for music today. Jessica Simpson couldn’t write songs this good, even if she were to receive Brian Wilson’s brain in a transplant… that’s how hopeless things have gotten.
This record just roars and blows your head off from start to finish, every song just builds and builds the momentum… let’s just say it’s worth a Deuce, even if it does put yet more money into the misogynistic, greedy hands of Gene Simmons.