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Alive!

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★★★★½
(230 Reviews)

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  • THE BAND: Gene Simmons (bass), Paul Stanley (guitars), Ace Frehley (guitars), Peter Criss (drums & percussion).

    THE DISC(S): (1975) Recorded during the ‘75 tour. 16 total songs on 2 discs clocking in at just under 79 minutes (35+ minutes on disc-1, 42+ minutes on disc-2). Classic album cover photo. Originally released on Casablanca Records in 1975; this remastered edition was released in 1997 on Mercury’s label. Much improved sound in my book (deeper bass guitars and crisper highs). Included with the discs is a 10-page booklet with all original artwork and photos, song titles, writing credits and times. Underneath the disc on the inside cover, there’s an informative 4 paragraph history of what the band was going through at the time.

    COMMENTS: Start your KISS collection with “Alive!”. Classic album – electrifying live show(s) captured. Classic songs. Even the lesser played tunes like “Parasite”, “C’mon And Love Me”, “Got to Choose”, “Cold Gin” and one of my personal favorites “Watchin’ You” sound brilliant. KISS’ first 3 studio albums had a very raw sound and each suffered from extremely flat production. Seven songs from their debut made it this live album; five songs taken from “Hotter Than Hell”; and four songs taken from “Dressed To Kill”. Along comes “Alive!” and these songs simply jump to life. Gene, Paul, Ace & Peter were on top of their game during these recordings. To me, KISS was never really known for their great muscial prowness… but, they were known for delivering a grandiose show – they were performers, they were entertainers. This live album established Ace Frehley as a guitar God (check out his blistering solo’s on “Parasite”, “Cold Gin” and “Let Me Go, Rock And Roll”). The sound production is great considering it was done in the mid 1970’s. Any rock & roll fan can turn this up loud and feel the emotion, energy and excitment that KISS brings to a concert (anyone who has seen this band LIVE knows the feeling). Several great ‘live’ albums were released by classic bands in the 1970’s (Frampton, UFO, Deep Purple, etc) and KISS’ “Alive!” is easily set on the same lofty perch as all of them. One of the great live rock concerts captured on tape during the 1970’s! An absolute classic album (5 stars).

    Posted on December 7, 2009