From the Vault...



© Casablanca Records

track listing
  • Deuce
  • Strutter
  • Got To Choose
  • Hotter Than Hell
  • Firehouse
  • Nothin' To Lose
  • C'mon And Love Me
  • Parasite
  • She
  • Watchin' You
  • 100,000 Years
  • Black Diamond
  • Rock Bottom
  • Cold Gin
  • Rock And Roll All Nite
  • Let Me Go Rock 'N Roll

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    It's October, 2001, and with Halloween at the end of this month, the timing is superb for this week's group -- KISS. Kiss has released 3 Alive! albums in their career, and many still say that their first one was their best. Granted that they only had 3 studio albums released before their first live album was released, Kiss proved to be more of an entertaining band live, and capturing their live performances had Kiss fans grabbing their Alive! release. Especially for those who had seen Kiss live, (I never did, by the way...) but for those who didn't, we could easily hear how entertaining they were... live.

    "Deuce" and "Strutter" (originally from their debut Kiss release) starts out the crowd in roaring form, and when announced that "we're gonna have a rock 'n roll party!" that statement states the whole concert is meant to be great, hard-rocking fun.

    "Got To Choose" (originally from Hotter Than Hell) is not as fast and hard rocking as the first two songs, yet it's Kiss, in their rare form in performing hard rock at its best. The title track of their second album (Hotter Than Hell) is here, and where most live performances may not be as great as the original studio hit, the studio release of "Hotter Than Hell" gets the nod of approval here.

    "Hotter Than Hell" merges into another song from their first album, "Firehouse", as the opening guitar riffs seem to be familar with a band that would appear in the 1980s, Poison. Yet, still, listening to the sound as a whole, it's definitely KISS.

    Having a mix of hard rock and pop, "Nothin' To Lose" (originally from Kiss), has a somewhat happy-go-lucky rock sound. "C'mon And Love Me (from Dressed To Kill) simply rocks as hard as the opening two tunes. Likewise, "Parasite" (from Hotter Than Hell) will have you playing air guitar to the grinding hard rock.

    Very impressive is "She"; the guitars are outstanding, and not really familar with this tune, studiowise, it makes me want to listen to the original version on Dressed To Kill. Hotter Than Hell's "Watchin' You" is just as impressive. It's another great hard rocker, and another grasp on the original Hotter Than Hell to listen to.

    "100,000 Years" (originally from Kiss) has the influence of many bands that came after Kiss, especially 1980s hair-bands. It features two absolute ingredients in being a very successful live band: An extended drum solo (Peter Criss), and a showman interacting with the audience -- Paul Stanley getting the crowd to chant "ROCK AND ROLL!" With these extended "ingredients," this song lasts over 10 minutes in length. Also, the famous "ROCK AND ROLL!" is heard in this song, and NOT at the end of "Rock And Roll All Nite" as released on the 45 single in the 1970s.

    The hard rock slows down, yet kicks into another hard rocker in "Black Diamond" (Kiss). And for those of you who are familar with the original studio version, the ending is incredible, as the music is constantly dropped octavely, ending in a very eerie atmosphere; great for Halloween, by the way. It's hard to capture this same sound live, so it wasn't used on the live version.

    It seems that "Black Diamond" was supposedly the last song of the concert, yet as always, the crowd calls back for more. "Rock Bottom" starts the encore (originally from Dressed To Kill). Starting out slowly, like "Black Diamond," it kicks into another Kiss hard-rocker. Paul Stanley gets the crowd going again, with his speech on partying with alcohol, as they kick into another great hard-rocker, Kiss' "Cold Gin."

    Originally from Dressed To Kill, "Rock And Roll All Nite" proved to be more successful live, than the studio version. And yes, I have to agree, that the live version is definitely much better than the studio version in this case. It created an anthem for Kiss, as "Rock And Roll All Nite" proved to be the most remembered hit by Kiss. Yet there are many other Kiss songs that were overlooked throughout their career -- "Black Diamond" (the original studio version) is definitely one of those.

    Also Note: If you're familiar with the 45 single version of "Rock And Roll All Nite," it is different than that on Alive! -- yet it is the same version, like many album versions, there is an extended guitar solo, and the famous "ROCK AND ROLL!" is NOT heard at the end of this song on Alive!

    The album closes with another "could-of-been" anthem -- "Let Me Go Rock 'N Roll" (from Hotter Than Hell). It's just as great a rocker as "Rock And Roll All Nite," with its outstanding guitar solos, and hard-rock Kiss style.

    Alive! by Kiss is a great live album. Yet many claim that some bands are better in the studio, where the studio tricks does all the work that would not be recaptured in a live performance, Kiss overrules that. Delivering hard-rock in the best way they can, Paul Stanley also proves in being an entertaining frontman showman for the audience. Not only does the music get played great, Paul Stanley gets the audience in a great frame of mind as well.

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    Previous Review: #752
    David Palmer & The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra--Music Of Pink Floyd Orchestral Maneuvers
    Next Review: #754
    Maxi Priest--Best Of Me