“Alive! 1975-2000” by KISS

Artist: KISS
Title: “Alive! 1975-2000”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 11/21/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 5/5

It goes without saying that KISS is one of the most visually exciting bands to have ever been formed and experienced over the past century. The levels of spectacle and entertainment at their concerts have given millions of fans worldwide experiences that are forever remembered and recounted. This CD boxed set celebrates the performances of KISS by featuring all three of the Alive releases and also giving the listener something special that was never expected. We have broken each release up to briefly line out the special nature of each of them.

CD1: “Alive”: Deuce, Strutter, Got To Choose, Hotter Than Hell, Firehouse, Nohin’ 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.
**** It was not until the band took the risk of releasing a double live album that their true powers over the listener were realized. While they had an ever growing fan base, their albums were simply not selling all that well and many had advised them that such a release would be career suicide. Live albums were becoming more common, but a double one from a band that no one was buying the records of did not seem the most sound of business decisions. Instead of musical death KISS would find a resounding level of success with this release as it brought the fan front stage to one of their shows and came with crowd dialogue and explosions as well. The band’s “anthem” introduced on “Dressed To Kill” would officially claim that status as a result of “Alive” and it’s impact. Years after it’s release this is still considered one of the “must have” albums in any music fans collection. Listening to a remastered version of it in this set one can easily see why.

CD2: “Alive II”: – Detroit Rock City, King Of The Night Time World, Ladies Room, Makin’ Love, Love Gun, Calling Dr. Love, Christine Sixteen, Shock Me, Hard Luck Woman, Tomorrow And Tonight, I Stole Your Love, Beth, God Of Thunder, I Want You, Shout It Out Loud, All-American Man, Rockin’ In The USA, Larger Than Life, Rocket Ride, Any Way You Want It, Rock And Roll All Night.
**** Culled from three sold-out shows at The Forum in Los Angeles, KISS would follow their second three studio albums with the sequel to “Alive”. Given the audio technology had increased exponentially this release was more in your face that its predecessor any many fans who were now of the age to purchase music on their own this would become one of their favorite recordings. It would not include any of the songs found on the first release and instead of duplication the listener would get five new studio tracks to enjoy. The edition on this release includes a bonus recording of “Rock & Roll All Nite” that was previously available as a single.

CD3: “Alive III”: – Creatures Of The Night, Deuce, I Just Wanna, Unholy, Heaven’s On Fire, Watchin’ You, Domino, I Was Made For Lovin’ You, I Still Love You, Rock And Roll All Nite, Lick It Up, Forever, Take It Off, I Love It Loud, Detroit Rock City, God Gave Rock And Roll To You II, Star Spangled Banner.
**** With “Alive III” we would find a long unmasked KISS and also several line up changes later as well. Peter Criss and Ace Frehley were long gone and in their place for seeming good were Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer. Singer had come in shortly after the passing of Peter’s replacement Eric Carr. The “Revenge” lineup released a live show on audio and video and while it was met with fan approval, there was some dissent over the fact that it was only a single disk. It was a good live album but not my personal favorite, despite some of the songs it included. A bonus track in “Take It Off” is also found here that was not present on the original release.

CD4: “Alive 4”: Psycho Circus, Shout It Out Loud, Deuce, Heaven’s On Fire, Into The Void, Firehouse, Do You Love Me, Let Me Go Rock & Roll, I Love It Loud, Lick It Up, 100,000 Years, Love Gun, Black Diamond, Beth, Rock And Roll All Nite.
**** The Millennium Concert was recorded in front of a record breaking crowd of 45,000 and despite numerous delays and reasons for it not being available yet, the CD would simply vanish from the radar of fans. A couple of tracks made their way to the Boxed Set a couple of years ago, but that would be it. Now as a special bonus surprise the KISS Army gets to enjoy this full release as we had long wanted to. The recording was done during “The Farewell Tour”, which had found a reunited original line up once again in makeup doing their thing to the approval of legions of old and new fans. Sadly, it would also be the final live recording to feature complete original members as Ace would once again leave the bands membership and be replaced by Tommy Thayer.

Encased in a highly decorative box, and including a booklet that is loaded to the hilt with classic photos of the band this is an extremely high recommendation. The inclusion of the unreleased album makes it all the more worthwhile, so if you are a fan you’ve already gone out for one, but if you are among the still curious then there is no longer any excuse for you to not snare yourself a copy. Time to get out the greasepaint and stick out your tongue once again for KISS, “The Hottest Band In The World”.

Official Website: www.kissonline.com

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