“Alive” (remaster) by KISS

Artist: KISS
Title: “Alive” (reissue/remaster)
Label: Mercury/Universal
Release Date: 7/15/1997
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 9/10

The fourth album by KISS would be the one that either made them or broke them. A number of things had been transpiring over the previous years as the band had released three studio recordings; KISS, Hotter Than Hell and Dressed To Kill. Yet despite this fact the world at large was still unaware of the impact these guys were capable of having on the larger music scene. While they had fans in the thousands they still needed to explode. The decision to not only release a live album, but a double one would be risky to say the least but in the end it worked and became one of the most popular live albums of all time. Start to finish this album would take you to a KISS concert from the announcers statement of the “Hottest Band In The World KISS!” to the bombastic explosions of the closing numbers. “Rock and Roll All Nite” would begin to get a lot of mainstream Rock radio airplay as a result of this release sending buyers to the record shops in droves. The overall power and appeal of the album provided new life for the previously released studio albums due to the exciting sound presented with their live versions on this album. As you listen to the live record you can agree that the KISS classics that reside here sound so much more vibrant in the concert setting. They were never the most musically technical bunch and it was always straight ahead rocking with a bombastic show that drove their appeal. However when you add this electricity, place some solos in for good measure and add Paul’s dynamic stage presence you have a totally win-win situation.

Across the whole album the KISS fan new and old will not find too many bad spots if any at all exist. The earliest classics are here and there is a great drum solo by Peter and a guitar solo by Ace. Paul’s crowd banter is one of a kind, showing all the way back in 1975 when this album hit that he would become one of the best front men in Rock music history. Musically there are too many of the greats on this album for me to decide from but some notable omissions are “Coming Home” and “Strange Ways” which were always good numbers that would have been cool to hear live back then. The other great thing about this album is that even the non-fan would purchase it and instantly be caught up in what they were out to do to the Music World. That alone makes this the perfect KISS album to buy as the first in one’s collection or a must-have to a non-fans Rock library. Get that greasepaint out, and choose your favorite. You will have a lot to catch up on after this.

The KISS remasters while excellent in their overall sound quality do not offer any additional or unreleased songs. The original artwork is replicated and features the interesting graphics that often made up a KISS Album. However, if the artwork was limited it will be the same on the remaster. Music History fans will appreciate the included historical liner notes on the CD’s inner section. Each release has information that is topical to the album and the bands history.

Track Listing:
1. Deuce
2. Strutter
3. Got To Choose
4. Hotter Than Hell
5. Firehouse
6. Nothin’ To Lose
7. C’Mon And Love Me
8. Parasite
9. She
10. Watchin’ You
11. 100,000 Years
12. Black Diamond
13. Rock Bottom
14. Cold Gin
15. Rock And Roll All Nite
16. Let Me Go, Rock ‘n’ Roll

Official Web site: www.KISSonline.com

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