Metal Mofos’ Isaac Sauers gives us a holiday treat as he counts down 25 days till Christmas with 25 of his favorite must own metal and hard rock albums. Join us daily through December 25th to read the latest entry.
Back in 1975 hardly anyone really knew about Kiss. Can you imagine that? A world without Kiss? What an awful place. It gives me horrific visions. Like them or hate them you can’t deny the influence Kiss has had on the music world. They’ve influenced EVERYTHING since the the 1970s. Think about it. Kiss has become a model for the music business in terms of marketing and merchandise, concert performances and aesthetics, and last but not least the music itself. This influence all started on September 10, 1975 when Kiss released a double live album titled Alive! which featured songs from their first three studio albums.
Prior to the release of Alive! Kiss was in trouble financially. Their studio albums were not selling well, and their label and management had invested a lot of money in them. Their tours were financed by manager Bill Aucoin’s credit card, and their label head Neil Bogart still had faith Kiss could be the next big thing.
Kiss had become known in the rock world as a great live act, but their studio albums just didn’t capture the energy of their live shows. Just listen to the song “Rock and Roll All Nite” on their Dressed to Kill album then go and listen to it on Alive! and you’ll know what I mean. The band recorded several shows earlier in 1975 to later be released as a live album. They needed this to be a success, or it would be the end of Kiss.
Alive! ended up being the first top 10 album on the Billboard Charts for Kiss. The album did just what it was supposed to do. It captured everything sonically speaking from a Kiss concert, even Peter Criss’ drum solo during the song “100,000 Years” and Ace Frehley’s guitar solo at the end of “She”. Gene Simmons sounds fantastic on classic songs such as “Deuce” and “Cold Gin”. The entire world now got to hear the great stage banter of the greatest frontman of all time, Paul Stanley.
Of course Alive! is not without controversy. It was found out later that almost everything except for the drums were re-recorded in the studio. So, it’s not really a “live” album per say, but it sure still captures that sound that you hear at a Kiss concert. It has the energy that makes you feel like you were in Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan where a lot of the album was recorded.
If for some reason you’ve never listened to Kiss, then right here is the place to start. Alive! captures the band when they were still a simple band and not a multi-million dollar business. It’s the original four members at their best. Still young and hungry to take over ther world with their painted faces and hard rock sound.