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Kiss Alive! Review

Live. Released 1975.  

BBC Review

...doesn’t leave any doubt that, on their day, Kiss were the daddy.

Tim Cunningham 2007

Lazing in bed on a Sunday morn is probably not the ideal time to open oneself to the musical mayhem that made Kiss a household name in the seventies. The ''Rock and Roll All Nite” mantra bandied about by the bad boys of glam rock doesn’t quite seem to fit, although my cat does do a pretty good impression of Peter 'Cat Man' Criss - the drummer with the feline face paint. It doesn’t take too long to get your ’'Strut'’ on though and closing your eyes its easy to envisage the pyrotechnics and platform shoes that became an essential part of the Kiss experience.

Kiss won over their fans through a sheer exuberance of personality and after flogging 80 million plus albums they’ve definitely found a few. There are even stories of top billing acts getting more than a little peeved when their audiences began to leave after watching Kiss perform the support slot thinking the show was already over. Keen to capture the explosive fervour of these live performances after three fairly dismal studio albums, Kiss enlisted Eddie Kramer to record them in their primal element and the double album Alive! proved to be the breakthrough they’d dreamt of.

It’s all here, Gene Simmons the 'Demon' on bass pounding away in preposterous pose, 'Space Ace' Freely and the 'Star Child', Paul Stanley’s wicked guitar antics and of course the 'Cat Man' laying down the beat from his throne on high. You wouldn’t be too quick to call this a musically diverse offering as, to be honest, it all sounds like one song - but who cares! It’s air guitar-humpin’, fist-pumpin’ party fun, and whilst it might not do a hell of a lot to further musical prowess it definitely doesn’t leave any doubt that, on their day, Kiss were the daddy.

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