“Despite Kiss’ reputation as a live act, which emphasized theatrics (such as explosions, smoking guitar solos, fire breathing, and blood spitting), as much as it did the music, their notoriety did not translate to increased record sales.” WK “Alive! was the album that catapulted Kiss from cult attraction to mega-superstars. It was their first Top Ten album, remaining on the charts for 110 weeks and eventually going quadruple platinum. Culled from shows in Detroit, New Jersey, Iowa, and Cleveland on the Dressed to Kill tour, the record features producer Eddie Kramer doing a masterful job of capturing the band’s live performance on record. The band’s youthful energy is contagious, and with positively electric versions of their best early material, it’s no mystery why Alive! is widely regarded as one of the greatest live hard rock recordings of all time.” GP
“Rock and Roll All Nite became a Top 20 smash and was the main reason for the album’s success, but there are many other tracks that are just as strong – Deuce, Strutter, Firehouse, Parasite, She, 100,000 Years, Black Diamond, and Cold Gin all shine in a live setting.” GP
“There has been considerable debate as to how much use was made of studio overdubs. [Band member] Gene Simmons states…that very little corrective work was done in the studio and that most of the studio time was devoted strictly to mixing down the multi-track recordings.” WK “In the early 1990s, [producer] Eddie Kramer stated there were a few overdubs to correct the most obvious mistakes: strings breaking or off-key notes, for instance. However, in recent years, Kramer has stated that the only original live recording on the album is Ace Frehley’s guitar…He also [later] stated the only original live recording on the album is Peter Criss’ drums. In addition, on the recent VH1 special of the story of Kiss, the band members themselves make it more known that the album was severely doctored in the studio.” WK
Regardless, “Alive! remains Kiss’ greatest album ever. An essential addition to any rock collection.” GP
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Last updated March 28, 2011.