Album Review: “Alive!” By KISS
via marcelo ramirez/YouTube
A Mayhem of Sorts
Live albums are often hit or miss. Unlike recording studios, there’s little control over the environment. A lot of things could go wrong, the crowd might be too noisy, and sometimes, the band’s just having one of those days when they’re not at their best. Luckily for KISS, Alive! captured the magic and energy of their live performances. There was a bit of a controversy about the post-production work though but we’re not here to scrutinize what’s real or what’s not. So we’ll simply dive in and get on with the album review.
Alive! was a pivotal moment for KISS. At that point, they already released three studio albums and so far, they were commercial failures. Nevertheless, they earned a cult following mostly because of their spectacular performances. From breathing fire to pyrotechnics, no one left disappointed at their shows. People were going to their concerts but not buying their albums and so they decided to remedy that by trying to capitalize on the reputation they built as stellar live performers. The CEO of Casablanca Records liked the idea especially since that was a lot cheaper than recording in the studio.
And Alive! catapulted them to rockstar status. The electrifying energy was there. And it feels like you’re in the arena watching them live. The high octane performances and balls to the wall attitude, it was what took KISS to the top. They took the best songs from their first three albums and turned them into classics.
From the wicked guitar work to the explosive drumming, KISS went all-out. With their ferocious and unapologetic numbers, they weren’t playing around. They clearly mean business.
This is KISS at their rawest and toughest. There were a few moments we could do without but they don’t necessarily pull the album down. They may not be the most talented rock acts at the time but with Alive!, they delivered the goods. It was an absolute game-changer.