Alive! Album Cover Art
Live album by Kiss
Released - September 10, 1975
Recorded - March – June 1975
Genre - Hard rock, heavy metal
Length - 74:50
Label - Casablanca Records and Filmworks
Producer - Eddie Kramer
• Allmusic link
• Robert Christgau (B-) link
• Rolling Stone (unfavorable) link
Alive! is Kiss' fourth album and is considered their breakthrough, as well as a landmark for live albums. Released on September 10, 1975, the double-disc set contains live versions of selected tracks from their first three studio albums, Kiss, Hotter Than Hell, and Dressed to Kill.
• 1 Uncertainty and risk
• 2 Overdubbing controversy
• 3 Re-release
• 4 Legacy
Uncertainty and risk
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. Kiss was essentially surviving on then-manager Bill Aucoin's American Express card. Complicating matters was the fact that their label, Neil Bogart's Casablanca Records, was having financial difficulties of its own stemming from a major misstep: the label had released a double album of Johnny Carson monologues earlier in the year. However, the album was a flop, and Casablanca Records had pressed millions of copies in anticipation. The band and Aucoin were nevertheless able to convince Bogart that a memento of a Kiss show would boost their album sales.
Years later, both guitarist Paul Stanley and bassist Gene Simmons recounted that in the weeks after the release, they saw a significant increase in concert attendance. In the documentary Kiss: X-treme Close Up, Stanley remembers that at one particular show in Dayton, Ohio, "the place was packed; I mean you couldn't have gotten another person in with a shoehorn."
There has been considerable debate as to how much use was made of studio overdubs. Gene Simmons states in his autobiography Kiss and Make-Up 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. He also emphasized that Kiss could not have done extensive overdubbing even if they had wanted to; thanks in no small part to the Johnny Carson album fiasco, the extremely meager budget allotted to the band simply would not allow it.
According to Dale Sherman's book Black Diamond and Goldmine magazine, in the early 1990s, 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. In a recent televised interview, he also 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, and various musicians comment on the album in this special, revealing how disappointed they were to find out their heroes doctored the supposed "live" album in the studio.
Paul Stanley has noted that there's a bass mistake in the choruses of "C'mon and Love Me." He's also made comments that even though there have been live albums recorded later that make Alive! sound like it was recorded in a washroom, he has no qualms about it.
Alive! was first issued as a 2CD set in what has now become known as a 'fatboy' 2CD case. When the Kiss back-catalogue was remastered it was housed in a slimline 2CD case and, in keeping with the rest of the reissue programme, had the artwork restored.
Most recently, Alive! was re-released in 2006 as part of the Kiss Alive! 1975–2000 box set (also featuring Alive II, Alive III and Alive! The Millennium Concert). The short running-time of Alive! allowed for a single, unedited CD edition in this latest release. This remastered CD edition eliminates the breaks between the four sides of the original LP release, resulting in this version of the album playing as one continuous performance. The 72-Page booklet that comes with the CD set erroneously credits songwriting for "Cold Gin" to Paul Stanley instead of Ace Frehley.
• It peaked at #9 on the album charts. The album charted for 110 weeks, by far the longest in the band's history.
• In 2003, the album was ranked number 159 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
The following is courtesy of Kissfaq.com – The Ultimate KissWiki:
Kissfaq RULES! Every Kiss fan (or Rocker for that matter) should visit it some time! Read the Kiss Album Focus! here ->
• 1 Release Details
• 2 Tracks
• 3 Album Details
• 4 Multimedia
• 5 Chart Action
• 6 RIAA/Sales
Casablanca NBLP-7020 (US, 9/10/75)
Casablanca/PolyGram 822-780-1/4 (US, 7/85 - Reissue)
Casablanca/PolyGram 822-780-2 (US, 7/87 - CD Reissue)
Mercury 532-377-2/4 (US Remaster, 7/15/97, includes booklet reprint)
A1. Deuce (3:32) - Simmons
A2. Strutter (3:12) - Simmons/Stanley
A3. Got To Choose (3:35) - Stanley
A4. Hotter Than Hell (3:11) - Stanley
A5. Firehouse (3:42) - Stanley
B1. Nothin' To Lose (3:23) - Simmons
B2. C'mon And Love Me (2:52) - Stanley
B3. Parasite (3:21) - Frehley
B4. She (6:42) - Simmons/Coronel
C1. Watchin' You (3:37) - Simmons
C2. 100,000 Years (11:52) - Simmons/Stanley
C3. Black Diamond (5:21) - Stanley
D1. Rock Bottom (3:08) - Frehley/Stanley
D2. Cold Gin (5:21) - Frehley
D3. Rock And Roll All Nite (3:37) - Simmons/Stanley
D4. Let Me Go, Rock 'N Roll (5:09) - Simmons/Stanley
Produced, engineered, and mixed by Eddie Kramer, assisted by Neal Teeman. Recorded live during the “Dressed To Kill” tour. Overdubbed and mixed at Electric Lady Studios, New York City, NY, in late July / early August 1975.
The concerts recorded for use on the album included: Cobo Arena, Detroit, MI on May 16; Music Hall, Cleveland, OH, on June 21; two nearly sold-out shows at the Orpheum Theatre in Davenport, IA, on July 20; and the sold-out Convention Center in Wildwood, NJ, on July 23 (Gooch, Suhs – KISS Alive Forever).
King Biscuit Alive 75
"King Biscuit Alive" Radio Show Notes:
Originally broadcast in November 1975 on the King Biscuit Flower Hour in a split show with a set from the Average White Band. It’s always fun to compare this broadcast with the recordings used on the actual “Alive!” album. While the first three tracks are generally accepted to be from Wildwood, NJ, there are no specific references to that city with the final two tracks at least having Cleveland mentioned by name.
Tracks available somewhere in cyberspace:
Hotter Than Hell
Let Me Know
Rock And Roll All Nite
USA: "Alive!" was Kiss first RIAA certification, attain Gold on 12/4/1975. Even with the band being presented RIAA Platinum awards in January 1976, the album has never been recertified. It has sold over 258,000 (2/07) copies since the SoundScan era commenced in 1991.
Notes on this release:
New vinyltransfer using a near pristine 1980 reissue on the Dutch Phonogram label.
To the best of my knowledge they used the original US stampers for this one which makes it possibly the best version ever made. I can tell since I have had dozens of different one’s in my lifetime and well, the Dutch Phonogram (the company bought out Casablanca Records in this time) was known for it’s impeccable quality. Although it’s not the first pressing, this one is the one I kept because of that.
I don’t think any of the CD remasters are really bad sounding, but they all are compressed. In particular this album suffers from that because when you want to pump the level it’s impact is minimalized. With this transfer all that has been restored. Watch out for some heavy explosions when you do pump up the volume! Really, be careful, you could damage your speakers and/or amp! :D
Quality of record is near pristine. Played quite some times, but always with the greatest care. Only the drumsolo winded up with a little scratch in all those years.
All my releases are straight rips - unless otherwise noted - and I never use any EQ - NR - or level changes on my rips.)
EddylitE - december 2009
* better is a personal related discription. It's not really better, it's got pros and cons compared to other pressings. It's just that I like it better because it has more headroom and more detail. Staging is also a notch better.
©2009 - Hipper than Hell Records * Eddy_litE appears courtesy of himself * You have been Aped
"The music in these files was originally recorded on analog equipment.
We have attempted to preserve, as closely as possible, the sound of the original recording.
Because of it's high resolution, however, these files can reveal limitations of the source."
Turn Me Up!™
To preserve the excitement, emotion and dynamics of the original performances this record is intentionally quieter than some. For full enjoyment simply Turn Me Up! (www.TurnMeUp.org)
*removed with blocked account
REPOST coming in 2016