Well folks, we’re less than a week away from the release of KISS’s new studio album, Sonic Boom. Ya all excited? By the sounds of the album’s first single, Modern Day Delilah, it’s gonna be some monster of a record. To continue celebrating the release, Tickets There is reviewing four of the bands Alive records (well, the last one isn’t technically an Alive! Release but who cares). After all four have been published, we’ll start to discuss promotion methods the band have been pursuing for the release of Sonic Boom and there’ll be a few more things aswell. Once the album is out, you can expect an overly enthusiastic review to finish things off.
So today we’re looking at Alive III, released in 1993 and recorded during the bands Revenge Tour. Like Alive II, the band worked as hard as possible not to repeat songs from the first two and it worked pretty well. Even the duplicate songs appearing here have a different overall sound to the originals and they are more than worth a listen.
Foregoing the traditional ‘You Wanted the Best’ intro, the band launch straight into Creatures of the Night, a belting little number that shouldn’t ever be forgotten by KISS-Maniacs. The sound of pyro’s exploding in the back ground is gonna set you up nicely for this one. Paul’s rough n raw voice has more in common with Gene’s than his old style. What a savage track and it’s followed by another classic in the form of Deuce. More explosions and more energy. What a fucking great tune. Every time you hear those opening bars you want to leap onto the nearest stage, kick whatever whiney singer songwriter bitch is pouring their hearts out off and start hammering into this monster. Baby if you’re feeling good!!
Next it’s time for some eighties styled pop/rock/pop KISS, I Just Wanna. Slick guitars, slick vocals, slick stick in your face. Catchy, hooky and deadly. Forget every other pop rock band out there, KISS has em licked in every way possible (including the dirty, naughty ways)…despite the silly little melody bit in the middle. Unholy is one of Gene’s more demonic numbers but still retains some of those pop characteristics we’ll see more of later on. It may be very important to point out that Alive III was recorded almost ten years after the band took the make-up and costumes off. The band decided it was time for the next level and when that came off, everything else changed. They went on to release a massive amount of hit singles that’s style was closer to Def Leppard and Bon Jovi rather than their original material. When they released Revenge in 1992, it brought a darker edge back to the old war horses, Unholy is the perfect example of this and it’s a savage wee number to boot.
Now, let’s discuss some of those puppyish numbers. Heavens on Fire is as poppy as this band get (no it’s not – Ed) and it’s also the closest thing they have to a Spinal Tap track (Livin’ In A Hell Hole anyone?). Despite all that, Heavens on Fire is one of Tickets There’s personal favorites. This is pure, good times pop rock. There’s no poverty, no preaching and not one hint of recycling, carbon footprints or depressed souls laying dormant in the unused attic, or any of that other shit bands preach about these days. Watchin’ You is next and it’s more like a blues rock classic with some good auld fashioned pop sensibilities thrown in for good measure. Gene sings and like I always say, if Gene sings, shut up and listen. Same applies for the next track, Domino. Once again Gene takes control and it’s another of those Revenge songs that shows KISS heading back in a more hard rock direction from their eighties output. Make-up or no make-up, those boys could f**king write some classics.
Another of those classics is I Was made for Loving’ You. Yes KISS did Disco in the late seventies and yes this is one of the better ones. Like I said before, if KISS do it, it’s fine. I Still Love You on the other hand is a very respectable, more serious number. Blues kind of Alt-ish-big stadium kind of rock. That make sense? Ah well, Rock N Roll All Night is next and let’s be honest, an Alive album wouldn’t be an Alive album without this track. Strange they’re playing it so soon in the set but not a bad thing. KISS mixes things up ya see
Back to those lovely eighties classics. Everyone knows Lick It Up and everyone loves it. Anyone who doesn’t love it has something wrong so avoid those people. How could you not love Lick it Up? It’s so damn good it hurts!. I can understand people not liking the next track, Forever. Real stadium anthem styled ballad but a good one. How many of you guys like to look at naked women? How many of you girls like to go home with somebody….and get naked! Take it Off , it does exactly what it says on the tin!
Now…now, now, now. Alright!….you know this one, sing it! I Love it Loud, possibly the best song Gene has ever sang on. Possibly the best song KISS ever wrote. Ok, so it’s not the best but it’s so fucking good you will happily sacrifice eighteen weeks of your life so you can continuously listen to this baby on repeat. Amazing sing along stuff. I remember I first heard this on a KISS dvd and I must have rewound it about twenty times and just listened to it all night. The live version on AIII is incredible, Hard, slow, beating and LOUD!! This brings us near to the close of the show and Detroit Rock City pops its head up to give us a smile. Great bass line over this version that’s far more prominent than the versions on the previous Alive and the Destroyer. Quite different and the band have updated it a wee bit so it sounds a little closer to their eighties style but still damn, damn good.
Second last track, God Gave You Rock N Roll II is an anthem if ever there was one. Great way to end a show as Gene and Paul swap vocals the whole through. May not be for everyone but it’s fun. Then everything closes on an the Star Spangled Banner!
So, that’s the original Alive I – III albums reviewed. Next, Tickets There is going to lie a little by doing a review of what should have been Alive IV but in fact, it ended up being released as the ‘Millennium concert’ and the Alive IV title went to the KISS symphony album. Who cares, it TT@s book, it’s the real Alive Iv ….and also, I never got the symphony album. Maybe I could just review the DVD, same songs. Hmmm.
Oh, and just to confirm, KISS still kept the theatrics,, despite not having the makeup.