KISS – ALIVE II (PART 2 OF 4)

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OK, so that’s the mighty Alive! Out of the way, let’s have some real downright dirty KISS styled fun.
Alive  II was released in 1977 and recorded during the bands Love Gun Tour. By this time, KISS had released another three iconic albums. 1976’s Rock N Roll Over and Destroyer and 77’s Love Gun. Combined (and individually for that matter), these three albums had more anthems, more hard rock classics and more balls fired energy than any other band could ever dream off.

Opening with the amazing, the incredible and the utterly unstoppable Detroit Rock City. One (can’t really say two), finds it hard to imagine KISS without this song in their repertoire. This is the band at their finest and like many of their other hits, remains on of rock n rolls greatest assets. If you’ve heard this song and you weren’t converted then there’s quite simply no help out there for ya. You’re alone in the world, abandoned by all things holy and fun. Give it another go J.

King of the Night Time World comes straight from Destroyer and shows its might Live power on Alive II. Knowing this is the Love Gun tour is a tough thing for anyone who wasn’t there to actually enjoy it. In the background of all these guitars, drums, bass notes and vocals there’s a stage show going on that was so powerful, it’s energy could bring people back from the dead (but only if  its harnessed and used correctly by top men and military scientists). Ladies Room is a savage we number. Not a regular KISS fanatic favorite but one of Tickets There’s pet likes. Good riff, fun theme and the whole sha bang.

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Makin’ Love is a poppy little rocky number. Not as great as the next song but pretty feckin’ sweet all the same. Love Gun is one of those incredible, unstoppable, unbeatable, un-everything in the whole fecking universe, amazing KISS classics. This is the point where you have to stop and ask, where can you go from this? The live recording on Alive II is fantastic, the solo’s, the riffs, the belting snare drum and crashing symbols and all those other music journalism cliché’s. The music is just savage. Now a days, the band deliver this same perfection while playing it and even manage to send Paul flaying out over the crowds head to a specially built stage at the back of crowd.

Calling Dr. Love’s next and continues to prove that KISS mix cheese and music like Ozzy mixes credibility with rodent killing. That make sense? No, well what I meant was KISS are a great band. Christine Sixteen is a classic not heard enough anymore. Any song that Gene sings on is a KISS classic and should be added to the set list no matter what! Same for Paul’s material. All KISS set lists should by 1,456 songs in length and include every single theatric the band have ever conceived during every single song. Get ready for the greatest 572 hour gig ever!!! (Don’t do the math, I’m being dramatic again)

Mr. Space Ace steps up to the mike next and the band crash into Shock Me! Now, Ace’s voice may not sound impressionably strong here but wait for the first chorus to kick in and you’ll see how perfectly it fits. He’s not the lead singer so don’t expect Paul  and Gene quality but it’s still KISS (and they still sing backing vocals ;)) After Ace shows his stuff, Peter gets his turn and performs the classic Hard Luck Woman, one of KISS’s best acoustic tracks that started life as a Stanley written, Rod Stewart rejection. There’s hope for us all. Tomorrow and Tonight and the amazing Stole Your Love come along next and beat the shit out of you. That simple. Stole Your Love is the best choice of song to play for anyone asking, what’s KISS?

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Beth is being skipped for personal bias and reasons. One of their biggest hits but truly loathed by Tickets There. So moving swiftly along to…God of Thunder. Oh god yes!!. Another one of Gene’s (wow, he actually has a lot). This is yet another classic from their iconic Destroyer album. A great recording and it’s sped up a wee bit which works well. During the bands lives shows, Gene flies up to the top of the stage to play this after he’s done his bass solo with blood spitting. I Want You’s next and it’s a little quieter than most KISS material….until everything comes crashing together at the one time. There’s riffs, there’s solo’ there’s even some pings thrown in for good measure. Also, for a laugh, sing along with Paul when he asks you at the end. Or else you can Shout it Out Loud!!

All American Man wouldn’t be one of my favorites but fellow patriotic stomper, Rockin’ In The U.S.A.is a great poppy rock number. Not one of KISS’s best but pretty sweet. Larger than Life is, I’m afraid, a great song. Perfect one to understand Gene’s character. Rocket Rides grand but not their best and Any Way You Want It…well that’s not great either but you trying releasing two live albums in two years without repeating more than one song and see how you like it!.

Thankfully the band finishes on a high note with Rock N Roll All Night. Two years later and it’s still the ultimate party song. Next up in the KISS series is Alive III, released after the band had stopped wearing the make-up. Till tomorrow then, have a good evening.

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