Archive for Black Diamond

KISS – ALIVE! (PART 1 OF 4)

Posted in Album Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2009 by Tickets There

KISS-Alive

Ok, Tickets There is continuing it’s celebrations in preparation for the release of KISS’s new album, Sonic Boom on October 6th. First we had the KISS-LECTION and now it’s time to take a good, hard look at KISS’s four Live albums, Alive! I – IV.

Before we get into it, I should point out that none of the albums come close to capturing KISS’s impossibly amazing live shows. Tickets There has been fortunate enough to be in one of their crowds and let me tell you one thing, no album could ever capture exactly how amazing they are in real life….but these albums do a damn fine job of trying.

So let’s start at the beginning with 1975’s Alive!, recorded between March and June 1975 on KISS’s Dressed to Kill tour. Upon it’s release, KISS were suddenly lunged from almost broke, make-up wearing guys in a rock n roll band to world famous, gigantic megastars. This is the album that really broke KISS into the main, main, main stream and it ended up becoming one of rock n roll’s most legendary live albums. None of the bands proceeding live records match its unbelievable raw energy, power and force and that’s saying something considering how good II, III and IV are.

“You Wanted the Best, you got the best, The hottest band in the world, KISS!”.

When you buy tickets to a KISS concert, you spend the next few days, weeks and months just waiting to hear those infamous words. The intro to the best concert you will ever see in your life. Those words are unbelievably exciting at one of their shows and when that curtain drops and the four massive figures sprawl out across the stage to entertain you with two hours of hard hitting, riff driven, theatrical rock n roll with a stage show that could match the Olympics, you’ll swear you died and this is your reward for all the good things you’ve done in your life.

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The only thing that tops those words is the first bars of the very first song the band play. On Alive, that song was Deuce. Deuce as an opening song couldn’t be any more perfect. They’re currently playing it as the opener on the current tour and really you can’t go wrong. Starts off with a little guitars riff before the drums crash into action, the curtain drops and four heaving monsters start their quest of ensuring you have the greatest night in the history of the world. That magic is well captured on Alive and its set the perfect tone for the rest of the record. Strutter follows and the pace is kept up. Filled with all the swank, swagger and traits of any hard rock n fucking roll classic. Except it’s sung by monsters. People, this band have some of hard rock’s greatest hits under their belt and they dress up like demons, space men, cats and superstars. How can you not love that?? Got to Choose follows and admittedly this wouldn’t be one of Tickets There’s favorite KISS tunes…but damn it that doesn’t mean much when everything thing they touch turns to gold. KISS are gods, learn that fact now because they don’t teach it in school.

Hotter than Hell is a truly deserved, bonafide KISS anthem classic (yep, anthem classic. It makes sense in our word baby). The version on Alive is as good as this song gets….until you see it live and it rules all!! Nothing to Lose follows and surprise, surprise…..It’s another fucking savage track. Gene sings on this one and when Gene sings, you don’t want to miss it. It brings a totally different flow to the bands tracks. C’mon and Love Me is yet another riff filled, exploited teen of a song. Paul takes the mike back and drives this baby into your ears like a doctor during an invasive medical exam with some sort of blunt yet thick object….with spikes. But before we go using all our unfunny witticisms, we have to discuss Parasite. Why the pause and dramatics? Because Parasite is one of those tracks God wrote and handed to mortals as a gift. Unfortunately for that mortal, KISS stole it and recorded it themselves. God was pleased by this, Led Zeppelin would have only fucked it up anyways. This is a savage, mentalist of a track that only improves with a live setting. Mental, mental, mental stuff folks.

She is another one of those iconic riffs and beat dependant tracks, not a bad way to spend your five minutes before the very seventies trait laden Watchin’ You pop’s along. Unfortunately this one ain’t included much anymore but it’s 100% KISS-TASTIC. Yes you can say things like that when you discuss KISS, they’re fun people. Enjoy it.

Oh, oh hang on. Gene’s bass, crowd’s cheering. Silence. Hands clapping, Gene’s bass again, the drums and finally everything else. 100,000 Years is easily KISS at their top level finest. Paul’s voice screams in over the audience as the band burst through one of their greatest recorded moments and one of the finest tracks ever written by a hard rock band. What makes this song look poor?(well, it doesn’t really. 100,000 Years is one of the finest songs known to humanity. I’m just saying that for dramatic purposes) Black Diamond, an ever bigger monster of a rock classic and the acoustic intro ion Alive really highlights this. Black Diamond is top ten KISS material. The kind of song that you play in a tank when you’re driving into one of those Vietnamese towns. The kind of song you play when you discover the true powers as a mutant. The kind of song KISS plays to remind the rest of us we aren’t Knights in Satan’s Service (K.I.S.S., for those of you that didn’t know).

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Rock Bottom and Black Diamonds main rival, Cold Gin is up next as the album and show start to come to a close. How many people here like the taste of alcohol? I know it’s getting so hot outside you need something to cool off. I know some of you out there like to drink tequila. When you’re down in the dumps and you need something to bring you up. There’s only one thing that’s going to do it for you…COLD GIN!!!! What a classic, what a live record, what a fucking sweet, amazing, incredible deadly awesome band.

Rock N Roll All Night (The ultimate party song) and Let Me Go, Rock N Roll finish of the bands first, their finest and one of the world’s greatest rock live albums. If you don’t feel the party after this record then there’s something not quite right with you but Tickets There will still be your friend. We love a challenge. Later on we’ll discuss Alive II and see what the band got up to during 76 and 77. Be sure to pop back and remember….,

Keep it KISS’d!!!

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KISS-LECTION – Tickets There celebrates Alive 35

Posted in General Tickets There Blog, Music, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2009 by Tickets There

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Welcome to the official Tickets There KISS-LECTION, 35 out our favorite KISS songs. A lot of them may be obvious but I’m afraid Tickets There isn’t here to entertain hordes of die-hard fanatics when it’s comes to KISS. This band are about rock n roll baby and this list is a compilation of the songs that brought TT into the KISS world and keep us there every day. In all fairness, filling the 35 in took about three minutes so you can probably expect another 35 in the near future because there are still a lot of classics to be discussed.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the hottest band in the world, KISS are a four piece formed in New York in the early seventies. They play straight up rock n roll and have done so for over three decades. Oh, and they wear full face makeup, wear six inch healed (platform) boots, black sparkly costumes (with wings in Gene’s case), travel the world with more pyrotechnics and fireworks than China, Fly across the audience at their live shows, have stages built on the roofs of their sound desk and stage rook not to mention the fire breathing, blood spitting, smoking guitars and everything else.

They also have thousands of products for sale with their name on it. Everything from Candy to Coffins. Keep your eyes pealed this year for KISS M&M’s, KISS Mr. Potato Heads and much, much more. Don’t you wish every band in the world was as much fun as KISS

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1. 100,000 Years – (KISS, 1974)

Ok, Lets start (actually this is the 20th one I’ve written but what the hell), 100,000 years comes from the bands debut album (half of which makes up this list). It’s not only brilliant. It’s so mouth wateringly wholesome and warm that it makes your heart smile and your soul fly with an airline that prides themselves on doing the exact opposite of Ryanair. Maybe a tad dramatic but there ya go, 100,000 years rocks folks!!

2. 2,000 Man – (Dynasty, 1979)

Can I include cover songs? Well I’ve got two on this list so it would seem I can include anything you want. 2,000 Man is a Rolling Stones cover and KISS do a superb job of it.

3. All Hell’s Breakin’ Loose – (Lick It Up – 1983)

The question isn’t why I like this song, it’s ‘Why don’t you like this song?

4. Black Diamond – (KISS, 1974)

Along with Cold Gin and a handful of others, Black Diamond is amongst the Crème de la Crème of KISS material. This is the real band and a sample of the glue that holds the whole KISS universe together. Without incredible, solid and full on hard rock belters like this, everything else would crumble. It’s always been about the music with KISS and this early little slice of brilliance proves that, no matter what gene tries to tell you 😉

5. Calling Dr. Love – (Rock N Roll Over, 1976)

Calling Dr. Love is one of the highlights from 1976’s Destroyer. Gene’s voice always brings that something extra special to KISS song’s. His demon persona really comes across and he obviously loves it. That makes the songs so much more appealing and enjoyable. Dr. Love is, at the end of the day fluff, but it’s good fluff. All things KISS are always good.

6. Cold Gin – (KISS, 1974)

Great intro, incredible riff, great vocals, drums, flow, music, song, band, drink…aghh everything. Cold Gin should be a countries national anthem it’s so good. Gene growls his way through the verse, chewing every word and spitting em back out in your face, biotch! One of the true classics from KISS and an absolute must to hear live. Just listen to that melody thing near the end and the fade out….drools!!!

7. Crazy, Crazy Nights – (Crazy, Crazy Nights, 1987)

Ahhh, classic eighties KISS. Yet another of those ‘stick it on in a night club’ type classics. An absolute tribute to the post-makeup lineup and still a thrilling one to catch live.

8. Detroit Rock City(Destroyer, 1976)

The first KISS song I would have called my favorite. Detroit Rock City is the band at their best. It’s one of those Cold Gin, Strutter, Love Gun kind of classics. Loud guitars, booming chorus, great riffs, the whole package. Then again, this is KISS not Radiohead and KISS always deliver!

9. Deuce – (KISS, 1974)

For the simple fact that KISS opened with this track when I saw them or for the reason that the last time I went to an Iron Maiden gig, myself and my girlfriend spent the whole thing standing at the bar singing this rather than watching Bruce and the boys, this is probably my favorite KISS song. It’s not only the way they come down from the top of the stage when they play it live or the routine Paul, Gene and Ace(Tommy) do live, it’s all about the sher brilliance of the track. A solid hard rock classic with one the greatest riffs in KISS-Tory!

10. Do You Love Me – (Destroyer, 1976)

The ultimate rock star track. Any Yoko’s or Courtney Loves out there? Well here it is, the singer finally singing about you folks. Why has the world suddenly started making Yoko Ono trendy again? The woman is really, really F**ked in the head and a total cow. She tried to sue one girl because she was a singer and her surname is Lennon!! Really people, stick her in the loony bin with Manson and let’s move on.

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11. Firehouse – (KISS, 1974)

One of those KISS styled KISS Standards. Cant wait to see how many times I typed KISS in this review :D. Firehouse is great live, it’s great on record and it’s great to sing along to. Slow but deadly.

12. Flaming Youth – (Destroyer, 1976)

I know, how can Destroyer deliver any more classics? Well, it’s a KISS record so it can pretty much do anything it likes.

13. God Gave Rock N Roll To You II – (Revenge – 1992)

Yeah, Bill and Ted, so what? Anthem, Anthem, Anthem,. Forget every other song in this review I called an anthem,. This is it. Well, this and Rick N Roll All Night, that’s really is another KISS Anthem. Not one I’d rush to hear them play live but they generally have it on at the end of their gig on the PA and that’s a nice touch to finish the evening off.

14. God of Thunder – (Destroyer, 1976)

Not sure I was ever 100% comfortable with this one. One day I think it’s brilliant, the next day I can barely stand to hear it. Couldn’t ever leave it off a list though, it’s one of Gene’s classics and the man deserves a lot more mentions that I’ve given him.

15. Hard Luck Woman – (Rock N Roll Over, 1976)

One of the reasons I would love to see Peter Criss back in band. Hard Luck Woman is Acoustic KISS at their finest. Apparently Paul Stanley offered this to Rod Stewart originally but Stewart rejected it (mistake fucker) so KISS recorded it. Not only that, but they did a damn fine job and Peter Criss proves he’s not all about Beth..which you’ll noticed can’t be found in this list!)

16. Heaven’s on Fire – (Animalize, 1984)

Someone’s gonna nail me on this one. If I get away with Tear are Falling then I’m getting shouted at for this one but…we’re not gonna take it. Brilliant song, deal with it. Eighties, guitars, big vocals, bigger chorus. Just watch out for the music video, that thing’ll scar you.

17. Hotter Than Hell – (Hotter Than Hell, 1974)

Hot, Hot, Hotter than Hell. Who could they be singing about I wonder (adds cheeky grin)?. Everything it says on the tin with an added dash of deadly!

18. I Love It Loud – (Creatures of the Night, 1982)

I Love It Loud, one of the few KISS songs you can listen to 18,000 times in a row and never, ever, ever,ever, ever, ever get sick off. It’s just a brute of a song with Gene’s bellowing voice booming throughout. Check out the Exposed DVD and you’ll see a clip of them playing this (the last show with their make-up) and you’ll be converted. 100,000 people, KISS and I Love It Loud!

19. Ladies Room – (Rock N Roll Over, 1976)

I suppose I’m including this for the simple reason that it reminds me of a funny moment in Detroit Rock City. I’m not going to describe it because it’ll sound cheap and completely loose it’s humor aspect but it’s good. Fun song, generic KISS ya know?

20. Lick It Up – (Lick It Up – 1983)

Even if you aren’t a fan, you know this one. Lick It Up is without a doubt one of the top three singles from Eighties KISS. It’s loud, it’s fast, it’s simple, it’s in your face KISS!. Put this song on in a nightclub and every girl there will super glue herself to the nearest pole and dance. Meanwhile all the guys will be worried that liking a band that wears make-up will make them gay. Anyone who worries about that is gay. Just helping you fellas out of the closet there.

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21. Love Gun – (Love Gun, 1977)

Who doesn’t like Love Gun? If you don’t know go to YouTube and cop on. Possibly KISS’s finest recorded moment. A blitz of guitars, riffs, drums, screaming, everything. Love Gun is 100% American Made, Family un-friendly KISS-O-Rific

22. Modern Day Delilah – (Sonic Boom, 2009)

The one and only song to be included from Sonic Boom…so far. If this is anything to go by, several more new ones will be heading towards the top 35 soon. MDD is a fantastic song with Paul’s voice sounding stronger than it has for years. The riffs, the drums everything is great. May not pack the full wallop of the older material but given time, I think this song will mature very, very well.

23. New York Groove – (Ace Frehley¸ 1978)

I heard this on the Second Coming DVD and managed to find it on Ace’s 1978 solo record. A cover (the 2nd of the two) and another crackin’ one at that. Totally different from normal KISS but that’s not something to criticize……this one time ;). Good funky kind of beat, Ace singing one of the best songs he’s ever done.

24. Nothin’ to Lose – (KISS, 1974)

Was thinking of adding She instead but feck it, Nothin’ To Lose is a great song. When Gene sings, it’s always a great song. It’s real bop along kind of KISS with all the builds, suspensions and characteristics of a classic KISS anthem.

25. Parasite – (Hotter Than Hell, 1974)

What a riff to kick things off! Parasite is gold minted, platinum material. Best captured on their 1975 Alive album and a little gem for their collection and anyone’s ears. Hard rock babbbbyyyyyyyy! Parasite eyes!!

26. Psycho Circus – (Psycho Circus, 1998)

I will admit one thing; I was not a fan of this album. The songs sound sooo forced and wanting to be old KISS but it just doesn’t work…well, it does on one. Psycho Circus is a furious little track. Paul’s voice, the music, the energy and the lyrics, everything falls together just right on this one and anyone who hasn’t heard it is just missing out on one of KISS’s best songs.

27. Rock N Roll All Night – (Dressed to Kill, 1975)

I don’t care how cool you are, I don’t care how ‘Hard-Core’ you are with KISS, this is a song that must, At all times, be included on any list of the greatest songs. Rock N Roll All Night’s an anthem of the highest degree. KISS are the ultimate party band, this is their call, answer!

28. Shandi – (Unmasked, 1980)

I know, this is a strange choice but I just love, don’t you? The first time I heard it was from one of the KISS DVD’s and Paul just played it alone. The solo job sounds a lot less…ya know, that the recording but there’s just something so nice about the guitars I couldn’t not stick it in.

29. Shock Me – (Love Gun, 1977)

Like Hard Luck Woman for Peter Criss, this would be one of the main reasons I’d love to see Ace back with the group. Shock Me is a classic and sadly they don’t perform it live without Ace (as it’s his song). Great, iconic and legendary. Have I over hyped it? Probably but it’s still a savage track.

30. Shout it out Loud – (Destroyer, 1976)

How do you say the word Anthem for the 30th time in a row? Shout it Out Loud is a classic, 1970’s styled Live anthem folks. Everything you need to hear or know about the band is in this song. It’s not their best but it’s way, way up there. Shout it Out Loud has some of their best riffs, their best guitars, their best vocals, their best melodies…everything.

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31. Strutter – (KISS, 1974)

Ah god, this list is great,. Every time I think I’ve gotten all the ‘best’ tracks done, another pops straight up. Strutter is full on sleazy rock n roll. Stick on the leather jacket, light up your smoke and down your whiskey to enjoy. It’s a monster of guitars n attitude.

32. King of the Night Time World – (Destroyer, 1976)

You may have noticed down the line that I have a fondness for Gene Simmons voice and songs. King of the Night time world is no exception, An absolutely brilliant track but then again, everything on Destroyer is a killer track, that’s why it’s such a deadly album. You don’t know that??? For Shame, out of the village, I cast you out heathen!!

33. Sure Know Something – (Dynasty, 1979)

Oh Yeah, kick back, relax and let Kiss blow those worries away..Cool!

34. Tears are Falling – (Asylum, 1985)

If you know this song and you’re judging me, back off. Tears are falling is eighties KISS and it’s so addictive it’s frightening. This is one of those times I actually do see the cheese going off in this song but I still love it. You want to make your own list of your 35 favorite KISS songs and leave this out? Go ahead, but this is Tickets There and we like Tears are Falling!

35. Uh! All Night – (Asylum, 1985)

So that’s it folks, the first Tickets There Alive 35 KISS-LECTION printed in surround sound just for you two that read my stuff. If I left any off, feel free to a comment for your favorite KISS tracks and tell Tickets There why you love them so much.,

All the best,

TT