A bit longer than "Alive", "Kiss Alive II" contains fiery live renditions of the best songs from "Destroyer", "Rock And Roll Over" and "Love Gun", as well as a couple of older songs.
The sound is excellent (undoubtedly doctored in the studio), and if you're new to Kiss, this would be a very good place to start.
"Alive II" showcases Kiss' brand of hard-rocking metal with a pop sheen, full of big riffs and catchy hooks. There may not be too many genuine hard rock tunes here (most of the melodies are pure pop), but the crashing drums and heavy riffs makes it all sound like big-time heavy metal, and that's not too bad at all!
Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons wrote some truly memorable hooks, and the best songs on this album are superbly catchy little gems. Listen to "Love Gun", "Detroit Rock City", "Ladies Room", "Calling Dr Love" and "Shout It Out Loud" and tell me that's not pop!
But we are also treated to some real heavy metal, courtesy of "Demon" Gene Simmons: "God Of Thunder" and the dirty fantasy of "Christine Sixteen" has Simmons' larger-than-life stage persona stamped all over them, and the big bass player with the flexible tounge and the big, larynx-shredding roar of a voice takes the lead vocal on both songs (as well as on "Calling Dr Love").
"God Of Thunder" actually became something of a signature song for the bass player, which is somewhat ironic since it was in fact penned by Paul Stanley.
Drummer Peter Criss performs his tender ballad "Beth", much to the delight of a very audible female part of the audience, and the album winds down with five studio recordings which originally took up the fourth side of the double LP-format.
There aren't any real classics among those five songs, except perhaps for Ace Frehley's smutty "Rocket Ride", but "Rockin' In The USA" is a fun, catchy little rock n' roll song, and one has to wonder why Kiss has never performed the grand "Larger Than Life" in concert.