KISS have never claimed to be artists or intellectuals. They have remained modest about writing some of the all time great rock 'n' roll albums. But one thing on which they have always maintained an arrogant, defiant and proud stance is their live shows. If you want to know why they charge the Earth for a ticket and rather presumptuously introduce their live onslaught with the mantra: 'You wanted the best, you got the best, the hottest band in the world, KISS!!!' then this double live album may help you to understand it. They may not be modest, they may not have dignity or integrity but they always knew how to throw a party.
For anyone who has never seen KISS live what you must understand is that the band built themselves up on their image and bombast and are unwilling to give it up. Want proof? Well how about the fact that most of those bands of the 70s that critics rave about even today couldn't sell a ticket if they begged you now whereas KISS still sell out football stadia.
But onto the album. From the moment the noise begins you're treated to what it's like to be there. True, some of the vocals were cleaned up in the studio afterwards (as Gene Simmons admits in his autobiography) but the album retains the rawness and thrashing metal of Detroit 1975. From the heart-pound Deuce through and a rip-roaring Strutter the groovy quartet of Got To Choose, Hotter Than Hell, Firehouse and Nothing To Lose the hard rock Parasite, She, Watchin' You, 100,000 Years, the epic Black Diamond the raucous Cold Gin and then the Earth-shattering Rock and Roll All Nite before lifting the roof for Let Me Go Rock and Roll the party never ends or stops for a break. This album is not about finesse, not about songs coming straight from the heart and touching you deeply, this was about listening to music that will make your ears pop and your heart beat a hole in your chest. When you buy this album and love it (as I know you will) you might want to continue with ALIVE II which is all new songs and just as much fun. But for ALIVE!, forget every other Live album you ever heard, forget everything about what you think a concert should be like, it’s already been done before, and this is the proof.