on 20 January 2004
In 1978, with a further three multi-platinum albums under their belts, KISS decided to take the next obvious step and record a sequel to their classic live album "Alive!".
Recorded in late '78 on the "Love Gun" tour, the bands explosive live set featured songs from "Destroyer", "Rock n' Roll Over" and "Love Gun". Starting with the crowd pleasing opening duo of "Detoit Rock City" and "King of the Nighttime World", you can almost taste the excitement of the crowd as the fireworks explode and the band strut through their best tunes."Love Gun" is a particular highlight, being a peak of frontman Paul Stanleys seemingly endless excitement with its famous drum beat and classic Ace Frehley solo. Gene Simmons "Calling Dr Love" is full of the bass demon's lascivious charm and charisma, and both Ace Frehley and Peter Criss get a chance to shine with "Shock Me" and "Hard Luck Woman" respectively, with both showing their unique onstage personalities.
The second disc kicks off with the explosive "I Stole your Love", and carries on with a series of the bands live favourites; Peter Crisses slushy crooner "Beth", the menacing Gene Simmons "signature" song "God of Thunder", Paul Stanleys dynamic "I Want You" and the utterly brilliant and anthemic "Shout it out Loud". The last five songs on the album were recorded in the studio after the tour dates had been recorded. There are no true classics like "Shout it out Loud" etc, but they are a good set of fun songs. Four of the songs do not feature Ace Frehley on lead guitar, but instead the likes of Bob Kulick. Of these songs, the best is the grand "Larger then Life". The fifth song was written and performed by Ace Frehley and thundering drummer Anton Fig alone - "Rocket Ride" features an epic riff, and is the best song on this side of the album by a cosmic mile. The album ends with yet another vaguely camp 60's cover, this time of "Any Way You Want It".
All in all, this album, like its predecessor, showed that KISS were much more at home playing to huge crowds with pyrotechincs and stack heels than in the confines of a studio. The live songs here all possess a certain verve and dynamism that their studio equivalents did not quite match. If you are getting into KISS, then this is a good album to buy. A truly awesome live album.
on 29 October 1999
Recorded when KISS were at there most confident in terms of songwriting and live performance, KISS alive 2 is someway ahead of the others in the live trilogy. Kiss have always been about synergy and the magic that explodes from this performance is evident from the opening anthem 'Detroit Rock City' to the chant-rock of 'Love Gun' and 'Shout it out loud'.
Brilliant vocals from Stanley twinnned with the pagesque guitar from Frehley, makes this one of the best live albums ever. Although my musical tastes have evolved and changed, Kiss Alive 2 remains one of my most played cd's.
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.
This is where it all started, this is to blame for it all. It's 1977, I'm a thirteen year old horror film loving spotty teenager looking for direction in my life and my only interest in music was listening to those old Geoff Love movie theme records, remember those?. Then one day one of the 6th formers involved in the school Christmas concert brings this album in. I immediately spot the blood spitting demon on the front cover and it of course piques my interest so while he's not looking (I wasn't cool enough to mix with 6th formers) I sneak a quick look at the album and open out the gatefold. If the blood spitting demon had impressed me the shot inside had me in raptures, the shot of the band on stage with more flames shooting up than if they'd been in a James Bond movie. I HAD to have this album, I didn't care what it sounded like but it looked soooo cool. So I saved my pennies from my paper round and quickly got my hands on a copy.
Once I got the album home, I wasn't that bothered about the music, but I thought I may as well listen it, after all it wasn't going to be as good as listening the theme from Jaws, was it? Ruddy heck what was this I was hearing, it had me in its spell before the end of the opening track. Once I got to the end of side four there was only one thing to do. Listen to the whole thing again......., and again......, and again. I was hooked, it was goodbye Geoff, hello Kiss.
This is one of the great live albums. It captures perfectly what Kiss were (are) all about. There is nothing deep here, there are no amazing levels of musicianship, but what we do have is the perfect example of mid 70's pop rock, or perhaps rock pop would be a better description because of course Kiss were first and foremost a rock band, and the album opens with one of their greatest rock songs Detroit Rock City and one of the great concert openers. Side one (The first 5 tracks for those who aren't old enough) carries on at this pace, 5 examples of how good a rock band Kiss were, side two then went down a poppier road with Christine Sixteen, Hard Luck Woman and Tomorrow And Tonight. Side three returns to rock with I Stole Your Love and God of Thunder, but with Peter Criss' classic ballad Beth in the middle. By the end of side three and Shout It Out Loud they had run out of tracks that hadn't appeared on the previous live album so side four consists of four newly recorded studio tracks that seemed to show they still had plenty more up their sleeves.
As I said earlier this album changed everything for me, Geoff Love was hidden away in my dad's record collection and I was out there looking to see what else there was. Soon Zeppelin, Purple, Rush et al were clogging up my bedroom and I've never really looked back. And Kiss Alive II you're to blame!!!!! Thank you so much.
magnificent! kiss complete mission impossible - emulate kiss alive.From start to finish this disc rocks,like alive the versions are much heavier and sound all the better,just listen to makin love for confirmation,how i wish they had included take me and hooligan and a couple of repeats from alive and left the studio tracks for later,check out 'sneak attack live bootleg' a full concert album would have been great.
Regards the studio track ,personally i love them,larger than life and rocket ride are two genuine kiss classics,all american man and the criminally underated rockin in the usa close behind,cant believe they never featured in any major tour on a regular basis,its just a pity they couldnt have taken a breather and used these tracks as the basis for the next album,those aforementiond tracks plus say 2 apiece from those that ended up on the solos would have made a hell of an album.
on 30 August 2015
Back in the day, my FIRST KISS albums I ever bought! Consequently this has a special place in my musical life.
For me, this is better than 'Alive'. For starters, the recording is from a bigger venue, the band have been established/played more concerts for another few years, the band are writing more consistent songs, and the actual recording always sounded far better to me. With the advent of the remastering it sounds even crisper!
Highlights? Way too many to mention! 'Detroit Rock City', 'I Stole Your Love', 'Beth', 'Love Gun', 'Shock Me' are all monsters!
Every Rock Fan should own this album......
....and that's not even counting the Studio tracks on what was, originally, Side 4 of the album - 'All American Man', 'Rockin' In The USA' and 'Rocket Ride' are some of the best tracks the band wrote in that period.
on 12 July 2006
It is often said that sequels can never match the originals. And they are right, sequels don't measure up - in their minds -, in their little world where there is no such things as KISS sequels are usually rubbish. But for the rest of us it is different, for those who have this album understand that what happened before can always be done just as well if not better. Which of the first two Alive albums was better is quite frankly irrelevant. Both are such pioneering live albums and such brilliant records that all rock fans should own both.
Recorded in 1977 in LA, Alive II is blood and guts rock and roll from start to finish. The main standouts are Detroit Rock City, the ever brilliant Love Gun, Calling Dr Love, Shock Me, I Want You, I Stole your Love and God of Thunder but not one single song lets the side down. It is true that the vocals were touched up (the three Paul Stanley's singing the chorus to Love Gun is a bit of a giveaway!) but the album is superb none the less. The last five songs on the second disc are studio tracks recorded by the band to stretch out the album. Of these, Rocket Ride (the only one to feature Ace Frehley after he went awol during the recording) and a groovy cover of Any way you Want It are the best.
Alive II is one the greatest live albums ever recorded, and stands as a record of KISS at the height of their bombast and pomp. Think I give praise too easily? Listen and and hear why!
on 29 February 2012
Here we go. I can simply put it as my favourite all time album, up until I finally got round to getting Alive! - Alive II does contain some absolutely fantastic songs and some great versions of them, but... and here's the BUT:
- The added crowd noise is too overbearing on some tracks and some tracks are 'realer' than others.
- With the exception of Ace's 'Rocket Ride' the studio songs feel like rejects from Rock and Roll Over and 'Anyway you want it' is 'Kissin Time' all over again, crap Sixtees Pop.
Nitpicking aside, this album is mostly a sheer masterpiece with the best Kiss songs of 76-77 brought together how they were meant to be - Live and exciting! My only other gripe is that I would have preferred live versions of: 'Take Me', 'Do you Love Me' and 'Hooligan' rather than any new studio material.I do however thouroughly reccomend this album as it has quite simply changed my life since i have had it. Wonderful stuff!
on 25 April 2000
KISS is unquestionably the best live band of all time (watch one concert for proof) and this was them at thier best. The albums starts with the band tearing there way through Detroit Rock City and three others before smashing down hard again with the ferocious Love Gun. Calling Dr Love is sung with all the lust and perversion that has become the trademark of bassist Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley establishes himself as being in the same class as Hendrix and May before the first disc is out. The next track up is I Stole Your Love, a brutal heart stopping rip-roaring track that gets the blood pumping before Peter Criss's ballad Beth becomes the only soft spot on the album before Simmons returns to dig his way into the blood curdling God Of Thunder leaving Paul Stanley to leave the crowd smoking on I Want You before the show finally ends on an explosive Shout It Loud. The next five tracks were recorded in the studio and do not stand out at all, but for the sake of the legendary 15 live tracks that precede it, get the album because it shows KISS for what they are - THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD. If you wanted the best, then you got the best!
on 4 August 2012
This is traditional kiss , hard rock with lots of melody and good licks. this features mostly live tracks , from their monster tours of the period. When they were the worlds number one band , they repeated this in the 1990's tour wise! The rest of the songs are late seventies hard rock and they are good songs of that genre. 'rockin in the usa.' , 'rocket ride' , 'larger than life' were good enough to make any kiss and hard rock fan happy. Noone at this point could see the pop stuff that would damage them in 1980. so fans were more than happy with this one.