1975 and the release of the first "Alive"-double-album brought KISS back from the brink of disaster and onto becoming the biggest and loudest rockers in the world. "Alive" sold a million copies in just six weeks.
But for me KISS is and always will be the imagery and marketing over the quality of studio output. Hey you can even get buried in a KISS-Kasket these days!!!!
So what of the music from the most merchandised band that the world has ever known and ever likely to know? Well, it is really a hot pot of hard rocking classics and the simply awful. The album kicks of with the wonderful and classy "Detroit Rock City". One of the true Heavy Rock/Metal-classics this is perhaps KISS' most revered songs and just showed that when they put their mind to it they could write a good tune. The musicianship, although not of the calibre of the other 70's giants, is of reliable quality. "Detroit Rock City" is always a high point of the KISS-live experience. Followed by the guitar-heavy intro of "Kings Of The Night Time World" this album is rockin' along. A great guitar sound and production from the legendary Bob Ezrin lending a new edge to KISS' music.
Then, oh dear, we start to go down hill. The vocals cut to Gene Simmons for the "God Of Thunder", which is a simply awful song. "Great Expectations" doesn't fair much better. The guitars have dropped back and the listener is treated to a semi-ballad-type number that lacks conviction and above all a tune! "Flaming Youth" gets things back on track, KISS are always better belting out the teen-angst anthems. "Sweet Pain" is best forgotten - set the CD-player to program to omit this drivel. Then up pops "Shout It Out Loud" which is yet another KISS-Klassic and again shows that in full anthem mode there are few better than the mighty KISS. The Peter Criss-ballad "Beth" was an unexpected smash for the band and gave them major radio airplay in the States. The album closes with "Do You Love Me" which you read as Do You Love Kiss? Some do and some don't.
But live is another matter…