[Mercury Remasters Series]
"I've got posters on the wall
My favorite rock group Kiss
I've got Ace Frehley
I've got Peter Criss..."
--Weezer "In The Garage"
Man, who didn't like Kiss? Back in the mid-'70s when America was stuck
inbetween Watergate and Star Wars, Kiss reminded us that there were
still broads to be nailed, beer to be imbibed, and a good time to be had
by all. Alive! is total sonic proof of Kiss climbing their apex and
knocking off one of the all time great live albums.
You see, there actually was a time when live albums didn't get remixed
and rerecorded, regardless of what the Talking Heads and Judas Priest
will tell you. They gleefully fed on the crowd's gutteral roar, the
occasional flub, and, of course, the eight minute drum solo. Alive! may
seem like a joke, mainly because it contains every arena rock cliche in
the book, right down to "Hello, Cleveland!" But how do you think the
standard was set? This was the album that turned four guys in face
paint from rock and roll musicians to superstars. When Kiss made their
mid-'90s comeback, they pretty much just went out and played Alive!, and
who could blame them? Great remastering job keeps it all in check ; in
fact, before you listen to Alive!, you may want to head out to the
Camaro, drink some Old Mil, spark a joint and make out with your girl.
Remember: there was a time some twenty years ago when Kiss did not
suck, and Alive! gets it right.