Thursday, November 23, 2006

Alive! Box Set

Posted on Thu, Nov 23, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Alive! Box Set
Label: Island
Media: CD
Format: BoxSet
WorkNameSort: Alive! Box Set
At the risk of offending the legions of maniacal Kiss fans (as well as my own pre-adolescent self), I must put forth the notion that Kiss has never been much of a live band. Though legendary for the sheer spectacle of their concerts, Kiss' actual musical performances have generally been straightforward at best, shambolic at worst. This four-CD box brings together the Kiss Army staples of Alive! and Alive II with 1993's Alive III and a previously unreleased 2000 Vancouver concert that was originally slated to be Alive IV before someone got the bright idea that Kiss needed to record with a freakin' symphony orchestra. Fidelity-wise, the first two albums are substantially improved, and even the questionable studio tracks on side four of Alive II that aren't 'Rocket Rideâ?� sound decent. But five straight hours of slickly mechanical run-throughs, stripped of pyrotechnics and the mysterious aura of the makeup, make one wonder how true the rumors of the albums being the product of copious studio overdubs were. That said, if you can bear the thought of hearing 'Deuceâ?� three times and 'Psycho Circusâ?� at all, you're probably already in line to buy this set.

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