Sound: In the mid '70s, Kiss was the band that parents didn't want their kids listening to. Their outrageous costumes, stage performances and songs of promiscuous nature launched a campaign known as "Mothers Against Kiss". This didn't stop Kiss from being the hottest band in the world and heroes to a million kids who wanted to hear something different and not their older brothers Led Zeppelin and Beatles records.
Kiss by the time this double live album was released had released 3 studio albums. It was these three albums that started a cult following. Kiss had not had much radio play at all prior to the release of Alive! and the record companies were starting to lose interest in backing the band. The band decided to do a live album which was a popular form of making records during this time. The deal was this album either did good or Kiss were to find another record label. The album ended up being their first Top 10 album and stayed on the charts for 110 weeks straight eventually selling 4 million copies. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics are exceptional for the time period in which they were released. Atleast a few of these songs were considered to be based upon "taboo" subjects and caused a stir when kids brought the records back home to their conservative parents. Now they are considered classic rock standards. Songs from an era of rock music that pushed the envelope and helped play a role in the construction of metal music. A concept I always like about bands is when all members sing and write their own signature songs. This album doesn't showcase Ace Frehley or Peter Criss as much as later albums would but Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons share lead vocal duties for the majority of this album. Stanley has the high pitched, stereotypical rock wail and Simmons provides the dark, dare I say "demonic" side of Kiss. // 10
Overall Impression: As mentioned earlier, this was the big break for Kiss. After three studio albums it took a live album to make them stars. Many argue that's why Kiss isn't merited as serious musicians because they were known for their live performance. The music of Kiss should not be dismissed, their brand of rock is a commercially potent mix of anthemic, fist-pounding hard rock driven by sleek hooks and ballads powered by loud guitars, cloying melodies, and sweeping strings. This style would serve as the foundation for many pop-metal bands that dominated the '80s. // 10