WAY off topic - Kiss Alive 4

  • Regulars and people on here who know me will know that if an album blows my socks off, I have to tell everybody about it in a bid to get them to buy it too. That is the case with my newest purchase - Kiss Alive 4: The Symphony Show.

    Recorded in Melbourne, Kiss deliver a tremendous full blown show of epic proportions as only Kiss can. I'm in the minority because I like the MTV "Crazy Nights" / "Asylum" era of Kiss ther best because I thought the muppets Frehley and Criss ruined what was a great band.

    In this case though, Frehley isn't present. Tommy Thayer (ex Black and Blue, now Gene Simmons' prodigy) takes over lead guitar (wearing Frehleys make up) and he's a better guitarist and backing singer, making the band sound amazing. Gene is at his bloodspitting best and Paul Stanley is awesome as always. Without Frehley, Criss is a different animal, and plays and sings well throughout.

    The show is three acts. Act one is a full Kiss electric set, act two is unplugged with ten members of the orchestra, and act three is full electric with the entire 64 piece orchestra (all wearing makeup!)

    Sure it's ground that Metallica, Scorpions and of course Purple have trodden before, but Kiss put their own inimitable spin on it. Every song really benefits from the orchestra, and the electric only set is pure power.

    On top of that, all of Kiss' legendary pyro is present, so it's still a rock concert. There just happens to be 70 people on stage! A DVD will be follwing which I imagine will be as essential a purchase as the CD if the inlay pictures are anything to go by.

    It's truly a kick ass double CD with tracks from almost every era of the band, so there's something for everybody. It's brilliant. Buy it!


    "How can you lose, when you're destined to be a winner?"

  • Morjens!
    yeah! my friend and writer to metal-rules.com Marko was there and he said that it was an awesome concert! he got to meet the band also, so it was extra special superb trip for him!!!


    T still from summer cottage...

  • Respectfully Hans, I think Frehley was a total liability. Apart from "Cold Gin", all he contributed to Kiss were poor live performances, a bad attitude and chaos. He was technically the worst guitarist Kiss ever had and his ego got way out of control. Did you know he wouldn't come over for a leg of the farewell tour unless Gene and Paul paid for an extra seat on the plane for his guitar?!?!

    He pushed his luck too far and Gene and Paul were right to go on without him. It's not like they didn't ask him to do the Symphony show. He needs Kiss more than Kiss need him as this CD shows.


    "How can you lose, when you're destined to be a winner?"

  • Technically, Ace was definitely not the best. But style-wise, he blew everyone else away. I don't think most guitarists list Vinnie Vincent's leads as being inspirational, nor is Bruce Kulick ever mentioned on anyone's "influences" list. Ace, on the other hand, is one of the most influential lead guitarists ever. He's no Blackmore or Vai - hell, in a lot of ways, he's no Mark St. John - but the guy had a knack for writing some of the most instantly recognizable and memorable leads ever heard in rock music. So cut my boy Ace some slack!

  • Sorry Jon, I just don't see it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not totally anti-Ace...I think the guitar break in "Cold Gin" is one of the best I've ever heard, but for me the main songwriters are Gene and Paul. Well, simply, Kiss are Gene and Paul. The unprofessionalism of Criss and Frehley over the years is great fodder for rock anecdotes but they'd be a nightmare to play with.

    As for Frehley being inspirational, Kiss top many peoples list of inspiration, so I would suspect many of the guitarists picked Frehley simply because he was in Kiss, and he was the first. People site the Gillan / Glover line up as the best Purple because they set the ball rolling, but many guys on here prefer mark three or even four. A matter of taste I guess!

    That said, if you haven't already, read Gene Simmons autobiography "Kiss and Make Up" and his new "self help" book "Sex Money Kiss". Both are extremely well written, amusing and give fascinating insights into the making and continuing success of Kiss.


    "How can you lose, when you're destined to be a winner?"

  • Well, Gene claims to have written the middle guitar break in Cold Gin, so I guess you are anti-Ace. I never said Ace wasn't a pain in the ass as a bandmate, but on the other hand, I doubt if money-whores like Gene and Paul are all that fun to work with, either. Gene and Paul are definitely the better songwriters, but Ace did have the best solo album. And "Asylum"/"Crazy Nights"??? If you added "Hot in the Shade", you'd be well deserving of a flogging. No - I'm just messing with you. Your points are valid - it's all a matter of taste. I just happen to dig Ace more than the rest. And "Asylum" was the first KISS album I bought new.

  • If Gene did write the middle guitar break Jon, you've just made my day!

    Guess we'll have to agree to disagree....I liked Paul Stanley's solo CD best of the four. Mind you, I can't stand Ace's voice...."2000 Man" on the unplugged CD - ugh!

    I like Gene and Paul but "money whore" seems a fair comment. They've done very well for themselves though, so I can't knock them.


    "How can you lose, when you're destined to be a winner?"

  • Yeah, Ace's voice is a bit...different. But for some reason I like his tuneless warbling. Ace was my favorite since I started liking the band, and KISS has always been one of my favorites, even before I got into Purple. Ace's first solo tour was the first concert I ever saw - he played in-between openers White Lion and headliners Y&T. But, you're right - he is always kind of hit or miss, depending on the night. I saw the very first KISS "reunion" show in Detroit in '96, and Ace was a bit sloppy.

    My buddy has a TON of bootleg KISS videos and some are pretty funny to watch. In a fairly recent one, Ace really messes up a lot. He forgets one of the songs, and plays the solo for Deuce out of key. Then, the band is trying to figure out what to play and is asking the audience for suggestions when suddenly Ace just starts going into some of his songs, despite the band trying to get him to stop. Gene just keeps glaring at him and Ace keeps looking back at him with a "F you' stare. I think it was one of Ace's last shows, in fact. Hilarious.

    A few years ago, there were a couple really good articles in Goldmine with all the members of KISS. In one (around '96 or so) they interview each one separately to have each memeber rate every album. There are a lot of insights into how little KISS actually played on their own albums, like Gene not doing many of the bass lines on Dynasty. In fact, Anton Fig plays almost all the drums on Dynasty and Unmasked. Ace only played on one of the studio songs on side 4 of Alive II (Shock Me, of course), and missed some of the Destroyer sessions. There is a KISS book that just came out that I would like to get - forgot the name of it, but it's not Gene's book. Anyway, I like all the KISS solo cds - they all have their charm in their own way.

  • Yeah, and a lot of guitar work on some Kiss albums was handled by Rick Derringer! Jim Wilson may have more to say about this...

    Rick Derringer also laid down a lot of guitar on some of the Alice Cooper group records such as 'Killer'.

    Speaking of Rick Derringer, he's only one of the names appearing at this year's great Bolin Fest in Clear Lake, Iowa. Be there! (This shameless plug brought to you by The Fuze, where you can read our interview with Derringer too: http://www.the-fuze.com)

  • Todd, I knew Derringer played on some KISS cds, but not Cooper. When is the Michael Bruce interview coming up?

  • Never could get into the corporate Kiss. Ace is a wreck for sure, but back in the day he was the man. TT is an excellent musician.

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