Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be the 50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Click “Next Album” below to explore each album or view the full album index here.
KISS | Alive II
Selected by Andy Healy
This was my first introduction to the live album. And what an intro. This double disc set was a full-on immersive experience from the artwork, to the gatefold picture showcasing their explosive live show, through to the included full color multipage booklet.
And then there was the music, full of energy and charged with electricity. Everything was here that you expected or imagined from a KISS live show; the deafening crowd, the raucous rock and the explosive sonic boom of pyros—as a listener, you felt wholly part of the show. With songs gleamed from their last three studio albums (and omitting songs previously available on their seminal ALIVE release) the set plays like a greatest hits package.
Due to the omission of songs from their live set, the fourth side of the double album featured all new studio material that for the most part paled in comparison to the energy of the three preceding sides of live material, with the exception of Ace Frehley’s “Rocket Ride.” But the new material wasn’t what fans came for and many of the songs were soon forgotten.
Whilst most fans favor ALIVE I, ALIVE II will always take me back to being that wide-eyed kid rocking out to “The hottest band in the world.”