- Vinyl (April 1, 2014)
- Original Release Date: 2014
- Number of Discs: 2
Despite their reputation and success as a live act, which emphasized theatrics as much as it did music, their notoriety did not translate to increased record sales. Fans told the band that their albums were not capturing how the band sounded live, so the band decided to release a live album. Kiss was essentially surviving on then-manager Bill Aucoin's American Express card. Complicating matters was the fact that their label, Neil Bogart'sCasablanca Records, was having financial difficulties of its own stemming from a major misstep. The label had released a double album of Johnny Carson monologues earlier in the year. However, the album was a flop, but Casablanca had pressed millions of copies in anticipation of it being a strong seller.
Casablanca, however, did think a Kiss live album would be a respectable seller. The album outperformed expectations as it was certified gold, becoming both Kiss' and Casablanca's first top 10 album. Years later, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons recounted that in the weeks after the release, they saw a significant increase in concert attendance. In the documentary Kiss: X-treme Close Up, Stanley remembers that at one particular show inDayton, Ohio, "the place was packed; I mean you couldn't have gotten another person in with a shoehorn".
The album's title was an homage to the 1972 live album Slade Alive! from the English rock group Slade, a band that heavily influenced Kiss.
Alive! received positive reviews. Greg Prato of Allmusic rated the album four-and-a-half stars out of five and stated that "Alive! remains Kiss' greatest album ever." Robert Christgau rated the album a B-, stating that he and "the multimillion kids who are buying it" "fall into neither category" of those who regard the album "as a de facto best-of" and "those who regard it as the sludge."
In The New Rolling Stone Album Guide, the album was rated four out of five stars. It was called "a nonstop Kiss-krieg of two-note guitar motifs, fake-sounding audience noise, and inspirational chitchat", but it was then restated as the next best thing to being there, clearly. Jason Josephes of Pitchfork Media rated it 10 out of 10 points and said that "the album may seem like a joke, mainly because it contains every arena rock cliche in the book", but called it "total sonic proof of Kiss climbing their apex".
Alive! peaked at #9 on the album charts, and charted for 110 weeks, by far the longest in the band's history. In 2003, the album was ranked #159 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2006, it was placed at #26 on Guitar World magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time. In 2009, the same magazine placed it at #3 on their list of Top 10 Live Albums.
- Side one
|2.||"Strutter"||Paul Stanley, Simmons||Stanley||3:22|
|3.||"Got to Choose"||Stanley||Stanley||3:40|
|4.||"Hotter Than Hell"||Stanley||Stanley||3:30|
- Side two
|6.||"Nothin' to Lose"||Simmons||Simmons, Peter Criss||3:33|
|7.||"C'mon and Love Me"||Stanley||Stanley||3:05|
|9.||"She"||Simmons, Stephen Coronel||Simmons, Stanley||6:56|
- Side three
|11.||"100,000 Years"||Stanley, Simmons||Stanley||12:12|
|12.||"Black Diamond"||Stanley||Criss, intro by Stanley||6:16|
- Side four
|13.||"Rock Bottom"||Frehley, Stanley||Stanley||3:21|
|15.||"Rock and Roll All Nite"||Stanley, Simmons||Simmons||3:59|
|16.||"Let Me Go, Rock 'n' Roll"||Stanley, Simmons||Simmons||5:45|
- Paul Stanley - rhythm guitar, vocals
- Ace Frehley - lead guitar, backing vocals
- Gene Simmons - bass guitar, vocals
- Peter Criss - drums, vocals
- JR Smalling - introduction
Singles - Billboard (United States)
Singles - Billboard (Australia)
Singles - Billboard (Canada)
International album charts
|Canada (Music Canada)||Gold||50,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
The best live rock album is back on Vinyl! So glad to have one!