Kiss/Wicked Lester - Demos
Outstanding collection of demos from Kiss and Stanley/Simmons, pre-Kiss band Wicked Lester. Of course some of this stuff was released on the Kiss Box, but it's cool to have all this demo stuff on one disc. All this material differs from the final album versions and offers some insight into how the band started off. Pehaps the coolest of these early tracks is 'She', as performed by Wicked Lester. If you can imagine Jethro Tull doing Kiss' 'She' in the early 70's, you might get an idea of what this track sounds like, flute and all. Several of the Wicked Lester tracks have a cool Beatle-esque pop sound. This is especially true of "Leeta."
Kiss-Kissin' Time in San Francisco (Black Diamond/BDR 73981-A)
1. "Deuce" (4:02)
Early radio broadcast of Kiss in San Francisco. Decent sound for such an early recording, although it's not as clean as the official 'Alive.' This cd release also includes four bonus demo cuts. Tracks 14 and 15 are 1981 Gene Simmons demos and are instrumental only. Tracks 16 & 17 are 1971 demo tracks. Check out the names of the songs. Both were used later in Kiss' career for songs that are completely different than these demos. Nice cover art for both the front cover art and in the insert. Acquired this disc as a gift from a friend in Germany. Seems that original bootlegs like this are MUCH cheaper in Europe than they are in the States. In the U.S. this disc would go for between $20-$30.
Kiss-Cleveland, OH 1975 (cdr)
1. "Hotter than Hell"
Hmmm, this cdr bootleg is labeled Cleveland '75 and while some of it may be from that show, not all of it is. Certainly tracks like 'Beth' and 'I Stole Your Love' are not from '75. The sound quality varies from track to track with the first five being excellent, but then going down a bit from there, only to get better again on "I Stole Your Love" and "Ladies Room." I'm sure some Kiss fan can confirm this for me, but if I am not mistaken this set of tracks was also released on vinyl as 'Fried Alive.' Also, if anyone has cover art for this show, I'd love to get a copy.
Kiss-Rock and Roll All Nite (Big Music/BIG093)
1. "Detroit Rock City"
As bootlegs go, this one is average to slightly above average (B - B+). It's one of those discs that you have to listen to for a few minutes for you ears to adjust to the less than perfect sound. The music is probably a sound board recording as the music and vocals are clear and there is barely any crowd noise at all, which actually sounds a bit weird. It's funny hearing Paul talk to the crowd without a response, especially knowing that KISS were at a popularity high during this tour. The selection of music is very good and the performance isn't bad, although it's discs like this that make it painfully obvious how much studio work was done on Alive and Alive II to make them sound superior. Just from the sound of the vocals alone, you can tell that they band was putting on one hell of a show. The cover art is excellent featuring tons of very cool photos. As usual with bootlegs, however, the photos are not all taken from the same time period in the bands history as there is a large photo on the foldout of Kiss the "Dynasty"-era. Picked up this original (silver) cd on eBay for $9.99. I was actually surprised that no one overbid me on this one.
Kiss - The Lost Alive II Album (More Curry)
1. "Detroit Rock City"
Fantastic live bootleg recorded during Kiss' first tour of Japan in 1977. According to the liner notes, "This is the original "Alive II". It was recorded, mixed, fixed with overdubs, and ready for release before it was pull at the last minute in favor of a new studio LP instead (Love Gun)...The "Lost Alive II" album had a working title called "Rock n' Roll Party in Tokyo" and was produced by Eddie Kramer. After this live in Japan album was done, Eddie Kramer stayed on with the band and made the "Love Gun" album at Record Plant Studios in New York. It's KISStory!" Whether all this information is true or not, I can't verify. However, this is a good sounding bootleg from a classic time in the bands history. The only real flaws is some minor tape noise here and there. The studio tracks are slightly different versions than the ones that appear on "Alive II". (Thanks Trog & Chris)
Kiss - Best of the Solo Albums (CDR bootleg)
1. "New York Groove"
Best of the Solo Albums was released in vinyl some years ago on Casablanca. As far as I am aware it has never been officially pressed to CD. Someone, however, went through the painstaking job of laying down all the tracks from that record, probably off the remastered CDs in the exact order they were on the original release. As well, they also scanned in all the original artwork from the vinyl, which is kind of cool. However, when it comes to kiss's solo records, I think calling it "the best of" without including every single song off Ace's release is a crime. Personally I think Ace and Paul's albums were a great listen from beginning to end. However, to tell the truth, I think the did a good job of picking some of the best off Gene and Peter's CDs.
Kiss - London, England - Sept. 9, 1980 (cdr)
Yet another Kiss bootleg I got in trade. This one is a fabulous show with very low to average sound quality. Although it's not unlistenable, it certainly will never be a frequent player. Unfortunately this disc is also not tracked correctly and only has two songs with tracks 1-9 being track one and tracks 10-14 being track two.
Kiss-Auckland 1980 (cdr)
Killer show with great sound; one of the best KISS boots I have heard so far. Apparently this was Ace Frehley's last show with Kiss. Great artwork to boot. Some of the weaker material from "Dynasty" and "Unmasked" sounds so much better in this live atmosphere, it just goes to prove my point that the biggest flaw in those albums was more the producing than the songwriting.
Outstanding vinyl bootleg. This particular copy was obtained through Backstage Auctions and is autographed in ballpoint pen on the front cover by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. The back cover is autographed in gold paint pen by Eric Carr, but is slightly smudged. The vinyl was formerly owned by Bill Bartell and came with a signed certificate of authenticity from Backstage Auctions & Bill Bartell. The show itself is very good, although the sound is not perfect. This show featured the rarely played songs "King of the Nighttime World" and the even more rare "You're All That I Want". (Thanks Morgan)
KISS-DeMontfort Hall, Leichester, England - 10/24/83 (cdr)
Good show but the sound is below average and the CD is tracked incorrectly, so disc one is one long song, as is disc two. Don't have any artwork for this one either.
Kiss - Live USA (Imtrat/900.101)
Despite the laughable cover art, this is a KILLER original bootleg. Not only is the sound quality very listenable for a bootleg, but the track listing is incredible. Lots of songs here that would not be played again after this tour, including "Bang Bang You," "No No No" and "Reason To Live". While the liner notes claim all the material was recorded in Detroit 1984, it's pretty obvious that some of this material was not from that show and tour considering the "Asylum" and "Crazy Nights" material were recorded in later years. I love the live material from "Crazy Nights". The studio CD was so glossy, but the live versions bring the rock 'n' roll back to the songs. Kiss themselves have often said negative about the "Crazy Nights" material. However, I was a fan then, saw the tour, and loved both the music and the performance. Now if I could only find the Rochester, NY show or the Spectrum, Philadelpia, PA show from this tour.
Kiss - Detroit, Cobo Hall, Dec. 12, 1984 (Deep Records/MIK032)
1. "Cold Gin"
Great disc with excellent sound quality. It's not a complete show, as "Detroit Rock City," "Young & Wasted" and the drum solo were left off. Still, despite the absence of these songs, for a single disc bootleg, this one is stellar. Great artwork to boot. I also have a CDR compliation of the complete show, but the sound quality is not as good and there is no separation between tracks, so I prefer this silver disc version.
Kiss-Houston, TX, Jan. 31, 1985 (cdr)
Excellent show, but unfortunately the cd isn't tracked correctly and the entire disc is one long song. The sound quality is about average for a bootleg. No cover art for this one yet either.
KISS - CHICAGO, IL - JAN. 17, 1986 (cdr)
KISS - Monsters of Rock (Mistral/MM9101)
1. "intro" (:33)
Superb soundboard recording of Kiss at the 1988 Monsters of Rock Festival in Germany. I believe Kiss were the co-headliners with Iron Maiden. The set list features an equal amount of make-up era material to the classic 80's material. Hearing bootlegs like this, I really wish that Kiss would have released an official live-album during this period of their career. One highlight of this disc is the fantastic version of "Black Diamond" with Eric Carr on vocals. Also, at the beginning of "Fits Like A Glove" the band teases the audience a bit with a bit of a Zeppelin riff. As usual with bootlegs, the genius in packaging is evident. The photo on the front cover is from the 1983 "Lick It Up"-era of the band with Vinnie Vincent. The track listing give Gene Simmons credit the songwriter of "Cold Gin" where it should be Ace Frehley. The song "Shout It Out Loud" was listed, but is not included on the CD. "Fits Like A Glove" is split into two tracks. As well they actually misspelled "Rock and Roll All Nite".
Kiss-Destroy the U.K. (PGAP0896)
1. "Deuce" (3:4)
Audience recording of the band's reunion tour in England. Of course, Kiss were primed and ready to go on this tour, so the show is outstanding as is the choice of material. Pretty sure this is not the complete set list as there are several songs missing that the band was playing during this tour includnig "Detroit Rock City" and "Rock and Roll All Night".
KISS - LIVE/DEMOS (cdr)
A compilation of studio outtakes (tracks 7-12) and live tracks (tracks 1-6) from when Vinnie Vincent was the guitarist for the band. The live material is of such a poor sound quality, it's not even worth listening to. The studio material is all outtakes from the 'Lick It Up' Sessions. The sound quality on these are not much better but are listenable and an intersting look into the recording process of the band. "Boyz Are Gonna Rock," "Shoot You Full of Love" and "Baby O" eventually showed up on Vinnie Vincent's first solo cd. These two tracks sound like they may have been taken right from the Vinnie Vincent Invasion cd. "Black Diamond" is an interesting demo version that is obviously not from the same session as the earlier "Lick it Up" tracks. There is a major flaw in this cd as it is broken down into only two tracks with the live cuts being track one, studio cuts being track two. I was sort of disappointed in this one.
Kiss-Nashville, TN 4/28/00 (cdr)
Excellent show from the Farewell Tour that sounds like an audience recording. Still, the sound quality isn't too bad, although obviously not of a professional quality. Cover art looks EXACTLY like the Nagoya show, although it is printed on a different color paper. Track #20 is cut, but then the complete version is included in track 21.
Kiss-Nagoya 2001 (cdr bootleg)
Excellent show from the reunion tour. I had heard rumors that Peter Criss had once again left the band, and Kiss were touring without him. This show confirms that rumor, for there is a drum solo featuring Eric Singer, who is also wearing the Catman's make-up (see the photo above). Apparently Peter Criss left because of legal disputes over money as Kiss were offered a large sum of money for touring Australia and Japan. Apparently 'ol Pete's lawyers felt he wasn't getting enough. Anyhow, being that I have seen the band a few times on this reunion tour, I really enjoyed listening to this disc. I wonder why the band did not perform Ace's "Into the Void," as I saw them perform this one in Las Cruces and Albuquerque.
Kiss-Rock the Nations 2004: Live in Albuquerque
And what is the ultimate concert souvenir? A live recording of the complete concert that you can actually listen to on your way home from the concert. The master of marketing (Gene $immons) finds a way to beat the bootlegers at their own game. After each show on the 2004 Rock the Nations Tour, in each city, they sell a complete, stereo recording of the show for $25. Very cool! The sound quality is near perfect. Technology rocks! Bootlegs will never be the same. The track listing here is superb as well with Kiss pulling out a few choice cuts that haven't been played for years like "Making Love", "War Machine" and one of my all time favorite songs "Parasite."
Kiss - Rock the Nations 2004: Detroit, MI (CDR bootleg)
Since this show was only days after the Albuquerque show above, I thought I would just included the comments of a man who was actually there:
First, let me say that all the naysayers about Eric and Tommy have to go see the show before they trash it. I've seen Kiss with several different lineups, including with Ace and Peter, and last night, Kiss sounded completely awesome! Sure... it wasn't Ace and Peter. So what? The band sounded phenominal! I was glad to finally see them with Eric, too, since I became a Kiss fan during the Revenge era (I'm only 24, so that's what had just come out with I was a young teenager just getting into metal).
Some interesting notes
about the show:
2. The set list RULED!!!! Notable inclusions were War Machine, Lick It Up, I Was Made For Loving You, Got To Choose, Makin' Love, I Stole Your Love, and I Love It Loud, God Gave Rock'n'Roll To You, and Unholy. ("Christine Sixteen" & "I Stole Your Love" were not played on most shows on this tour.)
3. I've heard that Gene has lost his voice a couple times on this tour, so it's no surprise that he didn't sing very many songs. Paul did most of the setlist. (Probably they reason they cut "Dr. Love" from the setlist.)
5. It was great hearing the songs played flawlessy by a very capable band! Actually, I take it back - it wasn't *quite* flawlessly... as I could hear on the ULTIMATE CONCERT SOUVENIR, the "Instant Live" CD you can buy at the show! What a great idea, that you can buy an EX+ recording of the show you were just at, warts and all! (written by Ian Keith Hafner)