ALIVE II & Double Platinum (The Almost Human Review Episode 7)

04 Feb 2013 15:11 21
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Ralph Viera (Dr.Fukk) from the band Thrash Or Die (http://www.facebook.com/thrashordie.fl) reviews Alive II and Double Platinum. he origins of Alive II go back to early 1977 when the band's manager Bill Aucoin, had the idea to have Eddie Kramer record a live album during the evening show at Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan on April 2, 1977. The plan was to release a live album to give Kiss some much deserved time off before recording the album that would become Love Gun later that fall. Kramer finished work on the album, but Casablanca Records and Kiss deemed it unusable, and the band forged ahead with the Love Gun sessions.

Most of the live tracks on Alive II were recorded during the band's August 26--28 shows at the Los Angeles Forum while on their Love Gun tour. The 3:00 PM soundchecks at the August 26 and 27 shows were recorded, and later used on the album (i.e. "Tomorrow and Tonight") with crowd noise being dubbed in later. "Beth" and "I Want You" were lifted from the aborted Japanese live album and used on the finished Alive II. As the band did not want to duplicate songs included on Alive!, the songs chosen for the three live sides of the album were all drawn from Kiss' three preceding studio albums: Destroyer, Rock and Roll Over and Love Gun.

On the original double album, the songs on side four (tracks #6-10 on the second CD) are studio tracks. Although Ace Frehley was originally credited for lead guitar on the studio tracks, the remastered version released in 1997 confirmed what had been speculated by Kiss fans for years. Bob Kulick actually played lead guitar on three tracks ("All American Man", "Rockin' in the U.S.A." and "Larger Than Life"), not Frehley. Frehley's sole involvement for the studio songs was "Rocket Ride" which he originally wrote for a solo album.[7] He sang lead vocals and played both guitar and bass guitar on it. Paul Stanley played all guitars on "Anyway You Want It" which was originally recorded by the Dave Clark Five in 1964.
he original vinyl issue of Alive II was a 2LP set, in a gatefold sleeve, with picture LP-liners. Continuing the Kiss tradition of including promotional items with their albums, Alive II was packaged with a full color booklet entitled "The Evolution of Kiss" and a set of temporary transfer tattoos in a cartoon-style. The tattoos depicted the band logo, Kiss Army logo, band member heads, member signatures and symbols. The symbols were meant to represent the four personas of the group and included a skull and crossbones for Gene Simmons, a rose and star with eye for Stanley, a Saturn-like planet and block print-style 'ACE' for Frehley and a drum and cat's head for Peter Criss. The rose and 'ACE' are copies of Stanley and Frehley's actual tattoos, respectively. A merchandise order form was also included with the album. It listed an array of official Kiss merchandise, as well as a chance to enlist in the Kiss Army. Jacket sleeve, picture of crazed Kiss fans, in a confetti storm and "GOLD and PLATINUM" shows the records that were released, in that time frame.
Double Platinum is the first greatest hits album by the American hard rock band Kiss, released in 1978.

Many the songs on Double Platinum were remixed and differ from their original versions: completely removed, while the beginning of "Black Diamond" was repeated at the end,

The Japanese single release of "Strutter '78" includes a different version to that on the album: faster and shorter, with an altered guitar solo, plus a more prominent hi-hat (cymbal) sound throughout.
he original vinyl release, in a gatefold-sleeve, had an embossed, silver-foiled sleeve, with the band members in bas-relief inside. The album was packaged with a printed "Platinum Award" thanking the Kiss Army for making the band a "Double Platinum Success". Later reissues would retain the gatefold-sleeve but replaced the logo with a printed, red-type version and the band members were now represented inside by photos rather than the bas illustrations. When the album was remastered for CD in the US, it mimicked the original vinyl.

The album was certified Platinum on May 16, 1978 by the RIAA. It never reached Double Platinum status. In Canada it was certified Gold on June 1, 1978 after shipping 50,000 copies.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic writes "If "Strutter" was represented by the original version, instead of a pointless 1978 remake—which was recorded only to entice collectors into buying an album of music they already owned -- Double Platinum would have been a definitive collection, but as it stands, it's simply a very, very good overview." Knowing that "Christine Sixteen" and "Shout It Out Loud" is not on the album...

Rolling Stone writes "Kiss's greatest-hits collections have all been conspicuously incomplete, as if it hates the idea of anyone buying just one Kiss album, but Double Platinum is the most solid, though not as much fun as Alive!.

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