''Alive II'' is the second live album
(and eighth overall) by American hard rock
, released on October 14, 1977 by Casablanca Records
. The band had released three albums (''Destroyer
'', ''Rock and Roll Over
'', and ''Love Gun
'') since the previous live outing, the 1975 release ''Alive!
'', so they drew upon the variety of new tracks, with Eddie Kramer
The origins of ''Alive II'' go back to early 1977 when the band's manager Bill Aucoin
suggested that 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 autumn. Kramer finished work on the album, but Casablanca and Kiss deemed it unusable, and the band forged ahead with their ''Love Gun'' sessions.
Most of the live tracks on ''Alive II'' were recorded during the band's August 26–28 shows at the Forum
while on their Love Gun Tour
. The 3 p.m. soundchecks at the August 26 and 27 shows were recorded, and later used on the album (i.e. "I Stole Your Love" 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 4 (tracks 6–10 on the second CD) are studio tracks recorded September 13–16, 1977. 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
" (originally written for a solo album
), on which he sang lead vocals and played both guitar and bass guitar. Paul Stanley
played all guitars on "Any Way You Want It
", which was originally recorded by the Dave Clark Five
Several early copies of the album's cover featured a rare misprint of three additional songs ("Take Me," "Hooligan" and "Do You Love Me?") with a slightly altered song order. None of these additional songs appeared on the LP. On the misprint, "Take Me" is after "Detroit Rock City
," with "King of the Night Time World" appearing after "Ladies Room" on side one. Side two features "Hooligan" after "Shock Me
," which is placed after "Hard Luck Woman." On side three, "Do You Love Me?" appears after "God of Thunder," with "Beth" sandwiched between "I Want You" and "Shout It Out Loud
." "Hooligan" and "Take Me" were performed on the 1977 ''Love Gun'' tour, and "Do You Love Me?" was performed on the Japanese tour that same year, making their consideration for inclusion with the second live album possible.
The original vinyl issue of ''Alive II'' was a 2-LP set with a gatefold cover and picture inner sleeves. Continuing the Kiss tradition of including promotional items with their albums, ''Alive II'' was packaged with a full-color booklet titled "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, listing an array of official Kiss merchandise as well as a chance to "enlist" in the Kiss Army. The inner sleeves depicted crazed Kiss fans in a confetti storm and the band's album discography to date.
''Alive II'' was originally reissued as a double-CD set in what has now become known as a "fatboy" 2CD case. When the Kiss back catalog was remastered, it was housed in a slimline 2CD case and, in keeping with the rest of the reissue program, had the artwork restored. This included the set of tattoos. The booklet "The Evolution of Kiss"' and the picture inner sleeves were incorporated as part of the CD booklet. ''Alive II'' was re-released in 2006 as part of ''Kiss Alive! 1975-2000
''. It included "Rock and Roll All Nite
" (single edit version) as a bonus track. The short running time of ''Alive II'' allowed for a single CD edition in the latest release.
Coming off of a period of extensive touring, ''Alive II'' received a huge fan response and critical acclaim, reaching the No. 7 spot on the ''Billboard'' 200
chart. The album has received praise from several critics. In a retrospective review, critic Greg Parto of AllMusic
remarked that several tracks such as "Detroit Rock City", "Shock Me" and "Shout It Out Loud" featured an "adrenaline-charged" vibe. He lauded the album for showing the group in its element as an "exciting live band".
*Tracks 1–8, 11, 13 and 15 recorded at The Forum, Los Angeles, CA, August 25–28, 1977
*Tracks 9, 10 and 16–20 recorded at the Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ, September 13–16, 1977 and Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY
*Tracks 12, 14 recorded at Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan, April 2, 1977
*Gene Simmons − vocals, bass (rhythm guitar on "Larger Than Life")
*Peter Criss − vocals, drums
*Paul Stanley – vocals, rhythm guitar (all guitars, bass and vocals on "Any Way You Want It")
*Ace Frehley – vocals, lead guitar (all guitars, bass and vocals on "Rocket Ride")
*Eddie Balandas – introduction on "Detroit Rock City"
*Bob Kulick – lead guitar on "All American Man", "Rockin' in the U.S.A" and "Larger Than Life"
*Eddie Kramer – producer, engineer , mixing
*Kiss – co-producer
*Corky Stasiak – engineer
*Neil Dorfsman – mixing
Category:1977 live albums
Category:Albums produced by Eddie Kramer
Category:Albums recorded at Electric Lady Studios
Category:Kiss (band) live albums
Category:Casablanca Records live albums