There’s something amazing about this record. In the mid 70s, rock concerts were getting pretty boring. 15 minute guitar solos, 15 minute drum solos, 15 minute fucking bass solos. A bunch of long haired dudes standing around noodling to infinity in a weed filled haze of mediocrity. In some parts of the world Alice Cooper had started to make the scene, along with Frank Zappa, but the former was campy in a Rocky Horror Picture Show kind of way and Zappa was technically proficient, but still seemed like he was leading a bunch of hippies that knew the cool joke and you didn’t.
When Kiss hit the stage, touring in support of this, their first live record (after a series of lackluster studio albums that almost sunk the band) crowds around the country, around the world took notice. These guys came out in gigantic leather heeled boots, looking like creatures from another planet, spitting fire and blood in the air, with a light show that demanded your attention. Were they incredible musicians? No. Were the lyrics deep and meaningful? Hell no.
But there was so much raw energy and sexuality at a KISS show in their early years, that you walked out of the concert hall drained and entertained. Rock would never be the same again. And this record captures the essence of that time better than anything. It’s still a favorite to this day, and a road trip essential. Firehouse, woo!
This column is sponsored in part by Audio Research.
We use their REF Phono 3 phono stage as a reference
component to spin the record of the day. Every day.