Drive You Crazy! (Godfather Records GR 554)
Fairgrounds Pavilion Tulsa, Oklahoma – June 13, 1975
(79:07) Deuce, Strutter, Got To Choose, Hotter Than Hell, Firehouse, She, C’Mon And Love Me, 100,000 Years, Black Diamond, Rock And Roll All Night Bonus Tracks: Partenon Theatre, Hammond, Indiana USA October 18, 1974, Nothin To Lose, Parasite Studio Out take Larabee Studios Los Angeles, California USA January 3, 1975, Mistake Studio Out take Unknown Studio and Date, (Ain’t The) Smoke
“The KISS Experience * KISS is total sensuality. Thundering rock, intense vibration and soaring freedom. Penetrating energy and exploding emotion stimulate every nerve to unequalled heights. THEY WILL DRIVE YOU CRAZY !” So goes the liner notes, and after a couple of listens I whole heartedly agree. This new release from Godfatherecords is full of excitement and value for our money, just look at the disc time, just over 79 minutes of music.
The main part of the disc is a soundboard recording from Tulsa in 1975, I am guessing that it was from an FM broadcast due to some static sounds, not digital, and other noise that sounds similar to radio interferance. The recording is well mixed and has great balance a full sound with all instruments and vocals well represented in the mix, the audience is really low in the mix and do not hesitate to turn this up loud. The recording starts off a little rough but clears up nicely after a minute as the band gives us the classic opening salvo of Deuce and Strutter.
The songs work very well together, the riff in Duece gets you moving and into it from the get go. Strutter is more of the same, very strong rendition of the song has the band hitting its stride, interesting is at the 2:08 mark the siren used for Firehouse goes of for a few seconds. “Alright Tulsa looks like we gonna ourselves a rock and roll party” are Paul’s introductory words to the audience, he mentions Tulsa many times during the concert so there is no dought about the location. A personal favorite track from the second record is next, Got To Choose is great and the kinda light “whoo hoo Got To Choose” chorus works and makes way to the next two songs that, like the opening songs, work very well together.
Hotter Than Hell and Firehouse are almost extensions of each other, with similar themes and structure. They slow down for the next track, a nice heavy version of She from the Dressed To Kill album that they are supporting on this tour. Gene’s vocals are great on this tune, it total fits his style and persona. At about the six minute mark the song gives way to Ace’s solo spot, he is very fluent tonight and his use of what sounds like an echo plex gives to a spacey feeling. “Ace Frehely Lead geetar, ya’all feel aright ?” has Paul going into hillbilly mode to hilarious effect as he introduces Ace and the next song, one of the better ones from the D T K record, C’mon And Love Me. Sounds very close to the recorded version the songs has great playing and solo by Ace.
A brief bass solo has the band launching into 100, 000 Years and the drum solo, Peter Criss playing is very tight and he is the glue that binds the band together, he even throws a little cowbell in for good measure. Black Diamond ends the proceedings and the band is called out for more and they answer with Cold Gin and the new anthem a song Paul says they are very proud of and their hit single Rock and Roll All Nite, the song that pretty much defines the band and what they stand for, all in all an extremely tight and well played concert.
The first two filler tracks, Nothin To Lose and Parasite are great sounding soundboard fragments from later in 1974, there is a scan of the handbill for the gig in the center gatefold and the band shared the stage with Rush on this night, as they did many nights during the 1974-75 period. Parasite is particularly heavy on this recording with the vocals more out front in the mix. The last two tracks are studio out takes, the first entitled Mistake is an interesting song, it begins with petal steel guitar that gives the song a country feel.
The songs sounds similar like Christeen Sixteen, the sound is very good but there is some hiss present but is a very interesting listening experience. The last track, (Ain’t The) Smoke is more what you would expect from an un released song, pretty much average lyrics about a woman. It is nice to hear un released material but you can tell why it did not make it on a regular record.
There it is, another killer KISS release from Godfathers, the packaging is the usual tri fold sleeve, a great live shot on the cover and a collage of pictures on the interior with scans of the handbills for both the Tulsa show, they shared the bill with Rare Earth, and the for mentioned Indiana show. This very nice set is highly recommended and will not fail to please fans and collectors alike.