Electric Magic (The Godfather Records G.R. 276)
The Brewery East Lansing, Mi. October 21 1974 Intro, Deuce, Strutter, Got To Choose, Firehouse, She, Nothin To Lose, Parasite, 100,000 Years, Black Diamond, Let Me Go Rock And Roll, Cold Gin
Electric Magic contains a real find in Kisstory, a soundboard recording of a complete Hotter Than Hell concert. Hotter Than Hell was released in October 1974 but failed to sell. Things were so bad the band toured very little, electing to go back into the studio to produce the Dressed to Kill record that was released in February 1975. HTH contains definite Kiss Klassics like Parasite, Got To Choose, Goin Blind, Let Me Go rock And Roll, Watchin You and of course the title track. Crazy to think but Kiss released the first three “Originals” in a thirteen month period.
The source tape is very good to excellent mono sound board with some tape hiss. The vocals are a little lower in the mix but you have no problem hearing them and towards the end of the tape Ace’s guitar is more prominent, but enough bitching this is a great show wtih lots of early energy from the band. Of course there a missed chords and such but Kiss put as much energy into the visuals as they did the playing. As I was listening to this show you forget what great musicians Peter Criss and Ace Frehely were before the trappings of superstardom. Great drum fills by Criss and Ace’s solo’s are played with gusto. Personal highlights are Got To Choose, She, Parasite and a killer 100,000 Years. Worth noting that She is still not as refined as the soon to be recorded version official released and is an interesting listen.
Paul Stanley mentions Lansing a couple times and the set list is the same as the only known footage from this tour, recorded three months later in San Francisco which was released in the first Kissology set. So there is no question on the tapes legitimacy. The packaging is also superb, tri-gatefold with great black and white photos, many showing the band having a great time. Full praise must be given to Godfather for this beautifully released concert. If you are a Kiss fan this hands down is a must have. It also appeals to the general collector as a great way to hear Kiss “alive” in the 70’s.