First Kiss First Licks (Godfather Records G.R. 211)
Tracks 2-10 Michigan Palace April 7 1974 Detroit, Mi. Tracks 12,14,16,18 WNEW Radio June 23 1974 Tracks 11,13,15,17,19 First Kiss Demo with Eddie Kramer March 13 1973 Track 20 Wicked Lester Demo (77:40) Radio Spot for the first Kiss Album; Deuce; Strutter; She; Firehouse; Nothing To Lose; Cold Gin (fades 3:48 into song); 100,000 Years; Black Diamond; Let Me Go Rock and Roll (fades 4:12 into song); Allison Steele into Strutter; Paul Stanley & Peter Criss interview part 1; Deuce; Paul Stanley & Peter Criss interview part 2; Cold Gin (labeled Watchin’ You) Gene Simmons & Ace Frehley part 1; Watchin’ You (labeled Cold Gin); Gene Simmons & Ace Frehley part 2; Black Diamond; Sweet Ophelia
First Kiss First Licks is a nice assortment of early KISS Material most all of which has been released before of such titles as Alive Zero, Demos from the attic, Masked Again (the demo material) and Light Years Ahead, Cold Bourbon, Kiss Thiss, Live, Vol. 1/ Unauthorized, & Peter Gene Pail & Ace (the live Material) and a track from the 1972 Wicked Lester recordings. The CD begins with a radio spot for the first album in very good quality given the age and is a fantastic way to start.
The show from Detroit is one of the earliest live recordings of the band and is a fantastic document of the early era, the songs from the first album are played with gusto. The song She from the Dressed To Kill album is played, makes you wonder why the song was not included on the first record as it is a very strong track with a great riff. Other highlights from this show are Strutter, introduced as a song about New York women, 100,000 Years with a short bass intro and of course Black Diamond. The sound is excellent with virtually no hiss and is great at loud volumes.
The interviews with the famous NYC DJ Allison Steele cover a range of topics including the name KISS, how the band was formed, their first gig, the music of KISS and the Casablanca record label, the first album tracks were edited out and the demo versions added in making it much nicer. The last track is from the well circulated Wicked Lester recordings and is of Excellent quality. The packaging is a triple gatefold with photographs from the era and with an insert with the press release for the first album. Being a fan of early KISS I found the Cd to be a great way to get essential material in excellent quality in one place with beautiful packaging to boot and is highly recommended for not only for the fan who has to have everything but also the casual fan.