Kiss – The Lost Tapes (The Godfather Box G.R.Box 12)

The Lost Tapes (The Godfather Box G.R.Box 12)

Due To Overwhelming Demand, 1974 – 1982 Klassic KISS Live, 8 discs – 8 full shows & Bonus Tracks – Incl. 16 Page Booklet – 2 Posters…..Yes its here, the follow up to the brilliant KISS KARTON !

Not an easy feat to be able to top the Karton, it set the standard for what a box set is supposed to be. I own six of the Godfather boxes and what separates the KISS sets from the others is the broad overview they give us. While I love the Floyd Wall and Rainbow boxes and the Zep 1972 was incredible they could get repetitive to listen too,  the KISS boxes give us snapshots of the band covering different times in the bands illustrious career and when you have listened and consumed the material you have a better understanding on how the band was able to not only survive but thrive during an amazing long career that found them changing with the times and coming out on top.

The set comes with an excellent booklet that gives a brief summary of the show and state of the band that is beautifully adorned with live shots from the different eras of the band. The two double sided posters are cool and is another classy effort geared to the true KISS fanatics. The audience sources come from the lowest generation tapes available and are a joy to listen to, I found myself staying an individual show for period of a week, so enamored with the power and passion of the music I found within. I feel that Godfather has set the standard with their box sets and for a KISS collector like me who is looking forward to the Monster new record and tour this box set is like the icing on the cake ! As always Godfather believes in value for the money and all discs have over 74 minutes and there are a couple of interesting bonus tracks to boot.

There are a couple of issues you will read about but they did not diminish my love and appreciation for this fabulous box set, There is a hell of a lot to cover, lets get started.

Kalifornia Assassins
Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, Ca. USA May 31, 1975

Disc 1 (76:38) Deuce, Strutter, Got To Choose, Hotter Than Hell, Firehouse, She, Solo Ace Freheley, C’Mon and Love Me, Intro, Rock Bottom, Nothing To Lose, Solo Gene Simmons, 100,000 Years, Solo Peter Criss, 100,000 Years cont., Black Diamond, Cold Gin, Rock And Roll All Nite, Let Me Go, Rock And Roll

The first disc if from Long Beach Arena mid way during the Dressed To Kill tour, it is a piece of KISSTORY as being the first know recording to feature the famous You wanted the best…and you got it, the hottest band in the world…KISS ! The recording is a very good audience source that borders on excellent for its age. All vocals and instruments are mixed well and virtually no audience interference and is a joy to listen to.

This concert has had a previous silver release, Hotter Than Alive (Bondage 215/216) where it is listed as an audience source however on the excellent KISS.bootlegged site it is listed as a soundboard source that was broadcast on local FM KNAC. I do not own the title and have no way of comparing this version to that version, hopefully a collector will chime in on this.

The band has been touring relentlessly for over a year and has honed the songs to a tight perfection and the set list is pretty much the one that would be immortalized on the ALIVE ! record. The opening salvo of Deuce and Strutter is devastating, the band is on from the first song as evident during Deuce when Ace tears into the solo and Gene screams to great effect. A great Got To Choose is played, fantastic harmonies on this song and very effective as a live song. Paul introduces “Hot and Heavy called She” and he could have not been more correct, Ace plays brutally and wrings the notes out with the leads he plays just before the vocals start and

is great to hear how tight the band is. During the songs guitar solo section while is playing the rest of the band play the riff without skipping a beat making the song so heavy.  Another rarity for live tapes from this era is a live version of Rock Bottom, the intro is taped and the band turn in a great version of the song. Thankfully there are live versions in circulation of some of the songs from DTK that were not played often.

100,000 Years seals the deal, its nice and slow and Ace’s leads are perfect and give the song is epic feel.

The intro to Black Diamond sounds like it is in isolation before the familiar chords and Paul’s vocals bring the audience to their feet.

You can feel the energy and hear why KISS was, by this stage, a headline act. There is a determined focus to the band and they simply would not be denied and many big named bands did not want them opening for them.

Eternal Devastation
Jai-Alai Fronton Miami, Fl. USA March 21, 1976

Disc 2 (77:04) Intro, Deuce, Strutter, C’Mon And Love Me, Hotter Than Hell, Firehouse, She, Solo Ace Frehley, Parasite, Nothing To Lose, Shout It Out Loud, Solo Gene Simmons, 100,000 Years, Solo Peter Criss 100,000 Years cont., Black Diamond, Cold Gin, Rock And Roll All Nite, Let Me Go, Rock And Roll

Fast forward less than a year and we find KISS touring in support of the new certified platinum selling live opus ALIVE !. The set list is similar to the album with the notable addition of Shout It Out Loud from the forthcoming Destroyer record that would be released later in the year. The band also utilized the Dressed To Kill stage set up and costumes.

The audience recording for this disc is a very good audience recording that perfectly captures the music and ambiance of the concert, it is very well balanced with no real audience interference near the taper. This same recording has seen a silver release as disc two of  Hotter Than Alive (Bondage 215/216), again I do not own that title and cannot comment on the differences, if any, of the sound quality but can say that this recording sounds great loud.

The band hits the stage and you can feel the sheer power of the band as they blast through Deuce and it rolls over the audience like a tidal wave. They play C’mon and Love Me very early in the set and it works perfectly along with the Deuce and Strutter, the band during this stage is very tight after touring relentlessly for the past two years. She is played at a faster tempo than the 1975 show and showcases the instrumental prowess of there band as Ace blistering solo then locks back in with the group for the stop and go riff style end of the song, Criss’ drumming should also be noted, he is in great form also. Ace’s solo spot of short and fast and garners a great ovation from the crowd as Paul shouts “Ace Frehley , Lead Guitar”. They is no time to rest as the band goes right into Parasite. The song is a great representation of the band playing in a tight but loose fashion, it is high energy from start to finish and linked non stop with the always classic Simmons ode to the joys of anal sex, Nothing to Lose.

The recording of the Destroyer record was begun the previous September and the band where playing a couple tracks that were more or less completed by this point, Flaming Youth and Shout It Out Loud.

The latter was most commonly played during this later stage of the tour, Paul introduces it as “something new called …Shout It Out Loud”. The song for the most part is very similar to the one found on the Destroyer record, all music, lyrics, and harmonies are in place even Paul and Gene trading verses.

Again Peter Criss shines during 100,000 Years, his time keeping and fills a spot on, you can clearly hear his hi hat cymbal, his drum solo elicits many shouts and cheers from the audience.

Paul’s guitar sounds, haunting during a fantastic Black Diamond that closes the main set, the song has the crowd of 5,000 strong on its feet. They are in a party mood and respond to Paul’s Cold Gin intro as he goes through various intoxicants and from the sounds the correct answer is all of the above. The party mood continues as  the band finishes with Rock And Roll All Nite and Le Me Go, Rock And Roll, all in all a very satisfying and well played concert.

Some Lights, Some Magic
Civic Center Springfield, Mass USA January 27, 1978

Disc 3 (79:26) I Stole Your Love, King Of The Night Time World, Ladies Room, Paul Stanley Rap, Firehouse, Love Gun, Let Me Go, Rock And Roll, Makin’ Love, Christine Sixteen, Shock Me, Solo Ace Frehely, I Want You, Calling Dr. Love, Shout It Out Loud, Solo Gene Simmons, God Of Thunder, Solo Peter Criss, God Of Thunder cont., Rock And Roll All Nite, Detroit Rock City, Beth, Audience, Black Diamond

The tour in support of ALIVE II ! was pretty much a continuation of the Love Gun tour with a few songs swapped out, while there were at least a dozen of the concerts recorded in some form the tour has received virtually no attention from the bootleggers until very recently (thankfully for us) with Tarantura’s brilliant run of Japanese releases documenting the final dates of the tour.

The American tour ran from November 77 to March 78 and while a dozen or so shows were recording this is the first boot from the tour. The audience recording is very good, slightly distant with just a slight amount of hiss at times. It is well balanced and captures the energy of the event and, at times, you can hear the crowd around the taper but it does not interfere with the music just adds to the chaotic nature of the 10,000 plus capacity crowd.

While the previous two concerts had the band aggressively climbing the ladder to success this concert showcases the band at the height of their American success, playing to large capacity crowds and also a group on touring autopilot after four solid years of album releases and live performances.

Paul shouts out to the crowd pre intro “Let me see some lights…let me see some action !”, hence the title of the cd. The band hits the stage with a lot of energy with I Stole Your Love and King Of The Night Time World, Peter’s drumming is spot on during the latter, his marching style drum patterns highlight the song well. Paul’s intro to Ladies Room must have been appealing, the ladies on the audience shout in anticipation. I prefer the live versions of the song to the recorded version, much more energy and has a good and loose feel.

Paul greets the Springfield audience and tells them they will burn the place down and the audience wholeheartedly responds and the rap is a prelude to a well played and received Firehouse. There are no real downers in the set, the band plows away song after song and has the audience in the palm of their hands.

Ace is the first to take a solo, after Shock Me he rips into a flurry of notes at high speed before settling into a fluent and well played spot. The other solo spots occur in a heavy and evil sounding God Of Thunder, Gene’s solo is the usual bass notes to hurl blood too but it is Peter who shines. He solo is well paced and goes through a multitude of rhythms and he utilizes his large drum set well, it is popular with the crowd also and the shout and cheer throughout. The band wring the hell out of the ending of Rock And Roll All Nite to end the main set and there is an issue beginning at 3:22 of the song and goes sporadically until the track changes to Detroit Rock City,  It is what sounds like a tracking or ticking sound like it will start skipping but doesn’t get that far. The crowd is quiet and respectful for Beth but scream “One More” over and over…the end comes as it should with a stirring version of Black Diamond. Paul plays the metallic intro and Ace is just tearing into the solo in, as the title states, a magical fashion.

Gods Of Thunder, Lords Of Light
Montreal Forum Montreal, QC. Canada August 6, 1979

Disc 4 (79:18) Intro, King Of The Night Time World, Let Me Go, Rock And Roll, Move On, Calling Dr. Love, Firehouse, New York Groove, I Was Made For Loving You, Christine Sixteen, 2000 Man, Solo Ace Frehley, Love Gun, Solo Gene Simmons, God Of Thunder, Solo Peter Criss > God Of Thunder cont., Shout It Out Loud, Black Diamond, Detroit Rock City, Beth, Rock And Roll All Nite

At the end of the Alive II ! tour the band took a much needed break from touring. They made the Meets The Phantom movie, released a greatest hits package (Double Platinum) and each member released a solo album. Still, all was not well within the band, substance issues where creating a huge void between the band and drummer Peter Criss. When the band reconvened to record their next album, Dynasty, the drummer was not involved and session drummer Anton Fig handled the percussion duties. Criss was back on hand for the tour, billed as The Return Of KISS, but ultimately the tour would be his last with the band until the 1995 reunion. The tour itself saw KISS still playing to large crowds but the mass of merchandising and over exposure was starting to alienate the core audience and KISSmania was on the downswing.

Again the bootleggers did not take advantage of the tour and very little was out there for collectors, the tour rehearsals from Lakeland Florida can be found on The Greatest Show On Earth (The Godfatherecords G.R.497) and a couple of releases with the Fresno, Ca. November 27, 1979 show but have been out of print for many years so we have this much welcomed show for our enjoyment.

The audience recording is very good audience source that favors the upper frequencies, slightly distant with no crowd noise near the recorder but has a nice balance of music to cheering ratio with an over all great vibe translate well. The is also a small bit of distortion on the upper frequencies that did not at all hinder my listening experience. The band is captured mid tour so the rust has been shaken off and the rot had not yet set in and the band is in great form and put in a tight and professional performance.

The sound is off balanced for the first minute or so but soon settles down and is consistent for the rest of the show, the crowd is behind the band from the first notes of King Of The Night Time World, they cheer and clap in time with the band. Early on in the tour there was supposed to be a song from each of the members solo records, by this point only Paul and Ace’s records were represented. Move On from Paul’s record benefits from the looseness of the concert stage, its straight ahead style compliments the band and is a great version and Ace rips in with some killer leads. Speaking of the Spaceman his solo record is represented by New York Groove, the success of the record was a great ego boost for Ace and helped him come out of his shell even more and shine as a musician and songwriter, the song is a classic.

Paul has a crazy rap about walking in a hotel and a girl grabs him….you know the rest and it leads into I Was Made For Loving You. Again the song benefits from the concert stage, it has much more of a straight forward rock feel to it. One of Ace’s contributions to the Dynasty record was to cover the Rolling Stones 2000 Man, he gave the track a nice raw feel to it and the space style lyrics fit his persona. The song also is the new vehicle for his guitar solo, he has revamped it to feature some new elements including a little Close Encounters theme that sends him to the outer limits.

Paul acknowledges some crazy people in the audience and tell the rest of the audience they can do the same and introduces Love Gun without his usual graphic story ! Love Gun is, as always, great live and one of Paul’s best contributions to KISS, Ace nails the solo to great effect. I was reading through the KISS Alive Forever book as research for this set and was reading how someone compared Gene’s solo to elephant farts, funny as it was it is an accurate summary but the blood spitting must be done as a tribute to the God Of Thunder. Nice and evil and heavy, I never tire of live versions, this one is no different. Peter Criss’ drum solo is sadly not much more than a couple minutes of drum rolls, gone is the inventive use of his full kit that would always have the crowd on its feet. Paul’s intro to Black Diamond has the audience in delirium, they simply go crazy as just before he sings the opening lines, they cheer and shout and someone goes crazy with an air horn to great effect as the audience really pushes the band to the limits. Paul thanks the Montreal crowd before talking about a city in Michigan and they go crazy for Detroit Rock City, the opening riff bowls them over with intermediate explosions, Gene’s “Get Up……Get Down” seem to punctuate the song. The audience is in heat by this point and chant “We Want Kiss” over and over as the opening strains of Beth goes over the PA. Peter’s voice does not sound strong and is as if he is weeping and that he knows he time it the band is coming to a close. The audience gives him a huge ovation and he finishes with “Canada..I love You !”. Paul does a little more speaking in French to the delight of the audience and the break into Rock And Roll All Nite to finish the show.

Viking Blood
Scandinavium Gothenburg, Sweden October 10, 1980

Disc 5 (77:08) Intro / Detroit Rock City, Cold Gin, Strutter, Calling Dr. Love, Firehouse, Talk To Me, Is That You?, 2000 Man / Solo Ace Frehely, I Was Made For Loving You, New York Groove, Love Gun, Solo Gene Simmons, God Of Thunder, Rock And Roll All Nite, Shout It Out Loud, King Of The Night Time World, Black Diamond

Even though Dynasty was a successful record and tour the band had to contend with Peter Criss Departure and the realization that fan interest in the USA was at an all time low. They forged on and released Unmasked and although Peter was featured on the cover he did not play on the record but was featured in the video for Shandi, his last effort with the group. They held auditions and found one Paul Caravello, a New York based drummer who more than fit the bill and with makeup and the Fox persona he became Eric Carr.

The band played one American gig before heading out for a European and Australian tour.

The recording used for Viking blood is a very good audience source that has a nice fat sound with very little crowd interference. It finds the band towards the end of the European tour so the group is in great shape and very tight with Carr’s addition giving a much needed kick in the butt, the band would need it as the opening band for much of the tour was the then up and coming Iron Maiden.

Interestingly the band performed a set list filled with either the relatively new or pre 1977 classics, Detroit  Rock City always gets a crowd on its feet and this one is no different. You can hear some punters singing along when Paul and Ace play the harmony lead section, the band do not skip a beat and go right into Cold Gin and Strutter, the latter having not been in regular rotation since 1976.

There is little time for talk, Paul makes few word, the band is there to rock. Talk To Me is on of two new songs and one of three songs Ace would take lead vocals on. Like the Dynasty material,  the Unmasked songs benefit from the straight forward rock and roll approach in the live setting. Is That You ? is the heavier of the new songs, live the main riff is has a much heavier feel and the chorus has a harder end, make you think that with the right producer Unmasked could have been a much better record.

Ace rips into the 2000 Man riff with a nasty guitar sound, I like how the first verse is done with just guitar and drums and the second the full band kicks in, it makes it much more heavier. Ace’s use of effects makes for an interesting guitar solo, it has an out worldly feel to it, the crowd cheers their approval as he fires shots from his guitar. Paul goes a little X rated in his introduction to I Was Made For Loving You with much applause from the audience. The song has a much heavier feel than the 1979 versions, the guitar chain saw style riff gives it a more metal edge and an overall more satisfying feel. The audience chants loudly for the band and they are crushed by Gene’s bass solo, it is very heavy in this recording and sounds like a lumbering monster come to life, it is not enough for the audience and they continue to scream and shout and it sounds like there could have been an equipment issue as you can hear Gene in the distance shouting “Oh YEAH” and the audience follows and soon a giving their approval as Gene ascends to the upper stage for God Of Thunder. The song also gives us a chance to enjoy a Eric Carr drum solo, he starts off a little slow but soon quickens the pace and has the crowd cheering with him, his playing is different from the old school swing style of Peter Criss as Carr is much more of a hard hitting rock drummer.

The encores are found on the sixth disc and are interesting, they return to the droning notes from Ace that leading into a super fast version of King Of The Night Time World. The song is always great live and it works as an opener all the way to an encore ! Eric Carr nails the drumming to a T and the set finishes the way it should, with a great Black Diamond. The intro has the audience stomping in unison as Paul goes through the prelude to the intro until the audience is on the brink of exploding and Eric Carr makes his singing debut with the band handling the lead vocals.

At Midnight
Civic Center Providence, RI, USA August 8, 1975

Disc 6 (73:38) Deuce, Strutter, Hotter Than Hell, Fire House, She, C’Mon And Love Me, Solo Gene Simmons, 100,000 Years, Solo Peter Criss / 100,000 Years cont., Black Diamond, Cold Gin, Rock And Roll All Nite

Flash back five years and KISS was in the final stages of being an opening band, on this night Black Sabbath was the headliners. They had just finishes work on the Alive ! record and were on the final dates of the Dressed To Kill tour. The set list had been pretty much standard and as an opening act were dangerous.

The concert was recorded by Dan Lampinski who’s vault of  audience recordings began to appear on various torrent sites a couple years back, the Sabbath set is also in circulation and is worth seeking out.

Superb three dimensional audience recording recorded close to the stage with minimal audience interference with the band in phenomenal form. I downloaded this and the Sabbath set when it first appeared and it deserves a silver release and is a perfect representation of the band at this point.

Dan Lampinski recorded over 100 concerts in the Providence/Boston area, mostly between 1974 and 1978. His earliest recordings were made with an internal microphone deck, and though they are somewhat lo-fi compared to his later work, some very great moments in rock history were captured for posterity. In late 1974 he bought a Sony TC-152SD tape recorder, a Sony ECM-99 stereo microphone, and began using Maxell cassettes. He was also fortunate enough to have a friend who provided excellent taping seats for many shows, resulting in high quality recordings. In 1977, he switched over to a Nakamichi 550 tape recorder, two Nakamichi CM-300 microphones, and continued using Maxell cassettes.

The band storms the stage with the classic opening of Deuce and Strutter to get things rolling. Paul acknowledges the audience as this is the bands first appearance in Providence and they slow the set down with something slow and heavy with She. I love the middle section where it starts of with Bass and Drums then the guitars break into the riff and Ace plays a great solo and leads them into the fast pace section….so heavy ! The song is also a solo spot for Ace and he sets the place ablaze..afterward Paul states “Ace Frehely….Smokin !”

100,000 Years, is another set highlight, Gene begins to spit blood and some people close to Dan say “Grosse” upon the sight of fresh blood, not for the weak hearted. I would imagine that some of the crowd were not prepared for what they were seeing. If there was one KISS song to be label epic this one is it, its inherent in the riff and the way Ace plays the leads over it is just so great. Vintage Peter Criss, that is all need be spoken about his solo. Well not all. He kills it from the first beat, he is in his prime as a player and it shows and the crowd in return show their appreciation.

Paul does a great rap and has the audience completely on his side, it leads into the drinking rap that always garners hoots and hollers. The band know what’s next and Paul gets them to scream it “COLD GIN”. and the party atmosphere is in full swing, it is a crowd favorite and by the time the song is over, the crowd isn’t’, they demand more and they band finish with their philosophy, Rock And Roll All Nite. The recording keeps going after the band finishes with comments being picked up like “I didn’t like them till the end”, It is a brilliant end to a great show that has the band winning over some of the crowd on their way to world domination.

Howling In The Shadows
Metro Center Rockford, Il.USA December 31, 1982

Disc 7 (77:27) Intro, Creatures Of The Night, Strutter, Calling Dr Love, Firehouse, I Love It Loud, Cold Gin, War Machine, I Want You, Solo Vinnie Vincent, Rock And Roll Hell, Shout It Out Loud, I Still Love You, Solo Gene Simmons, God Of Thunder, Solo Eric Carr / God Of Thunder cont., Love Gun, Solo Paul Stanley, Black Diamond, Rock And Roll All Nite, Detroit Rock City.

After the fiasco that was The Elder and the departure of Ace the band rebounded with one of the heaviest records they would release. It started with a European greatest hits packaged called Killers that features four new songs. The band had been writing with a guitar player named Vincent Cusano and the union would culminate with the Creatures Of The Night record and Cusano morphing into Vinnie Vincent as the Egyptian Wizard. The band went on what was labeled as the 10th Anniversary tour and while the music served to revitalized the band the attendance was sparse and the band played to half full venues. Any band may have called it a day but the band forged through with a high energy show and while they did not convert allot of new fans they showed their existing fan base that the band was back on track and here to stay.

This is not our first taste of this tour, back in 2011 we had the great If Its Too Loud Your Too Old (The Godfatherecords G.R. 631/632) that featured the full Montreal Canada show from January 13, 1983 and also included three songs from the Rockford show as bonus tracks and now we are treated to the full show.

The quality is the same, a very good slightly distant audience source that is well balanced and has a very lively crowd that do not really interfere but add the crazy New Years atmosphere.

I compared this version to the bonus tracks and they are very similar, there is a strange back ground noise I cannot put my finger on, I am not sure if  it is mastering or from the source tapes but the performance is so good that you are forced to listen but unfortunately at times it can be distracting.  I love the 82-83 period, Vinnie was given cart blanche to interpret the songs and solos and made them something interesting, also the band did use a slightly faster tempo on some of the songs to give them a contemporary feel and sound.

The set list is strong, the band hit the stage with Creatures of the Night, a very strong opener and gets the blood pumping and goes right into the classic Strutter with a good one two punch, the latter stayed in the set for the majority of the show but would move father down in the encores, the band play a strong and confident version of the song. Paul questions the crowd about their parents and preachers opinion of the band, the expletives used they do not. KISS was still being hound by the religious right as being on side with the devil and of course the cure is Dr. Love, the crowd is full of KISS connoisseurs and as Paul is do his “getting hot” rap a couple guys are shouting “Hotter Than Hell !”, they are promptly rewarded with Firehouse and the same guys give their opinion of what liqueur is acceptable..hilarious stuff.

Probably my favorite song off Creature is War Machine, who would have guess it was co written by Bryan Adams. Heavy as hell and a great song for Gene, the audience agrees as there is some chick screaming he head of in approval. Vinnie’s solo comes after another song dusted of for the tour, I Want You, he starts with what sounds like a space craft flying and then proceeds to shred and use some Hendrix styled notes before using a bow ala Jimmy Page to great effect, a great solo. The version of Rock And Roll Hell is great, there are only very few live versions in circulation.

Vinnie plays the riff of God Of Thunder mean as hell, coupled with Gene’s vocal effects it makes for an interesting and truly evil version of the song, the tank tracks start up and we are led into a great, and unfortunately short, Eric Carr solo and all of this leads to New Years Eve, Paul tells the audience to do a lot of parting and procreating to celebrate, classic.

The encores are found on the eighth disc, it starts with Paul giving the Rockford crowd allot of love and then proceeds to play a solo. He is not only an underrated rhythm player but he gives the crowd something to remember and they eat it up but it is just a prelude to Black Diamond, again I dig Eric Carr’s vocals. He put a lot of energy an passion into the bands signature tune. I must also throw prompts to Vinnie for the great leads throughout the song, he manages to capture the songs spirit with his own interpretation, good stuff.

A great show.

Thunder Rock
Morris Civic Auditorium South Bend, In. USA August 4, 1974

Disc 8 (75:06) Deuce, Nothing To Lose, She, Solo Ace Frehley, Firehouse, Strutter, Solo Gene Simmons / 100,000 Years, Black Diamond, Let Me Go, Rock And Roll. Richfield Coliseum Cleveland, Oh. USA July 18, 1979; Makin Love. Adelaide Oval, Adelaide Australia November 18, 1980; Shandi.

The South Bend show is a very good audience recording, it is clear and well balanced and has a powerful sound to it, and of course sounds better when played at loud volumes. The band is on tour in support of their first record and opening for Blue Oyster Cult.

The band use the old intro, “Are You Ready To Rock…Are You Ready To Roll, Put your two lips together and KISS ! ” The band hits the stage and you are instantly noticing the slower tempo of the music, very similar in fashion to the first record, The band has not yet honed them to perfection, they would with the relentless schedule they would eventually maintain for the next four years. The audience is still apprehensive about them and Paul re introduces the band and tells the people to come on down. Nothing To Lose has some great vocals by Peter, he could really hit some high but raspy vocals. The harmonizing by groups such as the Beatles and the Beach Boys obviously had a huge impact of the all four of the original remembers.

She has an interesting start, song one scraps notes off with a very metallic sound and they wind into the song, it slumbers to life like a massive dinosaur in slow motion. Ace plays leads after the verses, they certainly have not perfected it but it in the stage between the old Wicked Lester version and the immortal version played over the next couple years and at times you swear it was Black Sabbath ! The song is, of course, a vehicle for Ace to take the spotlight, although as an opening act it is short and sweet. But alas, the audience has woken, the band has worked their magic and by the time Firehouse is started they are clapping along. The tempo picks up with 100,000 Years although early on there is a microphone issue but they proceed instrumentally making for an interesting and unique version, Ace seems to accentuate his leads a little more. I am not sure but from what it sounds like as Paul starts his Do you believe in rock and roll rap his microphone is not working and he using Gene’s (?) no matter by audience it totally into it by this time, the are clapping their hands off and the band deliver in spades. After a magical Black Diamond the crowd clap and cheer the band back for a quick encore of Let Me go, rock and Roll, its raucous boogie bowls the audience (and me) over. This recording is a true gem and a must hear for all KISS fans.

There are couple bonus songs, the first is Makin Love from the Dynasty tour a rarity as this is the only time it was played. The recording is poor to fair but discernible and enjoyable to listen to, Paul’s vocals come through clearly but the music is more muffled, like listening to music through a long tube.

Shandi from the Australian tour is fair to good but layer in a haze of hiss, to remove it any more would have ruined it. The song was a surprise hit down under, a cool listen but for me forgettable.

There you have it, this box has consumed the past month, my wife cringes when I crank it up but that is where the for better (another KISS box for me) and for worse (for her, she has to listen non stop). A huge project once again done in a caring fashion, obviously there are some huge KISS fans at Godfathers who are doing not only themselves, but also the KISS Army, Justice.

Don…..if your listening, guess what I want for Christmas ?

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  1. If you missed out on this sold out box set. It’s still for sale here:

    They also still have a last copy of the Karton Boxset aswell as many other great KISS items!!

  2. well said relayer67!!

  3. Please read my review carefully, I did not slam the Floyd or Zep box sets at all and was not my intention to do so.
    I have no desire or need to justify my opinion in this forum, I spend a lot of my own time and money for the enjoyment of sharing my passion of listening to live music with others and hope most people interpreted the same. To accuse me of anything else is an insult, feel free to look over the box set reviews in question, more than likely if you take the time you can read my comments on them.

  4. Excellent review as always relayer67. There is so much music here that it can be overwhelming, Right now enjoying the Lampinski tape and boy does this sound great. Gene’s bass is really prominent in the mix and when turned up to loud volume you can feel it in your bones. Great music, gorgeous packaging, a must have.

  5. No need to diss the Floyd “Rainbow” and “Wall” and Zep boxes, simply to attempt to justify your own opinions. Each one had their specific themes, and either you like the themes or not. “Repetitive” is not a respectful term for anyone to use regarding Floyd or Zep. You either like them or don’t — but it’s not helpful to slam them simply because you’re a fan of the make-up bands. GF did a box set for Floyd which covers multiple eras: Did you buy it? That set certainly meets your requirements, and the packaging/contents certainly were top-notch.

    I’m sure that GF will do more multi-era box sets from other bands, but this specific box set is NOT the first one they did which fits your requirements for not staying on one era.

  6. I must also give a big shout out to and KISS Alive Forever (the book), as an incredible amount of research was with both for all my KISS reviews and both deserve attention and my gratitude.


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