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Kiss – Cleveland 1974 Unreleased Radio Broadcast (Zodiac 084)

Kiss – Cleveland 1974 Unreleased Radio BroadcastCleveland 1974 Unreleased Radio Broadcast (Zodiac 084)

Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio – April 1, 1974

(31:47) Deuce, Strutter, Cold Gin, She, Firehouse, Nothin’ To Lose, Black Diamond

KISS’ first visit to Cleveland in April 1974 found the up and coming band opening for Rory Gallagher at the 1,200 capacity Agora Theatre. Local radio station WMMS would routinely feature live broadcasts of musical acts from the theatre as part of their “Nights Out At The Agora” series and while the station did broadcast Gallagher’s set, nothing has ever surfaced of KISS performance. According the KISS Alive Forever they did not broadcast KISS, but a recording did exist and eventually did surface a few months back to the masses via a couple torrent sites. The recording is special, it is the earliest known broadcast of a KISS concert and since WMMS had been doing live broadcasts for some time one could expect excellent quality. Well, the quality is excellent, clear and detailed with virtually no hiss. The mix does move around a bit during Deuce sounding like the engineer was feeling the new group out. This release, as with the original torrent has almost all the between song chatter edited out, only between Firehouse and Nothin’ To Lose is there, the audience are very low in the mix. Sadly the drawback of this release is that inexplicably they used an incomplete version of the tape as 100,000 Years is not on this release but was part of the torrent that so widely circulated this recording.

The set is standard for this period, the recording starts with the first notes of Deuce and as stated about the mix does move around a bit but settles down for Strutter. Cold Gin is typically solid, it would have been nice to hear the audience respond to it. Curiously after Firehouse we are treated to some tuning, then Peter asks “You’re all out there aren’t ya? Are you ready to rock?”  and then they start Nothin’ to Lose and Paul says “People…we’re KISS” and they proceed to play a great version of the song. Black Diamond finishes the set, the song has a famous story of Peter’s levitating drum rising getting stuck up and he passed out due to lack of oxygen due to all the song ending pyrotechnics. A curious concert, the fact that most of the chatter was edited out makes it hard to enjoy,  it would have been nice to have some acknowledgement that this is in fact the first Cleveland gig from the onstage banter, after a couple times listening to this concert I am left with a feeling of just average.

The packaging is nice, Zodiac uses photos from the era making for a nice package, there is a sticker and the CD has a picture on it, typical Zodiac. Due to the fact that this release used an incomplete tape, missing 100,00 Years, it is hard to recommend it since the “complete” tape does circulate.

If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

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9 comments

  1. Long live Zodiac. With the future of Godfather Records shaky at best, Zodiac and Tarantura could be the only labels flying the KISS flag from here on.

  2. Now that Zodiac has corrected their error and sent out replacement disc’s with 100,000 years on it, I can whole heartedly recommend this release as the sound, packaging and performance are all top notch, Keep em coming Zodiac !!!

  3. That is correct, the folks at Zodiac are sending replacement discs and back inlays with 100,000 Years. Nice to see the commitment to the collecting community.

  4. Have just read that Zodiac have issued a revised version of this which does include 100,000 Years.

  5. Thanks for the review relayer67, very informative. What a shame this release is incomplete. Maybe Godfather Records will release this one. I’m awaiting Tarantura’s Fresno, August 17, 1977 release. Should be out soon.

  6. Thanks again, Relayer, for another informative review. Another one I shall not buy, as the more complete one may yet surface. Hopefully. With luck. :)

    • And it did surface, and I have bought it, albeit only recently. I really like this one, and it’s interesting to hear songs we know so well from ‘Alive!’, like ‘She’, with different licks from Ace. The editing of the banter between songs does make it a little sterile, and I would be happy to shell out again should the complete recording surface.

      Thanks to Zodiac, for continued dedication to so many of the bands I love. Any label that sends out free replacements – as they did for the initial release of this title – deserves our support.

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