Kiss is an American Hard rock band formed in New York City in December 1972. Easily identified by its members' trademark face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid and late-1970s on the basis of their elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood spitting, smoking guitars, and pyrotechnics. Kiss has been awarded 24 gold albums to date. The band has sold over 19 million records in the United States and their worldwide sales exceed 80 million albums.
The original lineup of Paul Stanley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Gene Simmons (vocals and bass guitar), Ace Frehley (lead guitar and vocals), and Peter Criss (drums, percussion and vocals) is the most successful and identifiable. With their makeup and costumes, they took on the personae of comic book-style characters: The Demon (Simmons), Starchild (Stanley), Spaceman (Frehley), and Catman (Criss). The band explains that the fans were the ones who ultimately chose their makeup designs. The "Demon" makeup reflected Simmons' cynicism and dark elements, as well as his love for comic books. Paul Stanley became the "Starchild" due to his tendency to be referred to as the "starry-eyed lover" and "hopeless romantic." Ace Frehley's "Spaceman" makeup was a reflection of him wanting to go for a ride in a space ship and supposedly being from another planet. Peter Criss' "Catman" makeup was in accordance with the belief that Criss had nine lives due to his rough childhood in Brooklyn. Due to creative differences, both Criss and Frehley were out of the group by 1982. The band's commercial fortunes had also waned considerably by that point.
During KISS 4 shows at Tokyo's Budokan in April of 1977, Eddie Kramer was commissioned to record an official live album. Perhaps it was to be a Japan only release, or it was the scrapped first attempt at KISS Alive II. Regardless, it was never released, and in the mid 1990's, the final mix of this 2 sided live album was leaked into fan circles. Thousands of fans regard this as the REAL Alive II, as the guitar tones and mix were much heaver than what ended up on the finished and final release, which was recorded mostly at the Los Angeles Forum during the band's Love Gun tour. An interesting note is that 2 songs from this recording were re-used for Alive II (I Want You and Beth) - both of which featured re-dubbed vocals on the final release in contrast to this version.
Meanwhile, while Eddie Kramer was recording the shows, NHK TV in Japan filmed the 2 concerts played on April 2, 1977. One of which, the evening show, was used as The Young Music Show in Japan and a KISS Live Concert on HBO in America. Scenes from the afternoon show were dubbed in. The final untouched version of the complete concert was released on Kissology Vol. 1. A version of Let Me Go, Rock And Roll, from the afternoon performance, appears on the Kiss: Konfidential home video.
Interestingly, the audio Eddie Kramer chose to use for his final mix focused primarily on the evening performance from April 2, 1977 as well, including Ace's guitar solo, Take Me, God of Thunder, Rock and Roll All Nite, Do You Love Me?, I Want You, Beth, and Shout it Out Loud. Yes, the version of I Want You and Beth on the video are the same versions that appear on the official Kiss Alive II album, though the vocals were overdubbed.
For this reason, a sync of Eddie Kramer's audio track to the April 2, 1977 video makes sense. Not only do we have an amazing stereo mix made by Eddie Kramer, but we have amazing film footage from most of the same show. To make it feel more authentic, I've changed the frame rate to 24p to give it that "film" feeling, and letterboxed the video.
This should serve as a great document for fans who want to crank some classic KISS from one of their most legendary 1970s tours on a home theatre system.
Some audio defects are present on the original of I Want You, and some minor spots in Makin Love and Shout it out Loud. These are on the currently circulating master tape, and could not be avoided in the final master of this DVD.
The order of tracks from the original audio was changed to keep continuity with the video set list order.
Detroit Rock City
I Want You
Do You Love Me?
God of Thunder
Rock and Roll All Nite
Shout it Out Loud