Kiss – Alive!

One of the things I’ve always admired about Gene Simmons is that he’s straightforward about being in the game for the money. Our pal Chad Kassem at Quality Record Pressings/Acoustic Sounds isn’t always quite so forthright, and I’ll cut him some slack because he wouldn’t know a great rock record if it bit him in the ass. But this is pure blasphemy. Sorry folks, I’ve been there from the beginning, and I have every pressing of Alive! around, and this one is a turd.  A $50 turd. no less, pressed at Kassem’s QRP plant.

Granted, Alive! has never been a sonic masterpiece, but the Japanese CD collection from a few years back does this classic major justice, revealing what little dynamics do exist. There’s also some halfway decent separation between lead guitarist Ace Frehley and rhythm guitar Paul Stanley’s playing, with a bit of soundstaging, to boot.

Pulling out the original Casablanca pressing to do a direct comparison, even the original, which you can usually find (albeit often well-worn) for a few bucks at used record stores, blows this remaster away in every sense of the word.

So to the very small subset of audiophiles that happen to love Kiss: If you want the best, you won’t get it here.  –Jeff Dorgay

Universal, 180g 2LP