' breakthrough 1975 release Alive!
, the band had a total of three studio albums from which to select their in-concert repertoire. By mid-1977, Kiss had released another three studio recordings (Destroyer
, Rock and Roll Over
, and Love Gun
), and with a new Kiss album needed for the holiday season, a second live album, Alive II
, was assembled. Three sides were recorded live in concert at the Los Angeles Forum (with a few tracks recorded in Japan), while the fourth side featured five new studio recordings. Like its predecessor, there's been quite a lot of speculation concerning extensive overdubbing (the proof being that you can often hear several Paul Stanley
voices singing backup simultaneously!), but Alive II
shows that Kiss was still an exciting live band despite all the hype. Adrenaline-charged versions of "Detroit Rock City," "Love Gun
," "Calling Dr. Love," "Shock Me," "God of Thunder," "I Want You," and "Shout It Out Loud" are all highlights. On the fourth side, Ace Frehley only plays on a single song (his self-penned classic "Rocket Ride") for reasons unknown, while session guitarist Bob Kulick
filled in for the AWOL Frehley. Among the studio tracks is the made-for-the-stage anthem "Larger Than Life," which the band surprisingly never performed live.