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Alive IV (2-CD Set) Live

3.8 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 22 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B0000A1REJ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51,699 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
8. Black Diamond - Kiss w/The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
9. Great Expectations - Kiss w/The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
10. I Was Made For Lovin' You - Kiss w/The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
See all 11 tracks on this disc

Product Description


In the Kiss universe, more is always, well, more. With this latest installment in the masked rock marauders' live franchise, they have gilded the already overweening lily even more by hiring the 60-piece Melbourne Symphony to accompany them on 10 tracks. Like those who have gone before them--from Deep Purple's coupling with the London Philharmonic Orchestra back in 1970 to Metallica's 1999 pairing with the San Francisco Symphony--Kiss's symphonic partners add a dimension and complexity hitherto absent from their hard-rock ethos. But that's not necessarily a good thing since Kiss are true American primitives, and their anthemic songs work best in their raw, unvarnished state. The addition of the orchestra muddies their trademark sound: at times Paul Stanley's bombastic in-your-face delivery is strangled by an aggressive army of strings, which also tend to totally subsume Gene Simmons's sturdy bass playing. The symphony musicians (who all performed in Kiss makeup) are best appreciated on a lumbering beast of a song like "God of Thunder," where they become an ominous presence adding menacing sound effects and a chilling dynamic as Simmons croaks out the lyrics, or on "Beth," the band's Top 10 ballad, which brandished strings in its original form. For those who aren't enamored of the pairing of black tie and black leather, Kiss has considerately included six unadorned tracks, as well as six never-before-performed-live acoustic versions of classic hits. --Jaan Uhelszki

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By LeBrain HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on Aug. 31 2009
Format: Audio CD
Here I am at the end of my Kiss reviews! My goal was to listen to and review every Kiss album before the release of Sonic Boom, and I have done that. Pat on the back for me. I did every live album and every greatest hits.

Kiss Alive IV - Kiss Symphony is a fantastic album, and is certainly better than Alive IV - The Millenium Concert. You see, back in 2001 Alive IV was announced and then cancelled. I even had a pre-order for it back then, and its picture is included in the Kiss box set. It was eventually released as the Millenium Concert in the Alive Box.

This is better. Way way better.

Some will accuse Kiss of copying Metallica. Well, Metallica copied Deep Purple: See their album Concerto For Group and Orchestra. Red Rider, whom have a Kiss connection, did their own concert with orchestra in the 80's. This is nothing new. Nothing in rock is new anymore.

Ace Frehley's not here. He decided to bow out after Kiss' "farewell" tour and who can blame him? Where you stand on Kiss continuing without him is up to you and I will respect that if you respect my own point of view. Tommy Thayer performs admirably and very Ace-like in his place. Peter Criss is here, keeping time remarkably well with an orchestra behind him. I don't know if he played to a click track or just to conductor David Campbell. I am sure this was a challenge to him and kudos to him for doing so well.

Kiss split the show into three sections: Full on live Kiss, then a section of slow songs with a small string section, and then the full-blown Kiss with the symphony. Great move there, and it allows for more variety on the album.

Highlights for me included "Sure Know Something" which might be better than the original version.
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Format: Audio CD
I've been a lifelong KISS fan. KISS now stinks. Musically they can play etc., but they are the ultimate sellout. Why did I waste my money? I am a KISS addict. I will always be one. My fandom is all based on the "glory days" though. That is, from the beginning through the 80's and select parts of the 90's. The reunion tour was so great and special to the fans. KISS should have gone out on a high note. Instead, they have become a joke. The "imposter" lineups (ie. Eric Singer as Peter and Tommy Thayer as Ace) were the last straw, along with the KISS Koffin. Enough already. That is so tasteless. I blame Gene, but Paul is still part of this circus as well. They were a band with an original look and sound. Now, nothing is original anymore. They can't even give us new costumes. Talk about not giving the fans anything new. I agree with everyone that says the orchestra doesn't fit these songs and it takes something away from the rock feel. It does. Go listen to Yngwie's album that was written for an orchestra (featuring electric guitar). That is good orchestral music combined with a rock element. Paul Stanley is trying so hard to convince the audience during the show this was recorded that this is valid. "Is this cool?" Honestly Paul, no.
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Format: Audio CD
As a truly hardcore KISS fan, I can honestly say that Alive IV was a poor attempt at cashing in on the Australian market that has been almost nonexistant since 1981, and a dissapoinment to fans that have been waiting for this album since it was supposed to be released 3 years ago! Shandi? What excuse is there for putting that song on the album? Simple, because it was a big hit in Australia in 1980. It's strange how badly KISS talked about albums like Dynasty, Unmasked, and THE Elder. All of a sudden, songs that were considered throw-aways 2 years ago are now worthy of releasing as live material.
I want to know what happened to the live tracks that were supposed to be on Alive IV. Why get an orchestra involved with your music if the drummer is sufering from Carpal tunnel syndrome and can barely keep a beat to save his ass. I mean, Peter Criss' version of FOREVER is horrible, and is a disgrace to the late Eric Carr. The vocals are half-ass, and I don't want to hear some guy pretending to be Ace.
I guess this is just the icing on the cake from years of watching my favorite band do whatever it takes to make the allmighty buck. Weather it be merchandise, or too many greatest hits packages to count, to lying to fans.
It may seem like I am bitter, but I assure you that I feel much better everytime I pop in the original Alive, or Alive II, or even Alive III. But this album, is a waste of time and money, and should have never been released.
I am still the biggest fan, but like most other fans, my wallet is getting light from too many half ass products being put out, instead of a few real jewels.
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Format: Audio CD
Most Alive albums from KISS have at least one new song; however, this one has nothing but the old favorites, with a symphonic twist. The two CDs are divided into three acts taking place in Melbourne, Australia, with each act having a more classical flair than the first. This classic rock band now has a truly classic sound!
For the first act, KISS (minus Ace Frehley who is replaced here with Tommy Thayer) plays Deuce, Strutter, Let Me Go Rock and Roll, Lick It Up, Calling Dr. Love, and Psycho Circus. All of these are staples, but they really don't have the typical sound here. The album has not been "retouched" to cover up any vocal flaws as you can hear the years.
In the second act, the Melbourne Symphony Ensemble joins the band for Beth, Forever, Goin' Blind, Sure Know Something, and Shandi. Again, we can hear the years in their voices (especially with Peter Criss singing "Beth"), but the classical accompaniment does add a nice flair.
In the final act, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra joins the band for Detroit Rock City, King of the Night Time World, Do You Love Me, Shout It Out Loud, God of Thunder, Love Gun, Black Diamond, Great Expectations, I Was Made For Lovin' You, and Rock and Roll All Nite. On first listen, I was a little put off by the orchestra. It sounds in the proper place backing up songs from the Destroyer album, but the rest takes getting used to.
The crowd really gets into the performance, which keeps me hooked also. I have been a KISS fan for a long time, so I was compelled to get this collection. I don't think anyone but a true fan would appreciate this.
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