Kiss – ‘Off the Soundboard: Live in Virginia Beach July 25, 2004’ – Album Review (The Kiss Review Series)

Kiss has finally realized they can make money on live Bootleg type albums just like everyone else has been doing out in the will. They are finally releasing their own Bootleg Series called “Off the Soundboard”. First up for them was the show from Tokyo 2001 which had Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Eric Singer. This time around they are going with the line-up of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. The show is Virginia Beach from July 25, 2004. This tour was the Rock the Nation Tour and one I didn’t see.

When I saw this was being released, I was excited at first as there were a handful of songs that haven’t been on all the tours so it is always great to get live versions when you can. The ones I was excited about were “Unholy”, “King of the Night Time World”, “Got to Choose” and “I Want You”. Their previous release was absolutely perfect. This one turns out, not so much…at least to me. They did maintain the same bootleg feel to the packaging as it is real simple cardboard box feel with stamped looking markings like the bootlegs of old. I do love the simplicity (even if it is a little flimsy).

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Kiss – ‘Monster Tour – Simpsonville 2013’ – Blu-Ray Review (Bootleg Series)

I was out a Record Show and I found a table that had a lot of Kiss memorabilia but nothing much I really wanted as I generally stick to the music. I did find something I didn’t realize existed and that was Kiss Blu-Ray Bootlegs. This guy was selling a lot of them. I came back to the table and looked again and decided, you know, I want to try it out. When he then offered that I could get two for $15, I jumped at the chance. $15 was worth the risk. So I grabbed one from the End of the Road tour and one from the MonsterTour as I saw at least the End of the Road Tour, just not that show.

So, first up we was the End of the Road Tour and it was filmed at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA on February 4th, 2020 just a month before COVID shut the whole touring scene down. Kiss was a full year in to the tour at this point and in fine form. Check out that review. This Bootleg is from the Monster Tour from the show on August 13, 2013 at the Charter Amphitheatre at Heritage Park in Simpsonville, SC.

I have to say the video quality is much better than I expected and even better than the other bootleg that I had. There wasn’t as much washout from the lights and the angles were even better. The shots from the front of the stage were perfectly clear and killer. The explosions were so freaking loud it was like you were there. The vocals on a couple songs were a little low at times, but overall everything was crystal clear. The problems with the show were not from the video. But for $7.50 a piece, pretty darn acceptable.

Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Monster Tour – Simpsonville 2013’ – Blu-Ray Review (Bootleg Series)”

Kiss – ‘End of the Road: In Allentown 2020’ – Blu-Ray Review (Bootleg Series)

I was out a Record Show and I found a table that had a lot of Kiss memorabilia but nothing much I really wanted as I generally stick to the music. I did find something I didn’t realize existed and that was Kiss Blu-Ray Bootlegs. This guy was selling a lot of them. I came back to the table and looked again and decided, you know, I want to try it out. When he then offered that I could get two for $15, I jumped at the chance. $15 was worth the risk. So I grabbed one from the End of the Road tour and one from the 40th Anniversary Tour as I saw both those tours, just not these shows.

So, first up we are going to go the most recent which is the End of the Road Tour and this show was filmed at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA on February 4th, 2020 just a month before COVID shut the whole touring scene down. Kiss was a full year in to the tour at this point and in fine form.

I have to say the video quality is much better than I expected. It is supposed to be a Pro-Shot video and although some of the camera angles sucked at times as they got washed out with the colors in the lights, overall it was pretty cool. The shots from the front of the stage were perfectly clear and killer you still got some shots that were muted by the lights some blurriness as the cameras couldn’t focus fast enough. But for $7.50 a piece, pretty darn acceptable.

Continue reading “Kiss – ‘End of the Road: In Allentown 2020’ – Blu-Ray Review (Bootleg Series)”

Kiss – ‘Black Diamond: Lafayette Music Room, Memphis, TN April 18th, 1974 – FM Broadcast’ – Album Review (The Bootleg Series)

In my quest to get as many Kiss Bootleg’s I can, I found this one in a local record store, new and sealed. And cheap. This is actually an easy one to get if you are collecting Kiss Bootlegs. I think I paid $25 for it. There is nothing really special about this one, no inserts, no picture sleeves and no surprised in the package like I have received in a lot of my bootlegs. This one is rather generic. For historical reasons though, it is pretty cool. The recording is an FM Broadcast from April 18, 1974 in Memphis, TN at the Lafayette Music Room and is one of the earliest recordings of the band.

Soundwise…well…let’s just say there is sound. This is a recording off a radio broadcast on to a tape. That tape was then copied, which was then copied, which was then copied, which was then copied and keep going for another dozen copies. There is a massive tape drag at several points during the show which slows the song down and it is quite noticeable. That proves that the source material was from an old tape that had been copied many times. Yes, the sound sucks at times and might be on the low end of some of my bootlegs, but I am still okay with it and because I collect them I will buy regardless.

Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Black Diamond: Lafayette Music Room, Memphis, TN April 18th, 1974 – FM Broadcast’ – Album Review (The Bootleg Series)”

Van Halen – ‘Women and Children First Sessions’ (Bootleg) – Album Review

I was out for Record Store Day in September and while waiting in line to buy my RSD purchases, this was sitting at the top of the shelf staring at me. I swear I heard it calling my name…”John, buy me!”. I stopped, looked around, no one else in the store heard it, but it said it, I know it did!! Now who was I to argue. I grabbed it, give it a quick once over and when I saw that it was a bootleg of demos from the Van Halen album “Women and Children First”, SOLD!! I mean look at the cover. They took the original album cover and made it way cooler. And to match the cover, the vinyl is even red to go with the stripes. Sweet!

I took it home and couldn’t wait to hear it. Now, I just bought several record store day items and I was way more excited about this album then the RSD purchases. And after listening to it, I am still more excited. Being a bootleg, I was worried about the sound quality of the demos and let me tell you, it was fantastic. These demos have been floating around for awhile and they are normally very muddied down and a little rough. These have been cleaned up nicely. The sound is crisp and clear and though they do sound like demos, they are also pretty damn cool.

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Bon Jovi – ‘The Rock History’ (Bootleg) – Album Review

I love finding things I hadn’t seen before and 9 times out of 10 it is a bootleg and this one is no different. I really like to buy vinyl bootlegs the best, but I will grab a CD one when the price is right and I am in the mood and both those factors were in place for this find. The Bon Jovi bootleg, called ‘The Rock History’, is a 4 CD set and the price was only $9.99 and since it was used and the place had a special of buy 2 used get 1 for a $1, my daughter and I got to work. Plus, I get 10% off all purchases on top of anything else since I am a frequent customer. All in All, it probably ended up costing around $7.

As you can see, there are a lot of songs on here and though some repeats, there really isn’t that many duplications. I can’t find out much about this set on line, but I was able to determine a couple things. CD 1 and the first two songs on CD 2 are from a radio broadcast of a show Bon Jovi did at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan on December 31, 1988. The rest of CD 2 and all of CD 3 is from another Japanese show and radio broadcast from the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan on January 3, 1991. The final disc, CD 4, is a mixture of a couple interviews and various live performances that I don’t know where they are from.

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Kiss – ‘They Only Come Out At Night’ (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

In my quest for collecting Kiss Bootlegs for eery tour they have done, I found another fantastic addition to the collection.  My local record shop, Hardy Boy Records, has been a goldmine of late for Bootlegs. I have now bought four over the last few months and all for tours I didn’t have (or a collection of Wicked Lester demos – that is another story that will be told later).

The last 2 I bought were actually the same store, so I guess that statement was entirely true.  The difference was one was the North American Tour setlist (which will come in the next week or two) and this one is the European leg of that tour with an ever so slightly different setlist.

Before we get to the show and the music, let’s discuss the cover of the album.  This album is listed as “For Promotional Use Only” and is a really cheap production.  The album jacket is plain white cover with this paper picture of the band that wraps around the back. It is glued down and not going anywhere.  But the strange thing is the people on the cover.  Now, I get it this the Animalize Tour so you would expect Mark St. John to be on the cover, but there is a problem.  This is not one of the 3 shows that Mark actually played on.  This has Bruce Kulick playing before he was an official member which would come about two months later.

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The show is from October 26, 1984 at the Johanneshov Isstadion in Stockholm, Sweden on the first leg of the tour.  The recording if an audience recording actually sounds quite excellent.  Not much crowd noise and everyone sounds pretty clear with minor instances where the sound was off a little.  This was released a year later in 1985 by a group called Poverty Records at least that’s what it says on the album itself. Continue reading “Kiss – ‘They Only Come Out At Night’ (Bootleg Series) – Album Review”

Kiss – ‘Barbarize’ (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

In my quest for collecting Kiss Bootlegs for every tour they have done, I found another fantastic addition to the collection.  My local record shop, Hardy Boy Records, has been a goldmine of late for Bootlegs. I have now bought four over the last few months and all for tours I didn’t have (or a collection of Wicked Lester demos – that is another story that will be told later).

The last 2 I bought were actually at the same tour, so I guess that statement wasn’t entirely true.  The difference was one was the European Tour setlist (which will come in the next week or two) and this one is the North American leg of that tour with an ever so slightly different setlist.

Before we get in to where the show was and the music, lets first discus the cover as it is  pretty cool and what drew me to this one in the first place.  The cover is the same artwork as the Judas Priest album ‘Hero Hero’.  Thanks to Mike Ladano for pointing that out to me when I sent him a picture of the album and sure enough, he was right.

Continue reading “Kiss – ‘Barbarize’ (Bootleg Series) – Album Review”

Billy Idol – ‘Rebel Waltz’ (Live Bootleg) – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

A few weeks back, Lunchbox records posted on Facebook that they got in a bunch of bootlegs from Duran Duran and Billy Idol.  I will be honest, I don’t care about the Duran Duran bootlegs, but the Billy Idol peaked my interest.  It was around 6:30pm on a Saturday night and I mentioned to my kids we should go to Lunchbox, but we didn’t go.  We did go the next day on Sunday.  We left a little after 12pm and arrived just before 1pm and they were closed (Duh Duh Duh – dramatic music insert).

We forgot to check if they would be open and with the virus going around, I wasn’t sure now if they would open at all.  Lo and behold, they were going to open and that was going to be at 1pm which was in a couple minutes.  We were the first ones in and those Billy Idol bootlegs were still there.  Apparently, there are not of ton of crazies out there buying Billy Idol bootlegs…Who knew!!!

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This is a typical bootleg from the 80’s.  The vinyl jacket is a basic all white cardboard with two print outs…one for the front and one for the back slid in to the clear plastic sleeve holding it all together.  The front cover says: “Billy Idol in New York City: A Hardcore hero comes home.”  Here’s the thing…the show is in Houston, Texas…not New York. Definitely not high quality work here ladies and gentlemen.  However, that is the beauty of these releases.  As you will see below, the actual vinyl doesn’t even have a label. There might have been one at one time, but after 35 years or so, there isn’t anymore. Continue reading “Billy Idol – ‘Rebel Waltz’ (Live Bootleg) – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)”

Kiss – The Tickler (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

A month ago, local record shop Hardy Boys Records bought a Kiss collection and offered up for sale. Everything was going to drop on that next Saturday at 10am. I got up, showered, dressed and headed out the door and arrive about 9:50 and luckily only one person was in line ahead of me.  Great conversations were had about our love for Kiss. I picked up 6 different Kiss pieces that were not in my collection one was this Bootleg called The Tickler.

‘The Tickler’ is an independent released bootleg of the bands concert from the Scandinavium which is in Gothenburg, Sweden.  The show was on the Lick It up Tour and dates to November 18, 1983.  It isn’t the full show as that show had 17 songs.  This one is only 8 songs and 2 solos including Gene Simmon’s bass solo and Vinnie Vincent’s guitar solo.

The bootleg is limited to 500 copies (no, it’s not numbered).  It has the green cover as there is one with a red cover floating around as well.  The packaging is very limited.  you get the horrible black & white photos on the front and back of the album jackets is blank.  The labels on the vinyl are pretty basic black with an A & B on each side and the name of the label, Roxy Records.  No special inserts or any bonus items.  Plain and simple.  My guess this came out in the 80’s.  Now the copy I bought was sealed, but to me that is a complete and utter waste.  I want to hear it, so I opened it and played it…SUE ME!!! Continue reading “Kiss – The Tickler (Bootleg Series) – Album Review”