Kiss – ‘Kiss My Axe 1978’ (1981 Re-Issue) – Album Review (The Bootleg Series)

Happy Thanksgiving!! Here is what I am thankful for as far as music goes (of course tops is my family and friends).

I am always on the hunt for Kiss Bootlegs and I got another classic one a few weeks back. Noble Records was having their 3rd Anniversary Drop and Dylan always has some great stuff out that day. The store opened at 10 and the line had to be long as it always in as everyone wants the good stuff. I had been recovering from surgery and this was my first trip out so there was no way I was getting there early and standing in line. No, I wasn’t doing that. Instead I left the house at a little before 10 and got there around 10:20 am. I figured, if it was meant for me to have it, it would still be there. And guess what, it was still there and I grabbed it!!! Yes, I was excited. Bootleg #21 of Kiss was now in my collection.

This one was an old one. It was from 1981 and was actually a re-issue of the 1978 original release of the album. The people putting out this one spared no expense as the album sleeve is a plain white cardboard with nothing on it. Instead you get a piece of paper with a badly printed picture of the band and the details on the release. That is it. The inner sleeve is white and labels, well, as you see below, there was not much too them. But typical bootleg fashion, the band’s name is not on the label. I love these old style boots, you can’t beat them.

This was recorded live at Los Angeles Forum, California, On August 25, 1977 and this is fresh off the new album at the time, ‘Love Gun’. I’m really excited about this one because I didn’t have a bootleg from the Love Gun Tour…now I do. The band was hungry, young and insanely good at this time. The recording is an audience recording as you can hear a lot of the kids screaming around the person recording the show. But as far as audience recordings go, it isn’t bad. It isn’t the whole show as it is only 11 songs and most of them are from the ‘Love Gun’ album.

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October 2022 Purchases – Vinyl & CDs

Happy Halloween!! October was not a good month for me. It was mostly Tricks and few Treats! The tricks were that I was recovering from an appendectomy and after two weeks of that, I caught a virus and then a bacterial infection and was sick for 2 more weeks. My motivation is now at all time low and I have no desire to write or even buy as my energy level is completely wiped. I haven’t written much at all this past month and don’t know when I will get back in to a full time mode, if I ever do. It was hard enough to even put this simple post together, but I am trying.

This month might be my smallest number of purchases in quite some time, but doesn’t mean it doesn’t have what I think are some really sweet Treats! I did get to one record store during the month on the sole day in between recovery and illness where I felt good. It didn’t last that long because by the afternoon, it all went down hill. Noble Records was having their 3rd Anniversary Drop and what a drop it was. I picked up a Kiss Bootleg. More to come on this one down the road, but this is a 1981 reissue of a 1978 bootleg of Kiss My Axe 1978.

While there I picked two albums I had reviewed in my You Pick It Series that won for albums I had never heard before. I grabbed Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats and George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass which was the owners personal copy. It is so clean and even includes the poster!!

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Queensryche – ‘Unplugged And Other Stories’ – Album Review (Bootleg Series)

At the May 2022 Record Show here in Charlotte, I found a couple bootlegs on CD that I had to grab. The first was from Extreme which we discussed recently and this one is from Queensryche. I don’t know much about it but I do know that it had to come out sometime after 1992 as the most current songs on here were recorded around that time. There are 3 different versions of this bootleg according to Discogs and all three have the same track listing. The other two were from Italy and released in 1992 and the other 1994. This one has no date or country of origin so all is unknown. If you do know, please comment below.

The first 5 tracks are taken from MTV Unplugged which were recorded on April 27, 1992. I don’t think there has ever been an official MTV Unplugged release for this show…at least not that I can find. Tracks 6-9 and 11-14 are all recorded around 1983 in New York which is very early Queensryche. Pre the release of ‘The Warning’ which is really cool. They would’ve only had out the Queensryche E.P. at this point. Song 10 comes from Tokyo and Budokan in 1985.

And like any good bootleg, there are mistakes in both song titles and track orders. First, the song “Take Hold of the Flame” is actually “Take Hold of My Flame”. Track 7 is listed as “Blinded” but is actually “Queen of the Reich”. Track 8 is listed as “The Lady Wore Black (Electric)” but is actually “Blinded” and as a result, Track 9 is listed as “Queen of the Reich” but is “Blinded”. Okay, I think that is all that I can find.

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Extreme – ‘Hollywood Rock 1992’ – Album Review (Bootleg Series)

At the most recent record show here in Charlotte, I found a couple bootleg CDs that I snagged up for a real cheap $5 each. Gotta love that. The first one I grabbed was from the band Extreme. The bootleg was called ‘Hollywood Rock 1992’ which was recorded from the rock festival Hollywood Rock down in Rio de Janeiro Brazil on January 26, 1992. The CD says it was a Freddie Mercury Tribute, but the band only played one Queen cover so not much of a tribute.

What I love about Bootlegs are the errors. Yes, they have errors. The reason why is the people that make bootlegs don’t give a crap about editing and making things perfect and accurate. They only care about getting out product. The first major error is where it was made. The album was made in Italy…however, the back cover says it was made in Itary. I have been looking at a globe for about 10 hours now and I can’t find Itary anywhere on it. Then it is the song titles…”Pornograffitti” is spelled as “Pornographiti” and what should be a Nuno acoustic guitar solo actually says that he sold his acoustic guitar.

What makes it even better is that they spelled everything correctly on the actual CD, but they used the wrong words at times. One error on the CD is on “Suzi” they called it “Suzi (Wants Her All Day Want?)” and it should be (Wants Her All Day What?). Then for “Decadence Dance” there is a drum solo and they list it as Pat but Pat plays bass. Paul is on drums.

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Kiss – ‘The Ritz On Fire’ – Album Review (The Bootleg Series)

I can’t believe we are on our 20th Review in the Kiss Bootleg Series. Nuts to think I’ve picked up that many. This one is called ‘The Ritz on Fire’ which is from August 12, 1988, The Ritz, New York City. A radio broadcast, from the Crazy Nights tour. This one is not the full show, but sort of a Best Of Compilation of that show. There are a bunch of different ones out there, some with full shows and some like this. I do have a show from the Crazy Nights Tour that was recorded on April 18, 1988 in Osaka, Japan, so I figured I’d grab this one as well as why not, you can never have enough Kiss Bootlegs…obviously or we wouldn’t be on #20.

I have found that this version is one of the few bootlegs that get all the packaging correct. They have the right band members in the pictures (Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick) and the right song titles and I don’t see any mistakes which is rare in the Bootleg world.

This is Kiss live much in the same vein as their current “Off the Soundboard” series in that there are no touchups, it is as you heard it when it happened and in this case as it was on the radio broadcast. The first 9 songs on this 10 song set are in order of the original setlist and it isn’t until the 10th song that it jumps ahead a number songs and plays one more. Basically, it is the first half of the show.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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