This week on the Rock n Roll House Party we’re playing 100% live album cuts. But when you’ve got a live album, the question becomes… just how “live” is it?
If you’ve ever seen a concert, you know how it goes. A guitar sounds fuzzy, the singer misses a word, or the drummer just doesn’t show up. So what do you do?
Depends on who you ask. As you’ll hear this week, Big Brother & Holding Company had barely ANYTHING done to their live performance. If you listen closely, you’ll hear the rhythm section of the band miss their cues a couple of time. Same with the backup singer.
Then there’s ALIVE by KISS. ALIVE was the album that broke KISS into the mainstream, but questions have always lingered about just how much of it is really “live.” Producer Eddie Kramer spilled the beans on that question back in 1998, commenting on how the guitars had to be overdubbed because KISS just moved around the stage too much. Eddie Kramer added: “Obviously, guitars will not stay in tune and accuracy goes right out the the window. So, you fix what's not right."
In fact, ALIVE is arguably most doctored live album that KISS ever put out. In his autobiography, Paul Stanley added "Yes, we enhanced it – not to hide anything, not to fool anyone," he said. "But who wanted to hear a mistake repeated endlessly? Who wanted to hear an out-of-tune guitar? For what? Authenticity?”
What do you think? Would you rather hear the live version with warts… or something that’s a little closer to the album?
Sound off & rock on,