With their most successful album in years, 1984's Animalize, Kiss launched a just-as-successful, six-months-long European and U.S. tour to support it. The guitarist who played on the album, Mark St. John, fell ill during the tour (due to arthritis), so a friend of the band, Bruce Kulick, was asked to temporarily fill in. As the tour stretched on and it became apparent that St. John wouldn't be returning anytime soon, Kulick was asked to be a full-time member, and Animalize: Live Uncensored captures Kulick's first tour alongside Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, and Eric Carr. Recorded live at Detroit's Cobo Hall on December 8, 1984, the concert was first broadcast in edited form on MTV, and then later issued in its entirety as a home video. As its title suggests, the video is full of obscenity-laden stage banter from Paul Stanley (which gets redundant quickly), but the fifth different lineup of Kiss in as many years churns out solid renditions of such classics as "Detroit Rock City," "Cold Gin," "Love Gun," "Black Diamond," and of course, "Rock and Roll All Nite." Also included are the then-current faves "Creatures of the Night," "I Love It Loud," "Under the Gun," "Young and Wasted," "Lick It Up," and "Heaven's on Fire," creating a good balance of the old and the new. While the 1984 version of the band didn't exactly eclipse the original lineup, Animalize: Live Uncensored is recommended to fans of non-makeup-era Kiss.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato