Kiss

Kings of the Night Time World

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Kiss has been a major target of bootleggers since the mid-1970s, but bootleggers went especially wild when the band's original lineup (Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley) reunited in 1996 and restored its makeup for two extensive tours -- the first one in 1996-97, the next in 1998-99. Recorded at the Messegalend in Erfurt, Germany on March 11, 1999, this two-CD set is among the numerous bootlegs that resulted from the European part of the latter tour. Kings of the Night Time World isn't for audiophiles; the sound quality is OK but not great. It's safe to assume that the bootlegger didn't have access to the arena's soundboard and made an audience recording using some type of portable, hand-held stereo mini-recorder. Despite the imperfect sound, this bootleg captures the show's exciting nature. Not many surprises occur; except for a few songs from Psycho Circus, Kiss focuses on old favorites from the 1970s -- anyone who has heard Alive I and Alive II has heard most of the songs on Kings of the Night Time World. So for the most part, Kiss' Erfurt show becomes a fun and highly enjoyable, if predictable, exercise in 1970s nostalgia. And, of course, millions of Kiss addicts all over the world were, in the late 1990s, thrilled to hear the band's original lineup performing so many 1970s favorites. That said, Kings of the Night Time World is far from essential. Some of the other bootlegs from their 1998-99 tour boast sound quality that is excellent instead of merely OK, and this double-CD is only recommended to completists.

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