Music

From the Stacks: KISS, ‘Lunch Box’ and ‘Blitz London’

KISS London 1978 front

KISS Blitz London front

These are actually two bootlegs of the same show, a May 16, 1976 gig at London’s Hammersmith Odeon.

The recording is fine but not great. In true bootleg fashion, the sleeves are riddled with errors (“Stout it Out Loud,” “Detoit Rock City,” and in Lunch Box’s case completely getting the date of the show wrong), but I would have given anything for these when I was a kid. As an adult I gave $40 for the pair, which is kind of silly given that I bought them solely for their nostalgia value, but come on! KISS in ’76!

Incidentally, if you’ve ever wondered why live albums are “sweetened” with fixed vocals, edited guitars, etc., compare KISS’s official live releases to their bootlegs. Live albums are fine as documents of a given night, but they’re often riddled with missed notes, flubbed lines, out of tune guitars, etc. What makes live albums really special is that they capture the experience of attending a show. KISS Alive! does that wonderfully, even if it’s a bunch of studio trickery — these two boots? Not so much.

There are many variations of Blitz London floating around out there. Reasonable prices fall in the $25-50 range. Happy hunting.

KISS London 1978 back

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