Kiss' first live album not only saved the struggling band's career, it made them superstars. So it makes sense that the group has released many more live albums since that time.

By early 1975 the facepaint-wearing foursome had built a reputation as a must-see live act, with a bombastic stage show featuring pyrotechnics, levitating drums and bassist Gene Simmons' fire breathing, blood-spitting stunts.

The only problem was that not nearly enough people were buying the group's early studio albums, which didn't convey the power and energy Kiss was capable of unleashing onstage. With the band and their label in danger of bankruptcy, the double-live, expensive and very risky Alive! was released in September of 1975.

The gamble paid off big time, with the album hitting the Top 10 and staying on the charts for over two years. The band became stars and headliners, and were able to expand on their fame with more polished studio albums such as Destroyer and Love Gun.

But no matter what other changes Kiss made - and over the years there were many, from lineups to musical styles to revealing their real faces and then later putting the facepaint back on - the live show was always the group's calling card.

If you count the two collections that came packaged in the recent box sets for Destroyer and 1982's Creatures of the Night, Kiss has now released 14 live albums - not counting the dozens of "instant live" sets they sold to fans attending nearly every show on their 2004, 2008 and 2010 tours, or the multiple longform concert home videos they have released over the years. By comparison, the now-retired group has to date released just 20 studio albums and told fans not to hold their breath for any more over a decade ago.

Nearly all of Kiss' live albums capture the group at an important or historically interesting time in their career. Here's how they compare to one another:

Kiss Live Albums Ranked Worst to Best

You wanted the best, you get the best.. and the rest.

Gallery Credit: Matthew Wilkening

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