I recently came across a bunch of KISS albums from the 70’s and a bunch of them I have not reviewed! So here is Numero Uno! I’m not going in any certain order…Hope ya Dig this…. I will be posting a bunch of KISS reviews in March so I hope you join along and in a first here at Arena Rock I’m doing a scoring system!
KISS in 1977 keep the album/tour/album tour cycle going at full throttle and why wouldn’t they. Strike while the Iron was Hot so to speak.
I mean check out the this cool cover drawn by Ken Kelly. These dudes are ripped! Look at Peter Criss! One wrong look at the Catman and he will kick yo ass circa 1977!
June 1977 and KISS unleashes Love Gun which for the right reasons kept the cash registers flowing and concert tickets moving.
Like other KISS albums before it and after it. This album is not rocket science yet it has some cool tracks on it.
Opener I Stole Your Love sets the tone of the album. Paul Stanley as he does opens the album with that fun game of stealing some one’s love I suppose. I’m thinking that the original 4 Kiss guys played on all of this album unlike 1976’s Destroyer where Ace Frehley was replaced on a more than a few solos yet here in 1977 all is well again for a short time that is in the KISS camp…
I Stole Your Love is a good table setter for the Love Gun album. Love Ace’s solo on this tune and Stanley and Simmons did all the writing on their own tunes no co writes whatsoever…Maybe this got them thinking about doing those four solo albums that came out in 78!
Everyone’s favourite Demon Mean Gene Simmons gets tracks 2 and 3 that being Christine Sixteen followed by Got Love For Sale. I have always been a sucker for that dribble of a piano at the start of Christine 16. Good decent Gene song back than especially when Gene goes into his creeper speaking voice in detail below..
‘I don’t usually say things like this to girls your age, but when I saw you coming out of school that day, that day I knew, I knew, I’ve got to have you! I’ve got to have you!’
Frehley tosses down one of his epic solo’s and stumbles and bumbles about like nobodies business and that is what made Ace so great back in the 70’s. Ace’s solo’s were so simple sounding that they would stick in your brain all these years later like if you were to step on a piece of bubblegum….
The other Simmons tune Got Love For Sale is awesome. I love this tune and it may be very well my fav tune from Love Gun. Simmons along with Criss drive the rhythm Bus on this track that leads into that brilliant chorus that is oh so good followed by Frehley’s solo followed by Gene going on about Love For Sale…
The pickled up Guitar Hero drops a doozy of a track and that would be Ace writing and making his singing debut on Shock Me. Ace wrote this track after he was almost electrocuted on stage the year before. Shock Me has Ace with his cool street rock voice that would be very prominent on his solo album a year later in 1978! Shock Me proved probably more to Ace that he could do it. He could not only write cool rock tracks which he already did on previous albums( Cold Gin/Parasite/Getaway/Strangeways) but he could sing them since previous written Ace songs were sung by either Simmons or Criss. The fact that Ace was indeed finding his rock voice you know irked Genie and Paul to no end…haha..
Tomorrow and Tonight** is a decent enough song to end Side 1 of Love Gun. Not a classic by any stretch of the imagination but one that makes you get and go and make a sandwich when the song is playing before the track ends as you flip over your vinyl to Side 2!
There’s Petey snapping his snare drum like artillery fire and were off as Paul tells us all about his Love Gun. I’m thinking this tune has been played on every tour since 1977! Man that’s a lot of shots of Paul’s pistol doled out by Starchild over the years! Ace as he always does steps up with a pretty nifty solo which he always does…
When KISS was 4 original members and not 2 members and 2 salaried members or the current version with 2 original members and 2 Scabs(HEY! EASY DEKE’S!) Pete Criss got a song on each album. In this case it’s the cool Hooligan which is a great simple yet effective rock track that serves the KISS ARMY faithful happy!
Hey is that Bongos I hear and a Gong Smash?? Yup and were only 7 seconds into another Gene tune which is Almost Human which in itself is a oddball way a cool track that beats to the sound of a different KISS beat but staying somewhat in the confines of the safe zone! No one ever talks about this tune and you should. Gene wrote some wicked stuff that gets shadowed by some of his 80’s silliness tracks(do I need to go there??) I will add that when were talking about the 80’s Gene his output on the Creatures of the Night album in my estimation is his best work!
After Simmons psych’s us all out with Almost Human. Gene takes a drive down Familiar Avenue with Plaster Caster a song Gene wrote about a groupie who liked to work with plaster and caster! Actually as goofy as that sounds it’s a catchy tune with a catchy chorus that proves you can write real silly goofball lyrics but if your money shot is the chorus no one will really care what you’re going on about in the verses!
Love Gun ends with a cover tune titled Than She Kissed Me which is ummm ..nah…not going there…
Love Gun wetted the appetite of North America fine and dandy and kept the KISS Money Machine rolling along at a clip that the cash registers couldn’t keep up. I dig Love Gun pretty decent batch of songs and considering as I had mentioned earlier the ridiculous pace that KISS was on they manage to do write this album basically in-house with no outside help except for the Criss track….
dEke’s Score of LOVE GUN: 7.5/10
**Tomorrow and Tonight ended up on Alive 2 later that year as KISS fooled everyone by recording the tune at soundcheck than adding the crowd in and saying in the liner notes of the Album that this tune was recorded live…haha.. Fooled all of the KISS Army and You as WELL!