KISS: Love Gun(1977)

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!

Anyhoo….

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!

 

22 thoughts on “KISS: Love Gun(1977)”

  1. Spot on here. Some of their best songs, great sound… just wish the closing tracks on each side weren’t so crap. Other than those… Brill! Hooligan is a big fave of mine actually. Love the groove and Criss’ voice on that. But have to agree on the score cause a couple of shiters on there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Petey always delivered it live vocally for KISS on the studio albums. Pretty impressive that at one point they had 4 guys who could sing lead which no one really acknowledges…
      Thanks for reading and commenting…more KISS to come…

      Like

      1. Ace was indeed the man back then. Simple yet very effective was his playing. Tasty is a good term Scott for his playing…

        Like

  2. Well done man! This would be in my even shifting top 3 Kiss albums. Almost Human does take some getting used to, with those bongos and everything. Wouldn’t it be cool if they made music videos for everything back then? The catman on bongos…how trippy is that idea?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome Deke! Great review. I love Gene’s work on here as well. Almost Human is one of my favs. There are a couple wimpy songs on here, but overall great one. Also, I never noticed Kiss was on the cover…at 7 years old when this came out, I only noticed the women at the bottom. I learn something new all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha..smart young man recognizing the women! I appreciate the vinyl of KISS now as opposed to being so young just to listen to it and not actually hear what is going on..
      It’s official I grew up(kinda!)
      Thanks for sharing this on Facebook!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review, Deke. I like his one most of the Kiss albums I know. Loads of good tunes, though I do wish there was more of a kick in the guitars.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you J on the guitars needing some more kick. I’m thinking KISS was eying the radio at the time perhaps to become a single machine especially after Beth saved Destroyer from stalling on the charts…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. KISS had one eye on creativity and the other eye on the Cash Register…
        This has been a great revisit with KISS vinyl as I was way too young to even appreciate the songs..
        Now I’m old and not so jaded…haha

        Liked by 1 person

  5. “This album is not rocket science yet it has some cool tracks on it.” Ha! Nice. A friend of mine, who is a music journalist, said that KISS is so tight-fisted, that they allow one, and only one, hook per song. Still, all you need is one good hook for a hit. Thanks for the post, dude.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading Jeff! KISS did indeed know how to make one hook work!
      I could see them saying that. ‘Ok so if we write 9 songs all we need is 9 hooks and were ready for lift off!’ hahaha…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to dig it out my old school iPod and que it up. No dribble of a piano to open the tune but the piano does comes in at the chorus!
      Thanks for reading and picking that out!

      Liked by 1 person

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