REVIEW: KISS – Love Gun (1977)

Part 8 of my series of Kiss reviews, leading up to the release of Monster!

KISS – Love Gun (1977)

Love Gun, the 7th album by Kiss in a brief 3 year period, was the end of an era. It would be the last album by all four original Kiss members (Alive II was missing Ace Frehley on four songs, Dynasty featured Peter Criss on only one track). Yet at the same time, it also featured Ace Frehley’s first lead vocal on “Shock Me”.

Not terribly different from Rock And Roll Over, Love Gun is nonetheless a glossier package. “Tomorrow And Tonight” for example featured female backing vocals, and “And Then She Kissed Me” was a Phil Spector cover (the Crystals actually, with genders reversed).

Incidentally, I made sure I had “And Then She Kissed Me” played at my wedding!

Like Rock And Roll Over, there’s a little bit of filler on here. I’m not a big fan of “Almost Human” even though Gene is, and some people dislike “Hooligan” although I love it. I could also take or leave “Got Love For Sale”.

The classics here are among Kiss’ all time best. “Shock Me”, “I Stole Your Love”, and “Love Gun” are still played in Kiss’ set circa 2012 (with Tommy Thayer singing lead on “Shock Me”). “Tomorrow And Tonight” and “Christine Sixteen” were on Alive II and were often in the live set. (“Christine”, in this writer’s opinion, contains Peter Criss’ best-ever drumming. He channels Charlie Watts and plays the most interesting fills and beats of his career.) “Plaster Caster” was covered by the Lemonheads. Even “Hooligan” got played live by Kiss on the Love Gun tour.

The only flaw with this CD is that there’s no cardboard love gun inside like there was in the vinyl. Otherwise it’s a great sounded disc, with cover art once again by Ken Kelly.  Man I gots to get me some vinyl!

5/5 stars

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5 comments

  1. Got the cover of this framed on my living room wall! One of my favourites from the era. I love Hooligan and the live version on the Kissology DVD is amazing. Really like Almost Human too and Got Love For Sale is a favourite of mine too. Always makes me think of WASP for some reason… I’ve been trying to restock my KISS vinyl after foolishly offloading it when I converted to CD. Not one of my cleverer moves.

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      1. I think that’s the same version of Hooligan that was on that too. Brilliant performance. Never had the love gun unfortunately. Most of my old KISS vinyl was the european reissues which never had any of the booklets, posters etc… and even worse, the German editions had the KISS logo with the backwards S’s which was always really annoying!

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        1. I have that version of Hooligan on CD…they did a promotional Kiss My A** CD release which I managed to get for free. I will definitely be posting a review in my Kiss series. Oh, and funny thing — in Canada the German logo records are scarce so very much in demand!

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