L.A. Guns (album)

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L.A. Guns
Lagunsselftitled.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 4, 1988 (1988-01-04)
RecordedJune – August 1987
StudioThe Village Recorder
(West Los Angeles, California)
Genre
Length36:36
LabelVertigo
ProducerJim Faraci
L.A. Guns chronology
Collector's Edition No. 1
(1985)
L.A. Guns
(1988)
Cocked & Loaded
(1989)
Singles from L.A. Guns
  1. "One More Reason"
    Released: January 1988 (1988-01)
  2. "Sex Action"
    Released: March 1988 (1988-03)
  3. "Electric Gypsy"
    Released: August 1988 (1988-08)

L.A. Guns is the self-titled debut studio album by American hard rock band L.A. Guns. Recorded at The Village Recorder in West Los Angeles, it was produced by Jim Faraci and released on January 4, 1988 by Vertigo Records. The album is the only L.A. Guns release to feature drummer Nickey "Beat" Alexander, who was replaced by Steve Riley before it was released. "One More Reason", "Sex Action" and "Electric Gypsy" were released as the three singles from the album.

Material for the debut L.A. Guns release was drawn from the band's formative years. Songwriting credits were listed for all five band members, as well as former lead vocalist Paul Black. The album also includes cover versions of two songs by members' former projects. Early demo recordings of several songs were included on Hollywood Raw: The Original Sessions, while the reunited classic lineup of the band re-recorded a number of tracks for Greatest Hits and Black Beauties.

L.A. Guns was a minor domestic commercial success. The album spent 33 weeks on the Billboard 200 albums chart, peaking at number 50 in April 1988. It was also certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1993, certifying sales in excess of 500,000 units. Media response to L.A. Guns was generally positive. Critics highlighted the album as a standout of the 1980s "hair metal" scene, praising the balance of commercial compositions and heavier tracks.

Background[edit]

L.A. Guns signed a recording contract with major label PolyGram in 1987, and changed its lineup significantly at the same time. Lead vocalist Paul Black was replaced with former Girl and Tormé frontman Phil Lewis, former Faster Pussycat member Kelly Nickels joined on bass, and previous bassist Mick Cripps moved over to rhythm guitar to replace Robert Stoddard.[1] The band commenced recording for its self-titled debut album in June. Recalling the process, Lewis reported that "We got the whole thing done in six weeks", adding that "we like that Sex Pistols type of edge and energy, so we decided to get in and out of the studio as quickly as possible."[2] Sessions took place at The Village Recorder in West Los Angeles with producer Jim Faraci, who had most recently worked with glam metal bands Poison, Lizzy Borden and Ratt.[3]

Prior to its release, 1,500 advance copies of L.A. Guns were sent to rock clubs, music retailers and radio stations. PolyGram's Steve Kleinberg commented at the time that "We wanted to create a ground swell, and it seems to be working. Our preorders on the album are more than 65,000, and a number of major retailers have yet to place their orders."[2] "One More Reason", "Sex Action" and "Electric Gypsy" were released as singles, all with music videos directed by Ralph Ziman.[4][5][6] Videos were also produced for "One Way Ticket" and "Cry No More" by Phillip Detchmendy,[7] and for "Bitch Is Back", "No Mercy" and "Nothing to Lose" by Ziman and Katy Lynne.[8] The album was promoted on a three-month United States concert tour starting on January 15, 1988,[2] including dates supporting Ted Nugent and AC/DC.[9][10]

All five members of the band are credited for songwriting on L.A. Guns. The majority of songs were written by lead guitarist Tracii Guns with Lewis, while some feature co-writing credits for former vocalist Black.[11] The album also features cover versions of Lewis's former band Girl's "Hollywood Tease",[12] and Nickels's former band Sweet Pain's "Shoot for Thrills".[13] L.A. Guns is the only studio album by the band to feature drummer Nickey "Beat" Alexander, who was replaced by Steve Riley before it was released.[14] In 1999, the reunited "classic lineup" of the band recorded new versions of several songs for Greatest Hits and Black Beauties.[15] "Sex Action" was also later included on the 2002 release Ultimate L.A. Guns, alongside a range of other previously released re-recordings and live tracks.[16] Early demo recordings of several tracks were included on the album Hollywood Raw: The Original Sessions.[17]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[11]

Upon its release, L.A. Guns debuted at number 138 on the US Billboard 200.[18] It spent a total of 33 weeks on the chart, peaking at number 50 in April.[19] In 1993, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for domestic sales in excess of 500,000 certified units.[20] Outside of the US, the album reached number 88 on the RPM Canadian Albums Chart,[21] number 67 on the Japanese Albums Chart,[22] and number 73 on the UK Albums Chart.[23]

Media response to L.A. Guns was generally positive. Billboard magazine noted that the album "evinces a hard but often pop-conscious sound", predicting that L.A. Guns would prove popular with fans of groups like Bon Jovi. The review added that the songwriting on the album was "unspectacular", but concluded that "energy's there, and that counts in this genre".[24] Cash Box magazine outlined that the band was "creating quite a stir at both radio and retail", suggesting that L.A. Guns would "push [the] band into the forefront of the national rock scene".[25] Hit Parader called it "a nasty, naughty, noxious notion of what an L.A. band is all about".[26] In a retrospective review of the album, AllMusic's Eduardo Rivadavia described L.A. Guns as "a wildly over-the-top rock and roll album", praising it for "rock[ing] with a bile and fury not seen since Mötley Crüe's Shout at the Devil".[11] Rivadavia also highlighted the balance between "Shit-kicking anthems" such as "No Mercy," "Sex Action" and "Bitch Is Back", and "more commercial but equally hot offerings" such as "Electric Gypsy" and "Down in the City".[11]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."No Mercy"2:45
2."Sex Action"
3:38
3."One More Reason"
  • Guns
  • Lewis
  • Black
3:05
4."Electric Gypsy"
  • Guns
  • Lewis
3:24
5."Nothing to Lose"
  • Cripps
  • Lewis
  • Robert Stoddard
  • Black
4:12
6."Bitch Is Back"
  • Guns
  • Cripps
  • Lewis
  • Black
2:50
7."Cry No More"Guns1:20
8."One Way Ticket"
  • Guns
  • Black
4:17
9."Hollywood Tease" (originally recorded by Girl)2:43
10."Shoot for Thrills" (originally recorded by Sweet Pain)Kelly Nickels4:24
11."Down in the City"
  • Nickels
  • Guns
3:58
Total length:36:36
Japanese reissue bonus track
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
12."Winters Fool"
3:38
Total length:40:14

Personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1988) Peak
position
Canadian Albums (RPM)[21] 88
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[22] 67
UK Albums (OCC)[23] 73
US Billboard 200[19] 50

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units
United States (RIAA)[20] Gold 500,000

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "L.A. Guns: Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Artist Developments: Great Guns" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 100 no. 3. New York City: Billboard Publications, Inc. January 16, 1988. p. 20. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  3. ^ "Jim (H. M.) Faraci: Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  4. ^ "Video Music: New Videoclips" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 100 no. 7. New York City: Billboard Publications, Inc. February 13, 1988. p. 42. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  5. ^ "Video Music: New Videoclips" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 100 no. 9. New York City: Billboard Publications, Inc. February 27, 1988. p. 60. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  6. ^ "Music Video: New Videoclips" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 100 no. 33. New York City: Billboard Publications, Inc. August 13, 1988. p. 46. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  7. ^ "Music Video: Video Track: Los Angeles" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 100 no. 51. New York City: Billboard Publications, Inc. December 17, 1988. p. 46. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  8. ^ One More Reason (Media notes). L.A. Guns. PolyGram Music Video. 1989.
  9. ^ "Boxscore: Top Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 100 no. 19. New York City: Billboard Publications, Inc. May 7, 1988. p. 28. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  10. ^ "Boxscore: Top Concert Grosses" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 100 no. 21. New York City: Billboard Publications, Inc. May 21, 1988. p. 34. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d Rivadavia, Eduardo. "L.A. Guns - L.A. Guns: Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  12. ^ Wall, Mick (November 11, 2010). Metallica: Enter Night: The Biography. London, England: Hachette UK. p. 39. ISBN 978-1409112976. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  13. ^ Sleazegrinder (April 13, 2015). "Flash Metal Suicide: Sweet Pain". Classic Rock. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  14. ^ Schmitt, Greg (January 2008). "Interview with Steve Riley, Drummer (LA Guns, Ex-WASP)". Rock Eyez. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  15. ^ Huey, Steve. "Greatest Hits & Black Beauties - L.A. Guns: Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  16. ^ Loftus, Johnny. "Ultimate L.A. Guns - L.A. Guns: Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  17. ^ Theakston, Rob. "Hollywood Raw: The Original Sessions - L.A. Guns: Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  18. ^ "Top 200 Albums: The Week of February 6, 1988". Billboard. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  19. ^ a b "L.A. Guns L.A. Guns Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  20. ^ a b "Gold & Platinum Search "L.A. Guns"". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  21. ^ a b "RPM100 Albums". RPM. Vol. 51 no. 1. November 4, 1989. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  22. ^ a b "L.A. ガンズのアルバム売り上げランキング" (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on October 24, 2012. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  23. ^ a b "L.A. Guns Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  24. ^ "Album Reviews: Pop Picks: L.A. Guns" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 100 no. 6. New York City: Billboard Publications, Inc. February 6, 1988. p. 68. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  25. ^ "Album Releases: Feature Picks: L.A. Guns – L.A. Guns" (PDF). Cash Box. Vol. 51 no. 31. New York City: Cash Box Publishing Co., Inc. February 6, 1988. p. 11. ISSN 0008-7289. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  26. ^ "Make Your Day... with L.A. Guns" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 100 no. 4. New York City: Billboard Publications, Inc. January 23, 1988. p. 1. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved January 24, 2019.

External links[edit]