Love Gun

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Love Gun
Love gun cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 30, 1977
RecordedMay 1977
StudioRecord Plant Studios, New York City
Genre
Length32:53
LabelCasablanca
Producer
Kiss chronology
Rock and Roll Over
(1976)
Love Gun
(1977)
Alive II
(1977)
Singles from Love Gun
  1. "Christine Sixteen"
    Released: June 1, 1977
  2. "Love Gun"
    Released: July 31, 1977
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Blender4.5/5 stars[2]
Pitchfork(9.2/10)[3]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[4]

Love Gun is the sixth studio album by American hard rock band Kiss, released on June 30, 1977 by Casablanca Records.[5] The album was remastered in 1997. It was their first album to feature a lead vocal performance from Ace Frehley, making it the first Kiss album to feature lead vocal performances from all four band members. It was also the last studio album to feature Peter Criss on every song, as he was replaced by session drummer Anton Fig for all but one song on 1979's Dynasty.[6] Love Gun was certified platinum on June 30, 1977.

Background[edit]

A cardboard "Love Gun" (assembly required) was included inside the album,[7] along with a Kiss merchandise order form.[8] Before Love Gun was completed, a Gallup poll indicated that Kiss was the most popular band in the United States, beating Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin and the Eagles. On August 26, 27, and 28, 1977, Kiss recorded three shows at the LA Forum for their next release, the live album Alive II.

The album cover was painted by fantasy artist Ken Kelly,[9] who previously contributed the cover for 1976's Destroyer.

Songs[edit]

"I Stole Your Love"

Written by Paul Stanley, "I Stole Your Love" is in the same vein as songs like "Makin' Love" and "C'mon and Love Me". Stanley has said that this song was influenced by Deep Purple's "Burn".[10]

"Christine Sixteen"

Then-unknown guitarist Eddie and drummer Alex Van Halen played on the demo of this song, as well as "Got Love for Sale".[11] The lyrics have a similar theme to "Goin' Blind" from Hotter Than Hell; both songs involve older men falling in love with younger girls. Sampled by Tone Lōc on "Funky Cold Medina".

"Shock Me"

The song was inspired by an event that took place during Kiss's Rock and Roll Over tour, when Ace Frehley suffered an electric shock. On December 12, 1976, Kiss performed a concert at the Lakeland Civic Center in Lakeland, Florida. During the opening number, Frehley touched an ungrounded metal staircase railing. He was knocked to the ground, and the concert was delayed for 30 minutes. The show was eventually completed, and Frehley claimed to have lost feeling in his hand for the remainder of the concert.[12]

This was the first lead vocal that Frehley recorded. In his autobiography, he states that he originally intended for Simmons to sing the song, but the bassist encouraged Frehley to try it himself. Frehley recorded his lead vocal part while lying on the floor of the studio, because he claimed that this helped him reach the correct pitch.

"Tomorrow and Tonight"

The song was written to try to recapture the feeling of "Rock and Roll All Nite", but never reached the success of the aforementioned hit. A soundcheck recording of the song appears on Alive II. The song was never played live by the band until Kiss Kruise VII in November of 2017.

"Love Gun"

The title song has been played on every Kiss tour since its release. Stanley has cited it as one of his favorite Kiss songs. It was the first song that Stanley wrote, arranged and produced in its entirety.[13] The song shares many of its lyrics with "The Hunter", written by Booker T. & the M.G.'s, and recorded by Albert King, Ike and Tina Turner, Blue Cheer, and Free. In his autobiography Face the Music, Stanley acknowledges the derivation: "I stole the idea of a 'love gun' from Albert King's version of 'The Hunter,' which Zeppelin also nicked from for 'How Many More Times' on their first album." [14]

"Plaster Caster"

The song was inspired by Cynthia Plaster Caster, a former groupie famous for casting penises of famous rock musicians,[15] such as Jimi Hendrix, as well as breasts of female musicians.[16]

"Then She Kissed Me"

The song is one of several gender-reversed covers of the Crystals' 1963 single "Then He Kissed Me".[17]

Reissues[edit]

Love Gun was remastered and reissued in 1997 as part of the Kiss Remasters series.

It was remastered and reissued again in a deluxe edition on October 28, 2014, with sleeve notes by Def Leppard's Joe Elliott and a second disc containing demos, live rarities and a 1977 interview with Gene Simmons. All tracks on the second disc were previously unreleased, bar the demo of "Reputation", which had appeared on the compilation Kiss 40 a few months earlier. The three live tracks were recorded at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland on December 20, 1977. "The potential for this to be the greatest deluxe edition of all time," noted music writer Geoff Barton, "is ruined by a too-clean remastering job – plus, if truth be told, a track that has dated badly in 'Christine Sixteen'."[18]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."I Stole Your Love"Paul StanleyStanley3:04
2."Christine Sixteen"Gene SimmonsSimmons3:14
3."Got Love for Sale"SimmonsSimmons3:29
4."Shock Me"Ace FrehleyFrehley3:49
5."Tomorrow and Tonight"StanleyStanley3:40
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
6."Love Gun"StanleyStanley3:18
7."Hooligan"Peter Criss, Stan PenridgeCriss3:01
8."Almost Human"SimmonsSimmons2:49
9."Plaster Caster"SimmonsSimmons3:27
10."Then She Kissed Me"Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Phil SpectorStanley3:02

Personnel[edit]

Kiss
Additional personnel
Production
  • Dennis Woloch – design

Charts[edit]

Chart (1977) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[19] 13
Canadian Albums Chart[20] 3
German Albums Chart[21] 18
Japanese Albums Chart[22] 2
Swedish Albums Chart[21] 6
Swiss Albums Chart[21] 8
US Billboard 200[23] 4

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[24] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Love Gun at AllMusic
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 2003-06-26. Archived from the original on September 7, 2005. Retrieved 2012-02-29.
  4. ^ "Kiss: Album Guide | Rolling Stone Music". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  5. ^ "Love Gun". Archived from the original on 2013-11-14. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  6. ^ "Criss Q and A". Archived from the original on 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2009-01-26.
  7. ^ "KissFAQ Love Gun love gun". Archived from the original on 2011-11-26. Retrieved 2009-01-26.
  8. ^ "KissFAQ Love Gun merchandise". Archived from the original on 2011-11-26. Retrieved 2009-01-26.
  9. ^ "AllMusic Love Gun credits". Retrieved 2009-01-26.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2014-04-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Allmusic review "Christine Sixteen"". Retrieved 2009-01-26.
  12. ^ Gooch, Curt and Jeff Suhs. KISS Alive Forever: The Complete Touring History, Billboard Books, 2002. ISBN 0-8230-8322-5
  13. ^ Leaf, David and Ken Sharp. KISS: Behind the Mask: The Official Authorized Biography, Warner Books, 2003. ISBN 0-446-53073-5
  14. ^ https://wimwords.com/2014/06/25/deep-cuts-the-songs-that-inspired-kiss-classics/
  15. ^ "AllMusic song review "Plaster Caster"". Retrieved 2009-01-26.
  16. ^ "Cynthia Plaster Caster official website". Retrieved 2009-01-26.
  17. ^ "Rolling Stone review Love Gun 1977". Retrieved 2009-01-26.
  18. ^ Barton, Geoff: "The hard stuff: Reissues"; Classic Rock #206, February 2015, p104
  19. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  20. ^ "Search - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  21. ^ a b c KISS – Love Gun – swisscharts.com Archived December 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  23. ^ "Kiss Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" at AllMusic. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
  24. ^ "American album certifications – Kiss – Love Gun". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.