The final studio album featuring the original lineup of KISS on every song is also one of their best efforts. "Love Gun" is drenched in the playfully raunchy, innuendo-laden style of rock that has always been a cornerstone of KISS' music. You need look no further than the title track to know what this album is all about.
Of all of the original lineup albums, this one features some of the best straightforward rock n' roll with a little boogie woogie thrown into the mix as well. It has no ballads, unless you consider the cover of "Then He Kissed Me" made famous by the Crystals in 1963 as one. KISS' version is entitled "Then She Kissed Me." While it's a bit different from the rest of the album, it's a wonderfully quirky cover that fits perfectly with the rest of this album's tracks.
The obvious standout tracks are "Love Gun" and "Christine Sixteen." Both songs have been included on KISS' playlists since they were released on this album. Other tracks of note include "Plaster Caster," "Tomorrow And Tonight," and the rocking "I Stole Your Love," which is a personal favorite of mine.
Also of note is the Peter Criss fronted "Hooligan" and the Ace Frehley classic, "Shock Me." Criss' tune is an exceptional entry in the KISS catalogue and I feel that his vocals are excellent. Frehley's vocals are okay on "Shock Me," but it's his guitar work that makes the song memorable.
As always, Gene Simmons' bass and vocals are steady, and the Demon crawls out of the pit once again on "Almost Human." The Starchild performs wonderfully as well, and Paul Stanley even shows us his bass chops on "Love Gun."
"Love Gun" is no "Destroyer," nor is it a better album than "Rock And Roll Over." It doesn't flow as strongly as those two albums do. However, the title track, "Christine Sixteen," "Shock Me," and "Hooligan" are four of the best tunes ever put out by the group.
You can't go wrong purchasing this album, especially if you're a fan of hard rock. For KISS fans, this album should be considered required listening. Highly recommended, as are all of the other albums featuring the original lineup.
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Kendall Fontenot (kfontenot)
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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The last album with the original lineup (unless you count the 1998 reunionPsycho Circus),Love Guncontains a few missteps (such as the reworking of the classic "Then He Kissed Me") but is mostly packed to the gills with the good, fun, trashy rock & roll that made Kiss legendary. One frequently overlooked high point is the song "Almost Human," which strikes a positively creepy note. Then there's Ace Frehley's first stint on lead vocals with "Shock Me," the un-PC but affectionate "Plaster Caster," and the well-known title track. True, there's no equivalent to "Rock & Roll All Night" (the obvious attempt falls flat), but that doesn't stop this from being not only classic Kiss, but classic 1970s rock. --Genevieve Williams