From the Vault...


"Love Gun"

© Casablanca Records

track listing
  • I Stole Your Love
  • Christine Sixteen
  • Got Love For Sale
  • Shock Me
  • Tomorrow And Tonight
  • Love Gun
  • Hooligan
  • Almost Human
  • Plaster Caster
  • Then She Kissed Me

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Kiss related sites:
    Kiss Website
    Previous Review: #569
    Duran Duran--Duran Duran
    Next Review: #571
    The O'Jays--So Full Of Love
    "Love Gun"

    Kiss..The 1970s...The facial makeup...A band before its time...

    Kiss was probably the one who really started the heavy metal sound. Their 1977 release, Love Gun, has songs that just rock. A few weeks ago, the Gene Simmons solo album was picked as the Album Pick of the Week, and comparing that album to this week's pick, there is a big difference.

    This release is the original Kiss, consisting of Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. They had the facial makeup, and the sound of practically every song on Love Gun is two words: Hard Rock. These guys were more hard rockin' than a Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath, two bands that were popular during the 1970s. From the opening track, I Stole Your Love and beyond, Kiss' hard rock style in this album has you bouncing your head up and down to the beat rather than just another band having a hard rock sound that you couldn't find their somewhat 'rock/boogie' beat.

    Tomorrow And Tonight you can't help but imitate an air drummer, imagining twrling the sticks with one hand high in the air between the beats. Christine Sixteen is considered the only song that received any radio airplay. (I remember having the single, and loving that song every time I heard it.) Hooligan is a head-bouncing rocker. Almost Human is LOUD; it's not a head-bouncer, but DON'T have this one on too loud; you're head may just be bouncing on the inside, rather than on the outside. Whatever the case, this album you're either an air drummer, or most likely, an air guitarist. Here's a surprise, the last song is a remake of The Crystals' Then (S)he Kissed Me. This is a 60s tune, and it is a different way to end this album, as comparing the past nine hard rocking songs previously heard on this album.

    Kiss was a band that never received alot of radio airplay, unless there was an underground FM station that dared to play them while others (mostly AM stations) couldn't or wouldn't. Zeppelin, Sabbath, and other bands in that nature were in that same boat. The only way (at least when I was growing up), in hearing how great a Kiss album was, was by word of mouth from friends at school. In fact, Kiss wasn't a regular favorite until I grew older. I knew Kiss was out there, but radio stations were only playing a small handful of their songs. Of the radio airplay Kiss did get, they were probably best known for their live version of Rock and Roll All Nite, or in most cases, to satisfy the more mellow listeners, Beth. But in my opinion, songs like Christine Sixteen, (from Love Gun), Calling Dr. Love (from Rock And Roll Over) were also great tunes. These two did get some radio airplay, but album tracks like Black Diamond (from Kiss) or Two Timer (from Dressed To Kill) could easily have been favorites like say, an album track like Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven. I say this: Take a listen to Black Diamond, and unique as that song is, it should of been recognized as a standard Kiss favorite.

    The original Kiss or even the reshuffling lineups of Kiss albums is an event to explore. Throughout their career, Kiss may not be in a high caliber as other popular bands, but still, their music is unique and enjoyable for the fans who like hard rock/heavy metal. I don't think Kiss is in the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but it wouldn't surprise me if someday they will. Uniqueness back in the Seventies was Kiss. Their sound was different, and they looked different. And of course, many music lovers/critics had different opinions about the band. But looking back, Kiss has defined a sound that many other bands would grow on the term Heavy Metal. Kiss may not have been the founding fathers of Heavy Metal, but somewhere in that list, they would be considered an inspiration for many future rock acts and fans.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Casablanca Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #569
    Duran Duran--Duran Duran
    Next Review: #571
    The O'Jays--So Full Of Love