1977, Music

Love Gun (1977) by KISS

I absolutely hated Destroyer, KISS’s most famous and ostensibly best record, so I had really low expectations for this record. Maybe that’s why I don’t hate it, but I think there are other reasons.

The biggest is that Ezrin is gone; Eddie Kramer is much more attuned to what KISS is and should be and so there is no attempt at turning them into Alice Kooper or Lou Reed. But it also sounds to me as if KISS have improved; not as songwriters necessarily – there’s nothing here as good as “Detroit Rock City” or possibly even “Shout it Out Loud,” though there’s nothing remotely as bad as “Great Expectations” either – but as performers; everyone sounds better here:

  • Criss is a better singer than I gave him credit for;
  • Frehley actually sounds like a decent guitarist – particularly in that almost Frippian run up the neck on the title track – though he can’t sing;
  • And though Gene Simmons still cannot sing, his songs are a little less awful and his all around limitations are less obvious, even though he contributed nearly half the record;
  • It should go without saying that Stanley, as always, is the MVP here, making everything better by his mere presence. (Yes, “Tomorrow and Tonight” is monumentally dumb, but at least it’s catchy.)

The songs are still mostly really mediocre and this is a band that I doubt I will ever respect or admire in any way – they’re too campy, they’re not talented enough – but I must say that I am pleasantly surprised that I don’t think this is dreck. It’s just middling. And that’s fine.


  1. “I Stole Your Love” (Paul Stanley) 3:04
  2. “Christine Sixteen” (Gene Simmons) 3:14
  3. “Got Love for Sale” (Simmons) 3:29
  4. “Shock Me” (Ace Frehley) 3:49
  5. “Tomorrow and Tonight” (Stanley) 3:40
  6. “Love Gun” (Stanley) 3:18
  7. “Hooligan” (Peter Criss, Stan Penridge) 3:01
  8. “Almost Human” (Simmons) 2:49
  9. “Plaster Caster” (Simmons) 3:27
  10. “Then She Kissed Me” (Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, Phil Spector) 3:02
  • Paul Stanley – vocals, rhythm guitar, bass on “Love Gun”, first guitar solo on “I Stole Your Love”
  • Ace Frehley – lead guitar, vocals, second guitar solo on “I Stole Your Love”, all guitars and bass on “Shock Me”
  • Gene Simmons – bass guitar, rhythm guitar on “Got Love For Sale” and “Christine Sixteen”, vocals
  • Peter Criss – drums, percussion, vocals
  • Eddie Kramer – keyboards on “Christine Sixteen”, “Love Gun” and “I Stole Your Love”

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