July 1977: KISS Releases "Love Gun" the Single

KISS LOVE GUN
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(Casablanca)

There was absolutely no stopping KISS in 1977. The shock-rockers had risen from the ranks of the rock and roll herd to be voted the most popular rock band in America that year by the Gallup poll. The group's first single of the year, "Calling Dr. Love," was released in February. The Gene Simmons track from Rock and Roll Over was popular enough to crack the America top 20, peaking at #16 for the week of May 14, 1977. The #1 song in America that week: "When I Need You" by Leo Sayer.

RELATED: June 1977: KISS Releases Love Gun the Album

KISS was already back in the recording studio by May 1977, releasing the Love Gun album at the end of June '77. It was on the last day of July 1977 when KISS released the album's title track as a single. The second single from the album following "Christine Sixteen" (which peaked at #25 on the Hot 100), "Love Gun" wasn't destined to be much of a chart mover. It only reached #61 in October of that year.

"Love Gun," however, was an instant hit with diehard KISS fans, and has become a staple of the band's concert tours. It was written by singer and guitarist, Paul Stanley.

"I wrote 'Love Gun' while on a plane to Japan. That was written in my head, the whole thing," Stanley revealed in KISS: Behind the Mask: The Official Authorized Biography. "And then when we landed, I had to play it to make sure it worked and it was all there. I think most of the time when you write songs that are great, you know it. I always thought 'Love Gun' was a great song, and today, I still think it is a tremendous song. It's probably the song I enjoy performing the most. To me, 'Love Gun' is quintessential KISS and probably one of the five essential signature songs. I played bass on the song. I was at a point where I liked going to Electric Lady recording studios and recording demos on my own and coming up with the parts and arrangements. With some songs it was clearly a matter of giving people parts to play because the vision I had was complete. A song was not only a song but it was an arrangement. So it was easier to go into the studio and say here's what the picture looked like."

 

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