June 1977: KISS Releases "Love Gun" The Album

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The year was 1977. KISS was firing on all all cylinders, and about to hit warp speed. The band was still riding high on the creative and commercial success of 1976 studio effort, Rock and Roll Over, when they returned with the turbo-charged LP, Love Gun.

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The album was preceded by curious first single, "Christine Sixteen." The brazen Gene Simmons song about an older man infatuated with a 16-year-old girl went on to be a hit, peaking at #25 on the Hot 100 for the week of September 3, 1977. The #1 song in America that week: The Emotions' "Best of My Love."

Love Gun was the first KISS album to feature each of the band's four members singing lead on a song, boasting guitarist Ace Frehley's lead vocal debut on fan favorite, "Shock Me."

The second and last single from the Love Gun album was the high-energy title track. The Paul Stanley composition that the singer considers "quintessential KISS" and one of his all-time favorite tunes in the band's discography wasn't much for the charts. The tune only reached #61 on the Hot 100.

Released on June 30, 1977, Love Gun (complete with cardboard toy "love gun" to be assembled slipped inside the cover) was a monster hit, storming up the charts to peak at #4 for the week of July 30, 1977. The #1 album in America that week: Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. Casablanca shipped one million copies of the album on the first day of release, en route to being certified as a platinum release.

Love Gun is also famous for being the last KISS album to feature Peter Criss playing drums on every song. Session drummer Anton Fig would man the kit for many tunes on studio follow-up, Dynasty.

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