Love and Kisses

How Much, How Much I Love You

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While Love and Kisses' self-titled debut album was likable in spite of its excesses, How Much, How Much I Love You is marred by weaker material and ends up being suffocated by its excesses. The 16-minute title song, which takes up all of side one, drags on way too long for a tune that isn't very memorable and sounds like a poor man's "I've Found Love (Now That I Have Found You)." If a song is going to last that long, it should have an above-average groove, but this tune doesn't. Meanwhile, most of side two is devoted to "Beauty and the Beast," producer Alec R. Costandinos' cheesy 14-minute disco adaptation of the fairy tale. Costandinos was never one to shy away from camp, but his "Beauty and the Beast" is beyond campy -- it's silly and just plain corny. Side two ends on a surprising note with "Maybe," a decent, if unremarkable, pop ballad that is a major departure from the sort of hyper Eurodisco Love and Kisses was known for. What you won't hear is the theme song from Thank God It's Friday, which came out in 1978 but was only released as a single and isn't on any of Love and Kisses' LPs. And that's regrettable, because "Thank God It's Friday" is arguably the best song the group recorded.

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