An image of Hot Chocolate's studio album Love Shot. This album cover features an old analogue camera with a black and white image of an eye where the lens should be. The background is a shiny, psychedelic print with lettering in the top left-hand corner reading 'Hot Chocolate' in black block letters and 'Love Shot' in identical smaller violet letters underneath.

Hot Chocolate were a classic example of the music snob’s contempt for an act that was far from cool but massively popular. Love Shot, the band’s eighth studio album, was as modestly received as the rest of their catalogue. However, with their slick melodies, adaptation of numerous musical fashions and an instantly recognisable lead singer, Hot Chocolate were fantastic.

That they had an entry in the UK singles chart every year from 1970 to 1984 says a lot, and this affable album brings that glorious run to its conclusion.

Love Shot followed the Hot Chocolate formula of exceptional lyrics on amiable melodies, all harnessed by Errol Brown’s charisma. Three singles came from it, including the jolly I Gave You My Heart (Didn’t I), which earnt them their last original Top 20 hit, and the more maudlin Tears On The Telephone.

Sentimentality works thanks to Brown’s charm on mid-tempo tracks Jeannie and Let’s Try Again, while Friend Of Mine hints at darker stuff related to a love triangle. The bouncy Touch The Night is a standout track – the soulful chorus befitting their disco-influenced 70s heyday.

Love Shot was released on the Rak label and was scorned or shunned by critics. The band disbanded afterwards and Brown went on alone as a solo artist.

Written by Matthew Rudd

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