Hotter Than Hellby Kiss
Although Kiss' self-titled debut performed respectably on the charts, it was not the blockbuster they had hoped for. With the album fading on the charts in the summer of 1974, Kiss was summoned back into the studio to work on a follow-up. Producers Richie Wise and Kenny Kerner were onboard again, and even though the sonics are muddier (and more filler is present in the compositions), Hotter Than Hell is another quintessential Kiss release. Many of the songs have been forgotten over the years (few have been featured in concert after the '70s), but there are still more than a few gems to be found. It's unclear if the members of Kiss were having problems with their personal relationships at the time, but it's a common thread that runs through the songs. The plodding "Got to Choose" and the rapid-fire "Parasite" deal with love gone bad; the title track is about unobtainable love, while "Goin' Blind" is a disturbing tale of a 93-year-old having an affair with a 16-year-old. Also included are the early favorites "Let Me Go, Rock 'n' Roll" and "Watchin' You," as well as the original electric version of "Comin' Home" (an acoustic version was the opener of 1996's MTV Unplugged) and "Strange Ways," which contains one of Ace Frehley's best guitar solos. Even though Hotter Than Hell actually fared worse on the charts than the debut, it has become a revered album among Kiss fans over the years -- and rightfully so.
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Performance CreditsKiss Primary Artist
Peter Criss Drums,Vocals
Ace Frehley Guitar,Vocals
Gene Simmons Electric Bass,Vocals
Paul Stanley Guitar,Vocals
Technical CreditsWarren Dewey Engineer
Kenny Kerner Producer,Audio Production
Richie Wise Producer,Audio Production
Norman Seeff Art Direction
Mitchell Kanner Redesign
John Van Hamersveld Art Direction
Robert V. Conte Liner Notes
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I must admit I did not like this record that much when I first heard it, but it has slowly grown on me over the years. Now I am prepared to say that I like it better than their debut album. I can still only give it three stars because of the poor production quality, but the lyrics, especially, indicate growth and development among the bandmembers and the lesser known KISS songs on this record, unfairly dismissed as filler by many reviewers, actually fare better than some of the better known KISS classics featured here (which, as was the case with their debut, sound much better on Alive!)There are several unearthed KISS gems on this record, many of which the band has never performed live, which deserve to be heard. "Goin' Blind" is one of Gene Simmons's best early compositions, having been written before the band was formed, and features one of his best vocal performances. The song could as easily been recorded by Jethro Tull or Genesis and shows that KISS could expand beyond the often limited boundaries of Hard Rock if they so chose. "Mainline," written by Paul Stanley and sung by Peter Criss, betrays a southern rock influence. "All the Way" is a funky soulful Simmons composition that illustrates his obssession with aloof women, a theme he would return to several times in his compositions. "Comin" Home," featuring a rare Paul Stanley/Ace Frehley songwriting credit sounds like Slade in their heyday. This record also features two of Ace Frehley's best compositions: "Parasite," which would become a staple of their live performances and "Strangeways" which strangely would not. The latter is one of the heaviest songs the band has recorded and was, fortunately, rescued from obscurity on the band's 2001 box set. Of the KISS classics featured here, "Parasite" and "Hotter Than Hell" fare the best in comparison with their live versions on Alive! I actually prefer the studio version of the title track to the live one as I believe the former is more reflective of Stanley's original vision for the song. The slower, grinding pace of the studio version captures the essence of the song perfectly which Stanley has admitted in a recent interview (for the authorized KISS biography Behind the Mask) was a undisguised rewrite of Free's "All Right Now" with a twist: in the KISS song the protagonist strikes out. If you have never heard this record, or if you have not heard it in some time, I would highly recommend that you add it to your collection.
if you don't like this one you don't like KISS.The band is playng great.The songs are great.
The KISS album "Hotter Than Hell"is Number 3 on the list of the best KISS albums.The strongest song is "Hotter Than Hell"and the weakest is "Comin' Home".This album also has the first Gene Simmons ballad,"Goin' Blind".If you collect KISS albums and you don't have this album,your collection is incomplete.
The first "grunge" record was made in 1974 by Kiss and its called "Hotter Than Hell". Two stellar songs by Ace (Parasite & Strangeways) really make this album great. Gene Simmons wrote his best balled ever (Goin Blind) for this album and also wrote the wickedly heavy "Watchin You". Because this is very much an Ace & Gene album, it is very heavy, very raw and kind of twisted. It is the classic that paved the way for grunge twenty years later.
I've never really understood the ranting & raving over this release. I think it is, by far, the worst of the 1st generation Kiss albums. It simply drags on, like a bad movie that you're hoping will end. All of the songs are too slow & boring; it's to the point of being depressing! The production is bad, & it sounds like the band is struggling. The only hope of a bright spot is ''Strange Ways'', which would've been better had Frehley himself sang it instead of Criss. I would recommend getting this album to simply fulfill your collection, but don't buy it to listen to, you'll be disappointed...