Kiss - Hotter Than Hell
Casablanca  (1974)
Hard Rock

In Collection

CD    10 tracks  (33:13) 
   01   Got To Choose             03:54
   02   Parasite             03:04
   03   Goin' Blind             03:36
   04   Hotter Than Hell             03:31
   05   Let Me Go, Rock 'n' Roll             02:15
   06   All The Way             03:18
   07   Watchin' You             03:45
   08   Mainline             03:52
   09   Comin' Home             02:39
   10   Strange Ways             03:19
Personal Details
Owner Terje Dokken
Links Amazon US
Cat. Number 532375-2
UPC (Barcode) 731453237520
Packaging Jewel Case
Sound Stereo
Vocals + Guitar Paul Stanley
Vocals + Bass Gene Simmons
Guitar + Vocals Ace Frehley
Drums + Vocals Peter Criss
Producer Kenny Kerner; Richie Wise
Released : October 22, 1974
Recorded : The Village Recorder Studios, Los Angeles - August 1974
Length : 33:07
Label : Casablanca
Producer : Kenny Kerner & Richie Wise

Hotter Than Hell is the second studio album from the group Kiss. It was certified Gold on June 23, 1977, having sold 500,000 copies. The album was re-released in 1997 (along with most of Kiss' earlier albums) in a remastered version. The album peaked on the charts at number 100 without the benefit of a hit single.

The production team of Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise, who had produced the group's first album, was chosen for the follow up. Since the pair had relocated to Los Angeles, Kiss flew there to work with them. The band, all New Yorkers, immediately developed a dislike for their new surroundings. Paul Stanley's guitar was stolen his first day in Los Angeles.

The working title for the album was "The Harder They Come".

Musically, Hotter Than Hell is darker than the band's first album. This is partly due to the murkier production values, but also to the lyrical content of some of the songs. "Goin' Blind," which details a doomed romance with a 93-year-old and an underage girl, was a song written by Gene Simmons and Stephen Coronel during Wicked Lester's existence. The original title was "Little Lady."

Hotter Than Hell featured far more overdubs than the first album. While Kerner and Wise wanted to produce a record that captured Kiss as a live act, they decided to take advantage of the experience the band had gained as recording artists.

Although the album featured two songs penned solely by Frehley, he did not lead sing either one of them. His lack of confidence in his singing abilities at the time led to lead vocal duties for "Parasite" and "Strange Ways" going to Gene Simmons and Peter Criss, respectively. Frehley's guitar solo in "Strange Ways" has been called one of his best.

The album is also known for its striking cover: the front featured Japanese manga-influenced artwork, and the back cover showed individual band shots taken by Norman Seeff at a wild party, and a composite of all four band members' makeup designs. Everyone present at the session (with the exception of Simmons) was drunk for the entire photography session. Stanley was so drunk he had to be locked in his car. Paul's drunken state can easily be seen on the album's front cover as it appears Peter Criss is holding him up while Paul holds onto Peter's leg.

The Japanese character on the bottom of the album cover (?) is chikara, which means "power." It would later be used on various forms of Kiss material during the 1970s and 1980s, most prominently on Eric Carr's drum kit.

The Japanese on the top-right corner of the album cover (?? ? ???) is jigoku no sakebi, which means "Hell's shout" or "The shout of hell."

Ace Frehley's image on the front cover is actually airbrushed, as a side of his face was injured in a car accident and was without makeup on the afflicted area at the time of the photo shoot. Also, the Japanese characters used for Ace's name pronounces it wrong. The characters are ??? ???? (eisu fyuuri), which would translate to "Ace Fury." The characters should have been ???????? (esu fureri).

Despite the intense touring schedule Kiss maintained in 1974, Hotter Than Hell failed to outperform the band's first album. In fact, it did considerably worse. This was due partly to the fact that Casablanca Records' distribution deal with Warner Bros. Records had ended. The publicity push behind the album was not nearly what it was for Kiss. One notable exception was a television commercial aired to promote the album. The only single released from the album, "Let Me Go, Rock 'n' Roll," was distributed in low numbers and failed to chart. Four months after the album was released, Kiss were pulled off tour and called back into the studio to record a follow up. Hotter Than Hell was certified Gold on June 23, 1977.

Many of Hotter Than Hell's songs are live staples for the band, including "Got to Choose", "Parasite", "Hotter Than Hell", "Let Me Go, Rock & Roll", and "Watchin' You".

- The Smelly Tongues covered "Parasite" on Hard to Believe: Kiss Covers Compilation.
- "Parasite" was also covered by American thrash metal band Anthrax on Attack of the Killer B's album in the early 90's.
- Anthrax also covered "Watchin' You" for the 2001 remastered Stomp 442.
- "Goin' Blind" was covered by The Melvins, on the 1993 release Houdini.
- "Comin' Home" has been translated into Swedish and recorded on the 2009 album Kyssar & Guld by Rolf Carlsson.
- "Strange Ways" was covered by Megadeth, Hypocrisy and Ulver.

Kenny Kerner – producer
Richie Wise – producer
Warren Dewey – engineer
Norman Seeff – photography, art direction
John Van Hamersveld – design, art direction
Joseph M. Palmaccio – remastering