- Vinyl (April 1, 2014)
- Original Release Date: 2014
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 moved there to work with them. The band, all hailing from New York, immediately developed a dislike for their new surroundings. Paul Stanley's guitar was stolen on his first day in Los Angeles. The working title for the album was The Harder They Come. Although the album featured three songs penned by lead guitarist Ace Frehley, he did not sing lead vocals on any 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 on "Strange Ways" has been referred to as one of his best.
The album is well 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.
The Japanese character on the bottom of the album cover (力) 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 characters on the top-right corner of the album cover (地獄 の さけび) are jigoku no sakebi, which means "hell's shout" or "the shout of hell". The Japanese characters used for Ace's name are mispronounced. The characters are エイス フューリ (eisu fyuuri), which would translate to "Ace Fury". The characters should have been エースフレーリー (esu fureri).
Every shot of Frehley has his makeup airbrushed into the photo, as he had injuries to one side of his face after a vehicle accident, making it difficult for him to actually wear the makeup.
Despite the intense touring schedule Kiss maintained in 1974, Hotter Than Hell failed to outperform the band's first album and fared 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 the debut album. 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.
Musically, Hotter Than Hell is darker than the band's first album. This is partly due to the murkier production values, but also the lyrical content of some of the songs. "Goin' Blind", which details a doomed romance between a 93-year-old and an underage girl, was a song written by Simmons and Stephen Coronel during their days with Wicked Lester. The original title was "Little Lady". Hotter Than Hell featured a lot 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.
|1.||"Got to Choose"||Paul Stanley||Stanley||3:54|
|2.||"Parasite"||Ace Frehley||Gene Simmons||3:02|
|3.||"Goin' Blind"||Simmons, Stephen Coronel||Simmons||3:37|
|4.||"Hotter Than Hell"||Stanley||Stanley||3:30|
|5.||"Let Me Go, Rock 'n' Roll"||Simmons, Stanley||Simmons||2:15|
|6.||"All the Way"||Simmons||Simmons||3:18|
|9.||"Comin' Home"||Stanley, Frehley||Stanley||2:38|
- 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, Ulver and Vicious Rumors.
- "Watchin' You" was covered by Motorpsycho on the 1994 EP Another Ugly ep.
- Paul Stanley - vocals, rhythm guitar
- Ace Frehley - lead guitar (bass guitar on "Parasite", backing vocals on "Parasite", "Comin' Home", and "Strange Ways")
- Gene Simmons - vocals, bass guitar
- Peter Criss - vocals, drums, percussion
- Kenny Kerner - producer
- Richie Wise - producer
- Warren Dewey - engineer
- Norman Seeff - photography, art direction
- John Van Hamersveld - design, art direction
- Joseph M. Palmaccio - remastering
|Australian Albums Chart||98|
|Canadian Albums Chart||91|
|US Billboard Pop Albums||100|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
- Casablanca NBLP-7006 (October 22, 1974): 1st LP issue
- Mercury 314 532 375-2 (July 15, 1997): Remastered CD