“She looked good she looked Hotter Than Hell, all dressed in satins and lace. I looked at her and it was just too clear…..I had to get on the case”……. Yeah the words still come to me so many years after I first heard the sophomore effort by KISS and their album “Hotter Than Hell”. Of course the album’s title track was the recordings fourth number on the LP but I digress. Can you believe that is has been that long since it was released? Now I’ll admit that given my own personal vintage that I was not a KISS fan at the time that this album came out (that epiphany would hit me around the time of “Destroyer” or maybe it was even with “Alive” but the memory is slightly cloudy on it). I had heard the band already since the radio stations of the day would play some KISS tunes but would not own albums of my own for some years to come but I digress….yes “Hotter Than Hell”, wow forty years old today October 22nd 2014.
One of the main things that interests me about “Hotter Than Hell” is that it was released only eight months and a couple of days after the band’s debut “KISS” and like its predecessor would be issued by Casablanca Records with production by Richie Wise and Kenny Kerner. The production on this release was not as clean as the one on the debut and the songs have a noticeably darker vibe and feel to them in terms of their sound and while this one eventually grew on me, I don’t recall it being one of my favorites in the catalog when I first got around to exploring the albums that I had missed out on. Looking over its track listing I have to say that there are more than a handful of tunes on this album that are now among my favorites in the KISS repertoire. You can never go wrong with the title track and then there is “Got To Choose”, “Watchin’ You”, “Let Me Go Rock n Roll” and “Parasite”. Whew some really rocking stuff right there and when the original lineup did their first major makeup reunion tour almost all of these were a part of the set list. I should add that the song “Comin’ Home” was not a song of choice until I saw KISS do their “MTV Unplugged” episode many years later as it just felt so different to me. It’s kind of amusing to know how that same MTV show led to the bands original lineup reunion tour as well. That was then and so much more has transpired in the world of KISS. So look over these tunes and tell me what your favorites were. Where they the same as my own? Do you fault my “classics” only views on the ones that I like (gosh I hope not because to each their own right?).
1. Got To Choose
3. Goin’ Blind
4. Hotter Than Hell
5. Let Me Go, Rock ‘n’ Roll
6. All The Way
7. Watchin’ You
9. Comin’ Home
10. Strange Ways
Fans can keep up with the current adventures of KISS via their official website which is linked below along with the Wikipedia entry for this album. That one will let you absorb more about its overall creative process and its history which I am toasting here for you today. I would love readers to let me know their own views on this album and how they liked or hated it if that was the case. These features are more fun with audience participation so bring it on.
You can order a copy of the bands remastered edition of “Hotter Than Hell” via the link below: