Released on 22 October 1974, KISS’ sophomore effort, ‘Hotter than Hell’ fared considerably worse than their debut album, partly due to Casablanca’s distribution deal with Warner Bros. falling apart just as the album was hitting stores. The album only featured one single, “Let Me Go, Rock N’ Roll” which failed to chart.

Produced by Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise, ‘Hotter than Hell’ was a much darker affair than the debut and the lyrical content seedier, which, of course, would lay the groundwork for the band’s career moving forward. The band members relocated from NYC to Los Angeles to work on the album and Paul Stanley’s guitar was stolen the day he arrived, which only added to his tremendous dislike of the city.

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 tour for ‘Hotter than Hell’ was cut short to rush the band back into the studio to begin tracking followup ‘Dressed to Kill, which was released only five months later.

Peaking at number 100 on the Billboard charts, ‘Hotter than Hell’ eventually went gold on 23 June 1977.

The album would be reissued on 15 July 1997 by Mercury Records.


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