Top critical review
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Great song writing... Weak sound production
on May 18, 2000
THE BAND: Gene Simmons (Gene Klein), Paul Stanley (Stanley Eisen), Ace Frehley (Paul Frehley), Peter Criss (Peter Crisscoula).
THE DISC: Released 10/22/74. Recorded at The Village Recorder in Los Angeles, CA. 10 songs clocking in at approximately 33 minutes. Hints of Japanese culture on the cover in conjunction with the band's kabuki style make up. Originally released on Casablanca Records in 1974; this remastered edition was released in 1997 on Mercury's label. Slightly improved sound in my book (deeper bass guitars and crisper highs)... but that's not saying much - the production on this album (and their first release) are downright horrible. Liner notes are slim - a 2 page fold out with song titles, writing credits and times. Underneath the disc on the inside cover, there's an informative 5 paragraph history of what the band was going through at the time.
COMMENTS: No radio hits here, however "Alive" (1975) featured 5 killer songs from "Hotter Than Hell"... the title track, "Parasite", "Let Me Go, Rock and Roll", "Watchin' You", and "Got To Choose". The deeper album cuts were very good as well - like "Goin' Blind", "Mainline" and "All The Way". In my opinion, the song writing here is/was top notch for Kiss. However, Kiss proved ultimately, that their live show was without question, far superior to their vinyl release(s). Great songs; flat production; a sign of greater things to come.