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on September 23, 1999
Although the first KISS album is a classic, it suffered from bad production, making the songs sound weak and thin. This second outing from the "Painted Ones" sounds much heavier and has a wall of sound production that gives this album an "edge" that some KISS albums lack. Suprisingly, this album is often overlooked considering that some of the most bonafide KISS KLASSIKS are here. "Let Me Go, Rock N Roll" is a heavy Rockabilly number that has remained a staple of KISS live shows to this day. Likewise, "Parasite", "Watchin' You", and "Hotter Than Hell" are true gems that most KISS fans can easily start singing at the mere mention of their names. This is easily my favorite of the classic KISS albums and it sounds best when listining to it at top volume with headphones at 3:00 am.
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on October 28, 2012
The beginning....... In 1974 KISS released their first 3 albums in 12 months. Hotter Than Hell was the 2nd one. They were new on the scene, touring constantly, trying to find their sound and creating a live following. HTH documents this scenario perfectly.

The sound on the album can only be described as bass driven and muddy. The guitar solos are Ace's most unique and the songwriting is basic, cavemanish, rushed, unpolished, raw & simple.

All of the things mentioned above ended up being perfect ingredients for an incredible album. A snapshot of the time when a beast was learning how to walk and hunt and kill.

Seems to me that for KISS the songs that they come up with fast and record live in the studio seem to be their best. If you overthink it or beat it to death, the initial urgency/passion of the song fades away. Hotter Than Hell is one of a kind. No other KISS album is like it. If you were to clean it up or try to make it sound better you would destroy it.

All 4 band members put their stamp on this one. Strange ways is so unique that it is the highlight of this album. The guitar solo cannot be duplicated. Frehley channels the spirits of tortured souls through his Les Paul and the Marshall Amplifier can barely keep them contained from entering our dimension. When I played Strange Ways in the car my wife thought the cassette was dragging.....she hated it.....naturally I loved it and informed her that it was actually a CD and that it just has that slow, sludgy, heaviness. The only thing that has ever come close to the solo is Randy Bachman (BTO) guitar solo in "Second Hand" 2:05-end of song.

This album came out when KISS was hungry.....and it shows!!!
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on October 11, 2004
Many point to this album as not being one of Kiss' better efforts, or that it was a career "misstep"; in a way, I agree with the first, but I definitely don't agree with the second. Yes, this is not one of their better efforts, but it certainly doesn't suck by any means; the "sophomore jinx" didn't apply here as Kiss returned with a vengeance not quite 8 months after their classic debut was released.

During this period, Kiss were still trying to find their sound and establish their identity (or rather, conceal their identity!); they were touring at a near-constant pace and also facing a lot of pressure from their record label and management to deliver a "hit" album. So considering that this was rehearsed and recorded very quickly on their rare days off from touring (and not to mention that this was their 2nd album released in the same year), it's a consistent and rewarding album.

I absorbed "Hotter Than Hell" pretty heavily back in the day, but I've recently began re-absorbing it and have developed an even greater appreciation for it 30 years later. I agree with the many people who have said that the sound quality and production on this album are substandard and primitive, but perhaps that was the point of it all; a majority of the basic tracks were recorded live in the studio, and the liner notes on the CD state that with this album, Kiss succeeded in achieving the "untamed" sound they had been searching for.

Musically, the one member of Kiss who shines on this album is Ace Frehley; he began to make his presence known and stepped up to the plate to deliver some of his best guitar solos as well as some of his best and heaviest songs. "Strange Ways" is a prime example...the guitars are loud and leaden-sounding, and the plodding rhythms in the intro provided by the drums & bass make it sound like a sort of heavy metal Indian war dance. Ace furiously picks a frenetic, Hendrix-like guitar solo that will positively rip your head off at high volume!

My next favorite track is the somewhat disturbing "Goin' Blind", where Gene Simmons puts himself into the mind and body of a 93-year old man who is having a sordid affair with a 16-year old girl. As bizarre as the subject matter of the song is, it's classic Gene Simmons through and through; again, Ace Frehley delivers a short but effective guitar solo. Other standouts are the concert classic "Watchin' You", the slow and slurred title track and another concert staple "Let Me Go, Rock & Roll". Lastly, the oriental influence that dominates the album cover art gives it an "imported" look; at first glance, I thought that the album was a Japanese import and not an American release!

Overall, "Hotter Than Hell" is a definite progression from the more "tame" sound that characterized their debut album. Give it another listen and rediscover a true diamond in the rough!
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on January 16, 2006
After the poor reception and slow sales of Kiss' first album, the record company ordered them to return to the studio just a few months after the first album was released to create another album. The result was one of the best albums of their career, even though the production is a bit shoddy.

1. Got To Choose-5/5. Excellent Paul song that wasn't performed much after the Alive album. The lyrics are really cool and the vocals are excellent. Very heavy song.
2. Parasite-5/5. Another song written by Ace and sung by Gene. This has a classic heavy metal riff with great lyrics and plenty of attitude.
3. Goin' Blind-5/5. Great song by Gene with excellent music and vocals. The lyrics aren't great but they aren't terrible either. The most appealing thing about this song is the music. It is very unique.
4. Hotter Than Hell-5/5. This song is where the bad production shows up more than on any other. The song itself is great. Very heavy riff, great lyrics and vocals by Paul. One of their best.
5. Let Me Go, Rock and Roll-5/5. Very upbeat, fast tempo song written by Paul and Gene and sung by Gene. The lyrics are very rock and roll type lyrics. The chorus is very catchy. A great song.
6. All the Way-4/5. Another heavy song by Gene. The vocals are great, the music is cool, but the chorus is lacking a bit, making this a 4 instead of a 5. Still great, though.
7. Watchin' You-5/5. One of my personal favorite Kiss songs. The lyrics and vocals are really cool and the riff is awesome. Heavy metal at its best.
8. Mainline-4/5. Written by Paul and sung by Peter, this is a great song, but is very different for Kiss. It doesn't have the heavy riffs that most Kiss songs have and the chorus has a more rock and less metal feel to it.
9. Comin' Home-4/5. This is another example of how bad the production on this album is. The vocals sound rough. The music is cool but it is too distorted and there is way too much bottom end. This song would have been much better if the production would have been better.
10. Strange Ways-5/5. Very heavy song from Ace and sung by Peter. The riff is super heavy. Slow tempo gives it a monster metal feel to it. One of the best songs from Ace.

This album would have been near perfect if the production would have been much better. Although the band says that they were rushed for songs on this one and "Dressed To Kill", the songs themselves would never show it. They are among the best in Kiss' history. This album is a must for every Kiss fan, but may not be for casual fans.
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on August 26, 2013
The second LP by KISS ("Hotter than hell") was released in Fall, on October 22, 1974. Making the music for this album the KISS musicians were looking for heavier sound. Despite their debut, self-titled LP was successful, the music was not as tough as they wanted. As regards the artistic value "Hotter than hell" was comparable to the first album. The fans were satisfied with it. Moreover, that time KISS were also famous for their special live performances. They were also invited to take part in TV shows. All that things mentioned caused KISS to grow in popularity. They became rock stars who got accustomed to the rock 'n'roll lifestyle.
KISS decided to visit Los Angeles' Village Recorder to make "Hotter than hell". They made quite a long way from home city (New York) to achieve their goal.
It is not easy to select the best tracks from this LP as the music does not need any recommendation.
Paul Stanley wrote three tough and smashing songs ("Got to choose", "Hotter than hell" and "Mainline"). Gene Simmons introduced a few rather short but sweet tracks ("All the way" and "Watchin' you"). Ace Frehley was the author of another two songs ("Parasite", "Strange ways"). Both could have been recognized as the pure, heavy sound the band was searching for some time.
"Comin' home" - the only song by Paul Stanley and Ace Frehley here - actually
paid tribute to their home city (NYC). It should be said that the KISS musicians left their home city and were headed for Los Angeles in order to work on the new material for "Hotter than hell". The remaining pair of tracks ("Goin' blind" and Let me go, rock 'n' roll) were on a parallel with the rest. Gene Simmons and Stephen Coronel created the former. The latter was composed by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Both songs met the expectations of the most demanding fans and critics.
The lyrics of "Hotter than hell" center around the following topics:
- romantic attraction, lust, strong sex drive, sexual obsession, sexy appearance, adultery ("Got to choose", "Parasite", "Hotter than hell", "Watchin' you");
- communication between spouses or partners ("Strange ways", "All the way");
- the effects of aging ("Goin' blind");
- drug dependence ("Mainline");
- several aspects of rock 'n' roll's impact on teenagers and adults ("Let me go, rock 'n' roll");
- the magical city of New York ("Comin' home").
Even though we could listen to the remastered version, a disadvantage of the production is the quality of sound. In my opinion, it could be a little bit higher. But we should remember that in the early 70s. the technology suffered from many serious limitations as compared with the opportunites we are given today.
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on February 11, 2016
This was one of my first albums when I was much younger. It came out in 1974 when I was 8 years old. I had to have it for the song Hotter Than Hell which was my favorite song at the time. In 1976 I got it for my Birthday but my friends mom could not find the album only with it in Kiss originals series which had the first three albums all together at once. Let's say I wasn't upset, more bang for the buck! . Although I go back and forth which album I like the best I always come back to Hotter Then Hell. It has a raw and muddy sound to it , but that is it's appeal. I always liked the song Goin' Blind with that dark feel to it. Parasite and Strange Ways were some of Ace's best song writing, and the solo on Strange Ways is in your face Les Paul tone. This is not the KISS you will later hear in the 80's. This is real Ace in your face!
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on November 25, 2011
After buying KISS ALIVE!, I had to get their first three albums. Hotter Than Hell has a lot of great songs that made it to their first live album. Not totally impressed with the production, the songs speak for themselves.
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on November 29, 2011
This album is absolutely perfect. Every song is good rock and roll that is meant to be listened to at loud volumes. I can listen to this album over and over again and not get tired of it. The songs have an amazing sound. I highly recommend this album.
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on March 10, 2006
Don't laugh. This is a very good album and it stayed in constant rotation on my turntable when it first came out.

It's a rock guitar dream come true. Just listen to Strange Ways and tell me Ace can't play some fantastic guitar. This was in the days when they were struggling to make a name for themselves. Not the greatest sound quality. Still this is one for a true fan of the band and anyone who loves 70's hard rock guitar.
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on October 7, 2011
Recorded at a time when Kiss seemed scary and bigger than life. This isn't like the post 78 stuff. This is worthy of any true rock fans attention. It has a grunge like street feel to it . Kiss was a tight cohesive band at this time. Mean and lean. Songs such as Parasite, Going Blind, Strange Ways and Watchin You are standouts. Only issue is production. I think a previous reviewer nailed it on the head when he said the drums sound like they were recorded under water. I do enjoy that it doesn't sound so clean and polished but it would be great if the studio tapes were found, used and remixed. They maybe be able to reduce the amount of reverb that may have been added to the mix and bring the sound out more making it sound a bit more warm and less tinny. I wonder if Kiss had broken up after Alive if their reputation would have been better and similar to the stooges, Sex Pistols and others who only released a few albums before they burned out. Check this album out if you have any preconceived Ideas about Kiss. This may change your mind.
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