Hotter Than Hell
After their excellent self-titled debut album failed to take over the world—but did well in Detroit!—Kiss came back later that same year, 1974, with Hotter Than Hell, an album that built on the debut's formula. The songwriting was again shared between Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, with further input from lead guitarist Ace Frehley, and the emphasis was on heavy rock with a pop twist. Songs like “Got to Choose,” “Hotter Than Hell,” “Let Me Go, Rock ’n’ Roll,” and “All the Way” are essentially solid guitar riffs and catchy choruses perfect for the arena-sized crowds that had yet to surface. Hotter Than Hell, however, also ranks among the band’s heaviest albums. The teenager-grandpa relationship of Gene Simmons’ “Goin’ Blind” is as hilarious as it is bizarre (“I’m 93, you’re 16”). “Watchin’ You,” “Strange Ways,” and Frehley’s “Parasite” reflect the hard rock of the ‘70s and reveal the band’s tougher side.