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Today In KISStory - October 22, 1974: KISS release their second studio album "Hotter Than Hell".
"Hotter Than Hell" was certified gold on June 23, 1977, having shipped 500,000 copies. The album was re-released in 1997 in a remastered version. It peaked on the charts at #100, without the benefit of a hit single. Many of the album's songs are live staples for the band, including "Got to Choose", "Parasite", "Hotter Than Hell", "Let Me Go, Rock & Roll", and "Watchin' You".
The production team of Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise, who had produced the group's first album, was chosen for the follow-up. Since the pair had relocated to Los Angeles, Kiss moved there to work with them. The band, all hailing from New York, immediately developed a dislike for their new surroundings. Paul Stanley's guitar was stolen on his first day in Los Angeles. The working title for the album was The Harder They Come. 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 album is well known for its striking cover. The front featured Japanese manga-influenced artwork, and the back cover showed individual band shots taken by Norman Seeff at a wild party, and a composite of all four band members' makeup designs.
The Japanese character on the bottom of the album cover is chikara, which means "power". It would later be used on various forms of Kiss material during the 1970s and 1980s, most prominently on Eric Carr's drum kit. The Japanese characters on the top-right corner of the album cover are jigoku no sakebi, which means "hell's shout" or "the shout of hell". The Japanese characters used for Ace's name are mispronounced. The characters are (eisu fyuuri), which would translate to "Ace Fury". The characters should have been (esu fureri).
Every shot of Frehley has his makeup airbrushed into the photo, as he had injuries to one side of his face after a vehicle accident, making it difficult for him to actually wear the makeup.