KISS – I honestly don’t know what’s not to love about this KISS album. Since it’s October release back in 1989, I can’t ever refuse Hot In The Shade the moment my eyes make contact with it… I just have to play it and play it LOUD. This album is chock full of the patented KISS hard & heavy… with all the vocal harmony I could ever wish for. Melodic isn’t the word for a song like Hide Your Heart, super melodic is more like it. There should have been a disclaimer within the liner notes of Hot In The Shade for Hide Your Heart… that stating: Warning – this song is extremely contagious to your Hard Rock and Heavy Metal health!

Hot In The Shade opens up with Rise To It, man, if this KISS song doesn’t get a rise out of any fan of Hard Rock or ’80’s Heavy Metal, then that person should check into the: Sprawling Meadows Mellow Clinic for the Dazed and Confused. Seriously, if I am having a semi-funky day or I’m starting to feel a tad down, Hot In The Shade is a pump you up and psyche you out Heavy Metal prescription I reach for. Metal be thy name.

Even Michael Bolton got in on the act with Hot In The Shade, co-writing the power ballad – Forever alongside Paul Stanley. I guess if you need some teary eyed lyrics, just call Michael Bolton up and he will deliver the kleenex worthy goods. Never the excitable ballad fan that I am, Forever is one inspirational and love infested song. For being the power ballad that it is, I respect Forever and find it to be a decent listen. Plus, due to the intense psyched out mood I’m in while listening to Hot In The Shade, once Forever comes on… I keep on listening. It’s kinda funny how Forever is the song right after Love’s A Slap In The Face too.

Even a deep album track like Boomerang Rocks like there is no tomorrow, Gene Simmons sounds classic on vocals. Silver Spoon is another example of a deep track that resonates the classic hard & heaviness of KISS. Hot In The Shade was released at the tail end of the 80’s Heavy Metal boom… and what an asterisk KISS put at the end of this power packed decade. At the end of my Metal day, this is a KISS album from the past, that I would have no problem recommending to someone, who has never listened to this iconic band before. Is this the greatest KISS album ever? Of course it isn’t… yet it isn’t the Asylum album either.

KISS as they appeared on Hot In The Shade:

Gene Simmons – bass & vocals

Paul Stanley – guitar & vocals

Eric Carr – drums

Bruce Kulick – guitar

Track Listing for Hot In The Shade:

Rise To It


Hide Your Heart

Prisoner Of Love

Read My Body

Love’s A Slap In The Face


Silver Spoon

Cadillac Dreams

King Of Hearts

The Street Giveth And The Street Taketh Away

You Love Me To Hate You

Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell

Little Caesar


* KISS – Hot In The Shade was released on Mercury Records.




  1. You’re right, “Hot in The Shade” is a great album. On that tour, it is the first time I saw KISS live. Slaughter & Danger Danger were the opening acts. It was an outdoor venue on a beautiful July day. I had been divorced (from my first wife) a month and there were more girls in little black dresses that a Chinese funeral. Anyway, I think the irony surrounding the “Rise To It” video is hilarious in hindsight. KISS really seemed to have gotten past the whole “Hollywood Gene” thing by then. He seemed as dedicated to the band as Paul was (who carried them from 1984-1989). A tremendous album from a band that proved they were not only still relevant, but could hold there own with any other up & coming band in world of Rock ‘N’ Roll. It too is bittersweet that it is the last album with the great Eric Carr. He rips it up singing “Little Caesar”. For me, he didn’t do nearly enough lead singing as I would have liked. Great write up.

  2. Granted I have not heard this one in at least 17 years, but I remember it as being quite awful. Actually other than Creatures of the night and Lick it up I am not that fond of KISS in the 80’s. After Lick it up it was like they were only doing albums to tour and the music on those albums was pretty fluffy even for them. I admit in 1992 I was into Revenge and thought that KISS had turned it around. Now I listen to Revenge and it was a a vast improvement over the the previous few releases, but even it isn’t as strong as I once believed it to be.

  3. I am with Metal Mark, I can handle Creatures of the Night and some of Lick it Up, but after that it was “slim-pickins” for me folks.

    I do recall “Hide Your heart” being “Kiss-catchy”, and yes -the sappy “Forever” was as good as the other 200 rock/pop/power Ballads of that era, but by then EVERY band, and I mean EVERY band had already been there and done that.

    Hey -don’t knock the Sprawling Meadows Mellow Clinic for the Dazed and Confused!

    I am the new Music Director there and Wed. is Metal Day.

    We will be featuring Black Sabbath, early Scorpions/Judas Priest and Rainbow and Blue Cheer.

    “If it’s too loud, your too old” t-shirts will be required to attend this weeks session.

    Dr. King

    • metalodyssey Says:

      Sign me up for that Wednesday night clinic… I’ll bring some Powermad and some Obsession too!

      This is starting or has become – “The Great Hot In The Shade Debate”!

  4. elabryth Says:

    I have to step in here… KISS in the 80’s were FANTASTIC!!! “Heavens on Fire”, “King of The Mountain”, “I’ve Had Enough”, “I’m Alive”, “Hell or High Water”, “Thief in The Night”, “Let’s Put the X in Sex”, “Tears Are Falling”, “Young & Wasted”, “No, No, No”, .. I could go on & on. including “Hot in The Shade”, KISS releases in the 80’s were just GREAT Rock ‘N’ Roll. The problem with the 80’s KISS is that they couldn’t decide how to present themselves out of their makeup. The neon of the “Who Wants to be Lonley” video, Gene’s wig, Paul’s terrible guitar solo on the Animalize LIVE video (instead of letting Bruce, the new guy, do the solo), there are other examples. KISS songs are like Pizza… when it’s good, it’s very good. When it’s bad, it’s still O.K. \M/

  5. Sorry, but KISS spent most of the 80’s going through the motions much like Paul Stanley dancing with his guitar rather than actually playing it. They were more concerned with what color spandex to wear and making cornball videos than they were with writing good hard rock songs. Now compared to other 80’s hard rock acts maybe they were not that bad. However they were definitely a shell of what they were in the 70’s. Other than Creatures of the night which was outstanding and Lick it up which was decent. Cheese can be good some times, but not for most of a decade.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      I sometimes do wonder though… if KiSS released “Dynasty” in the late 1980’s, without makeup, would that constitute it being a “dud”? “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” was really “off the map” for KISS then… yet being a Kissaholic that I am, I still like that darn song. I can’t shake it. I don’t know what else to say.

      I like that you pointed out: “Compared to other 80’s Hard Rock acts maybe they were not that bad”. Really, that is very true… New Wave, College and Alternative Rock was penetrating the airwaves during the “fun” 80’s and KISS at least kept it hard and heavy, albeit very melodically.

  6. metalodyssey Says:

    Where’s The Metal Files when we need him??!!

  7. I am huge KISS fan but this is the worst KISS album IMO, this coming from a fan who loved ‘Dynasty’ ‘Unmasked’ and ‘The Elder’. While it is a welcome return to KISS’s heavier style and has good songs, I just felt it was not a strong effort, IMO the band forgot to bring songs to the party.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      Ouch! “The Elder” to this day I can’t get into. “Unmasked” I can’t get enough of and “Dynasty” is a real cool album… “Sure Know Something” is a fabulous KISS song. “Charisma” is Classic Gene Simmons.

      I find “Hot In The Shade” to be much better than “Asylum”. “Tears Are Falling” just drives me crazy… it’s not my favorite KISS song. It’s always interesting though, finding out which KISS albums are the faves and which ones are not amongst the KISS Army. KISS having so many albums out over the decades makes for cool chat & debate.

  8. On FB I have doing a thread of KISS where a post one song from each album in their discography, so I sort of being going thru their albums and enjoying them and I finally read Gene Simmons book.

    The cool thing about being a KISS or metal fan in general is we care about the music get so passionate about it etc,

  9. wallernotweller Says:

    here is my 10c worth chap. great writing by the way!!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: