House of Lords' foundations lay in Giuffria, a melodic rock band led by titular keyboardist Gregg Giuffria, best known for their Top 30 hit "Call to the Heart." After being dropped by MCA following the failure of its second album, Silk and Steel, the band started demoing songs for a tentative third album. While shopping for a new deal, the band caught the attention of Gene Simmons, who happened to be starting his own label at the time, Simmons Records. The famous bassist enjoyed what he heard, but would only sign them on the condition that they drop lead singer David Glen Eisley, as Simmons didn't like his voice. Connecticut-born James Christian was then brought in at the suggestion of bassist (and previous companion in L.A. Rocks) Chuck Wright. The band's eponymous debut album, which featured a heavier, less keyboard-driven sound than Giuffria, was released in 1988. The record sold respectably, hitting number 78, while lead single "I Wanna Be Loved" managed number 58. Following the completion of the album's tour, guitarist Lanny Cordola was replaced by Michael Guy.