"Kiss: Ace Frehley" by Ace Frehley on iTunes

9 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 1978 the four members of Kiss simultaneously released solo albums to better express each persona. “Spaceman” Ace Frehley had always been the group’s dark horse. The fiery lead guitar player contributed the occasional track (“Cold Gin,” “Shock Me,” “Rocket Ride”) but mostly left the heavy lifting to Kiss founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. But on his first solo outing, Frehley came out swinging hard. Stanley, who already defined much of the group’s sound, had delivered the most “Kiss-like” release, while Gene Simmons offered up an unexpected variety show of guests and musical styles. Frehley, meanwhile, stuck to the hard rock playbook and immediately added a hit single with a cover of Russ Ballard’s “New York Groove,” along with his own powerful originals, the guitar-led “Rip It Out,” “Wiped Out,” and the instrumental “Fractured Mirror.” Though Frehley was never gifted with a particularly pleasing voice, he does exude a spirited excitement for “Speedin’ Back to My Baby,” “I’m in Need of Love,” and “Snow Blind,” tunes that would’ve greatly added to any legitimate Kiss album.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 1978 the four members of Kiss simultaneously released solo albums to better express each persona. “Spaceman” Ace Frehley had always been the group’s dark horse. The fiery lead guitar player contributed the occasional track (“Cold Gin,” “Shock Me,” “Rocket Ride”) but mostly left the heavy lifting to Kiss founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. But on his first solo outing, Frehley came out swinging hard. Stanley, who already defined much of the group’s sound, had delivered the most “Kiss-like” release, while Gene Simmons offered up an unexpected variety show of guests and musical styles. Frehley, meanwhile, stuck to the hard rock playbook and immediately added a hit single with a cover of Russ Ballard’s “New York Groove,” along with his own powerful originals, the guitar-led “Rip It Out,” “Wiped Out,” and the instrumental “Fractured Mirror.” Though Frehley was never gifted with a particularly pleasing voice, he does exude a spirited excitement for “Speedin’ Back to My Baby,” “I’m in Need of Love,” and “Snow Blind,” tunes that would’ve greatly added to any legitimate Kiss album.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5

49 Ratings

The best of the solos

Rdkendrick,

Ace had the best of the four solos. Snow Blind, New York Groove, and a couple of others songs, were far better than the the other three solos, put together.

ace solo albums

adm5150,

ace freely was the best musician in kiss. all of his solo albums are evidence of that,especially aces first solo album. with smashing hits like ,rip it out, i’m in need of love,and party songs like wiped out and each song has ripping typical ace guitar solos...

About Ace Frehley

Along with Eddie Van Halen, Kiss' Ace Frehley inspired numerous up-and-coming rockers to pick up the guitar in the 1970s -- and come the '90s, he was listed by just about every contemporary rock guitarist (Soundgarden's Kim Thayil, Pearl Jam's Mike McCready, Pantera's Dimebag Darrell, etc.) as an important influence. Born Paul Frehley on April 27, 1951, in the Bronx, New York, Frehley began playing guitar when he received an electric six-string for his 14th birthday in 1965. Already a big fan of the Rolling Stones, Frehley was blown away when he caught a multi-band live show in N.Y.C. in early 1967, featuring both the Who and Cream, among others, which solidified his desire to pursue rock guitar more seriously (and put a promising art career on the back burner). Frehley began playing in local bands soon after, adding both Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix to his influences -- and around this time, adopted the nickname "Ace." Although none of the bands he played with had taken off, he answered an ad in a local paper for a new hard rock, theatrically based group in early 1973.

A few weeks after his initial tryout, Frehley was hired as the lead guitarist for the new quartet, joining bassist/singer Gene Simmons, rhythm guitarist/singer Paul Stanley, and drummer Peter Criss to form the band Kiss. By year's end, the greasepaint- and costume-wearing band was signed to Casablanca Records, and by 1978, had become one of the world's top hard rock bands. A string of platinum albums and sold-out tours lasted from 1975-1979, until the trappings of fame threatened to break up the band. Frehley's best friend in the band, Criss, left Kiss in 1980, as the group unsuccessfully experimented with non-metal styles. Ace Frehley's use of alcohol and drugs increased due to his ever-increasing unhappiness in the band, and, by 1982, he'd exited Kiss.

Within a year or two after his split from Kiss, Ace began putting his own solo band together, Frehley's Comet. The band played local N.Y.C. clubs, but failed to issue a record until 1987's self-titled debut for Megaforce Records. Instead of following the heavy metal direction of his exceptional 1978 solo album, Frehley's Comet tried to keep pace with the current pop-metal movement (Mötley Crüe, etc.), issuing two other albums (and a live EP) by 1989. Around this time, Frehley put his old art talents to use once again through computer graphics, with a few of his images even being featured in an art exhibit. Despite mudslinging in the press between Simmons/Stanley and Frehley in the early '90s, all four original Kiss members made up in time to reunite for a 1995 taping of MTV Unplugged. The taping was such a success that it led to a full-blown reunion of the original lineup, resulting in the massively successful 1996-1997 Alive Worldwide Tour.

Frehley continued as a member of Kiss until the end of their Farewell Tour (lasting longer than fellow original member Peter Criss, who dropped out in 2001). Live appearances, including gigs at the massive Rocklahoma festival, kept Ace busy until 2009, when he released the album Anomaly on his own label, Bronx Born Records. In 2011 he published No Regrets, a detailed and frank memoir that recounted, among other things, his aforementioned struggles with alcohol and cocaine addiction. In 2013 he celebrated seven years of sobriety and spent much of that year appearing at horror, sci-fi, and pop culture conventions.

The following April, after a long wait, Kiss were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, before August brought the release of Space Invader, a solo album that took a heavier approach than Anomaly. Released in 2016, Origins, Vol. 1 was an all-covers album featuring songs from Ace's favorite bands, up to and including Kiss, with new versions of "Parasite" and "Cold Gin" sitting next to songs from Thin Lizzy and Cream. The following year, Frehley joined Kiss bassist/vocalist Simmons on-stage at a Hurricane Harvey benefit for the Children Matter organization in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was the first time the former bandmates had performed together in over 16 years. ~ Greg Prato

  • ORIGIN
    New York, NY [The Bronx]
  • BORN
    Apr 27, 1951

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