Kiss: Ace Frehley
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.