A few weeks ago I embarked on a “Top 10 KISS song” journey that hasn’t quite ended yet. I wrote the post, but I can’t seem to stop listening to the albums… Recently, I’ve been rockin’ out to Ace Frehley’s 1978 solo album – which is widely regarded as the best of the 4 solo albums, and I’d have to agree with that evaluation.
Track List – dive in at your leisure…
1 – Rip It Out
2 – Speedin’ Back To My Baby
3 – Snow Blind
4 – Ozone
5 – What’s On Your Mind?
6 – New York Groove (Check out New York Groove under the Brooklyn Bridge in ’96)
7 – I’m In Need Of Love
8 – Wiped-Out
9 – Fractured Mirror
For me, looking back in retrospect (given I wasn’t born until ’83 – my fan-dom stretches from ’96 to now), it’s not hard to figure out why Ace’s album turned out the best of the four.
If you ask any knowledgeable KISS or Ace Frehley fan, they’ll tell you that Ace’s style – straight flash and balls, the reasons KISS fans wish he was back in the band. Ace really is a rock and roll purist – he doesn’t dig keyboards and pop songs… He wants to play real rock – brash leads, driving rhythms, and loud drums. And the Ace Frehley solo album are those things… Which is why it translates to KISS fans more so than the other 3 solo efforts.
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, who are the main creative forces in KISS, had a chance to part from the material KISS fans came to expect. Gene took that opportunity, but Paul didn’t really stray far off course. Paul just didn’t record a strong batch of songs, though, I do love “Love In Chains” and “Tonight You Belong To Me” off PS’s album. And I’d be lying through my teeth if I didn’t say how much I like the Gene Simmons record. I can’t believe “Burning Up With Fever”, which written during KISS’ Dressed To Kill sessions in 1975, didn’t make it onto a KISS record before his solo effort. Especially in place of “Then She Kissed Me” on Love Gun in ’77. The Ace Frehley and Gene Simmons albums are my clear-cut favorites in this department. Again – when it comes to the best, Ace’s album takes the cake.
And to prove I’m not bias towards everything KISS, I will admit to down right hating, neglecting… however you’d like to put it, when it comes to Peter Criss’ album. In my opinion, Peter’s album is bad… really bad.
I listened to a Gene Simmons sound bite recently where he addressed Peter’s lack of drumming & song writing ability, and inability to take his responsibilities seriously. After listening to Gene’s statement, it’s no surprise to me why Peter’s album quickly turned into a disaster.
4 – Peter Criss