“Ace Frehley Solo” (remaster) by KISS

Artist: KISS: Ace Frehley
Title: “Ace Frehley – Solo” (remaster)
Label: Mercury/Universal
Release Date: 9/16/1997
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 9/10

In 1978 KISS did the unthinkable and released solo albums for each individual member of the group. It allowed the band to showcase what drove them musically on an individual level. As soon as the opening riffs on Ace’s solo album began it was clear that this would be among the best of the individual releases. The songs all around this recording leaned to the creative aspect of the KISS guitarist very well and by kicking off with “Rip It Out” you were made to feel as though you were in a concert setting immediately. “Speedin’ Back To My Baby” and “Wiped Out” are also solid rockers and play against Ace’s established style perfectly. There were no new tricks and surprises to spring on the fans with his solo and if they expected a rocking guitar record they most certainly got one with this release. Despite the number of catchy songs the most unexpected part of Frehley’s solo would be the knock down hit he had with “New York Groove”. Instead of bandleaders Stanley and Simmons delivering such a track or even Criss (who found his “Beth” becoming one of the bands most staple tracks) we get this simple and basic blockbuster from The Space Ace.

Over 20 years later the song is still the most popular single out of all the member solo albums and comes to mind faster than any track on the albums of his peers. The record closes out with the very interesting “Fractured Mirror”, an instrumental track that features Frehley playing a wide variety of guitar riffs and layering them over each other to an amazing effect. This is still one of my favorite tracks from his solo effort. Assisted by Anton Fig on drums, the Ace Frehley solo album is bar far the heaviest and most popular sellers of the four. This is a must- have for anyone looking into giving a couple of these recordings a chance.

The KISS remasters are excellent in their overall sound quality but do not offer any additional or unreleased songs outside of what was on the original album. The original artwork is replicated and features the interesting graphics that often made up a KISS Album. If the artwork was limited, this is of course reflected as well. Music History fans will appreciate the included historical liner notes on the CD’s inner section. Each release has information that is topical to the album and the bands history.

Track Listing:
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
7. I’m In Need Of Love
8. Wiped Out
9. Fractured Mirror

Official Web site: www.kissonline.com

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