Monday, April 29, 2013

Ace Frehley--New York Groove (1978)

     It's one of those questions that 35 years later makes one scratch their head. Why would the group KISS, at the top of popularity, decide for all of it's members to record a solo album? As we see now, even early on, the business firm of Simmons & Stanley were all about marketing the group as best they could. Of course, there was nothing wrong with that, but one could see now that although the albums sold well to the faithful, dumping four solo albums into the market at the same time might not have been the best idea.
      Of the four, Gene Simmons' album sold the best, but all these years later, it was evident that the most solid album (in my not so humble opinion) belonged to Ace Frehley. Part of my reasoning for this had to do with the fact that the best of Simmons' or Stanley's work could be found on the KISS albums themselves. Peter Criss and Ace Frehley were not only holding their best ideas musically, but they also had a lot more to prove. This is why I believe both of their solo albums were superior.    Certainly when it came to singles off said albums, Frehley did best with New York Groove" reaching the top 20.
     Paul Daniel Frehley was born into a family of musicians and given his first guitar at the age of 13. He played in a series of bands during his teenaged years (it was also where he got the name 'Ace'), but was after High School that he answered an ad in the Village Voice for a guitar player. The name of the group was 'Wicked Lester' and after an audition, members Simmons, Stanley, and Criss invited him to be a part of the band.
     Shortly after this, they changed the name to KISS with Ace coming up with the lightning bolt logo that has become so famous. By 1974 they had released their first album and within the next four years they had risen to becoming the top band in the US Interestingly enough, after the four solo albums, their popularity began a slow decline in the states while at the same time becoming a world wide phenomenon.
     Because of creative differences, Ace left the band in 1981 as he embarked on a solo career. His group, "Frehley's Comet" had some moments in the mid-80's, but perhaps the six years between recording with KISS and their first album with the Comet greatly slowed his momentum. They broke up before the end of the decade, but reformed again to release 2009's, "Anomaly".



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