Ace Frehley summons Kiss roots on new solo release
Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley’s first solo album in five years is titled Space Invader. The release via Entertainment One Music got early play in July with the premiere of the track ‘Gimme A Feelin',’ a song Rolling Stone describes as beginning with a “ferocious blues-rock solo” that “locks into a typically Frehley-like groove when he sings about a woman who's ‘got what it takes to jangle my brain.’” The “swinging guitar riff and pounding drumbeat” recall late-‘70s Kiss, according to RS, and the new album further reflects on Kiss days by displaying a Ken Kelly cover design. Kelly previously worked on the sleeves for Kiss' most popular records: 1976's Destroyer and 1977's Love Gun.
Ace Frehley “operates in his own musical galaxy,” states a public announcement posted on Amazon.com. The “musical maverick” and “improbable” bestselling New York Times author of the 2012 memoir, “No Regrets,” is adored by millions of fans around the world. As a co-founding member of Kiss and solo artist, Frehley is widely recognized as one of the most influential guitar players of the last four decades. His solo impact began with the 1978 platinum-selling, self-titled debut, and he continues his reign as the best-selling solo member of Kiss. Space Invader is the follow up to 2009’s Anomaly, which is Frehley’s first studio album of new material since 1989's Trouble Walkin', and his sixth solo album overall.
Among the other standout tracks on Space Invader is a rendition of the Steve Miller Band's 1973 classic, ‘The Joker.’ Frehley says that during the album’s planning stages he was envisioning an entire album of cover songs, and while he doesn’t reveal the songs he wanted to include, he says he had a wish list of musicians he hoped would contribute to the album. “[I want to] get some celebrity guests to play on it, some of the covers and stuff, get Slash, Mike McCready, my buddy from Pearl Jam. The list is endless,” he teases in the March 2014 Rolling Stone interview. “I might even get Gene [Simmons] to play bass on a track.”
Frehley compares the overall sound of the album to that of his 1978 self-titled solo project, which contained the hit ‘New York Groove.’ “I'm really excited about this record,” Frehley continues to Rolling Stone. “Everybody that's heard the tracks just says they think some of the tracks are even better than [Frehley's 2009 LP] Anomaly, and even showing another side of me,” he says.
Space Invader promises to “forge yet another exciting chapter in the life of one of rock's most influential and distinctive artists,” reads the press statement about the new album. “Fans can expect something closer to [Anomaly],” he admits. “Over the past couple of months I’ve been listening to my old records and trying to find that formula that I’ve captured so many times in the past. I recently played some of my new music for a few people at my label and they were blown away. It reaffirmed in my mind that I’m on the right path and I think my fans are going to love the results.”
In addition to ‘Gimme A Feelin’,’ the “strong batch of all new material” written or co-written by Frehley includes the tracks ‘Inside The Vortex,’ ‘Change,’ ‘Immortal Pleasures,’ and ‘I Wanna Hold You.’ Frehley is in New York this week promoting Space Invader with an album signing Aug. 19 at the Sam Ash music store in Manhattan.
Check out Ace Frehley's solo album, Space Invader, and listen to the first single release, ‘Gimme A Feelin'.’
As A Matter of Fact…
* Paul Daniel "Ace" Frehley was born April 27, 1951, in The Bronx, New York. The guitarist and founding member of rock band Kiss dressed the part of "Spaceman" or "Space Ace" in the band’s face-painted, costumed lineup.
* Kiss formed in 1972 when Frehley answered an ad for a band called Wicked Lester, which featured future Kissmates Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar), Gene Simmons (bass), and Peter Criss (drums).
* Frehley played with Kiss from its inception in 1973 until his departure from the band in 1982. He then embarked on a solo career (his platinum-selling, self-titled debut was released in 1978 while still a member of Kiss), releasing six albums to date.
* Following the world-famous Kiss reunion tour in 1996, Frehley’s second break from the band occurred in 2002 after a much-touted farewell tour. The guitarist’s fifth solo album Anomaly, was released in 2009 and debuted at No. 27 on the Billboard 200.
* In April 2014, Ace Frehley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Kiss. Guitar World magazine ranks the lead guitarist No. 14 on its list of 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists of All Time.