Today Kiss fans worldwide celebrate the 63rd birthday of the band’s original and beloved Spaceman, the one and only Ace Frehley! Born and raised in The Bronx, NY and famously showing up in mismatched sneakers for his Kiss audition in 1972, Ace is one of the great characters in rock n’ roll and also one of the most influential guitarists of ’70s hard rock and early heavy metal. Sure, there were faster and more accomplished guitarists out there during the band’s mid-’70s heyday, but it was Space Ace that influenced scores of future rock legends to pick up a guitar with his memorable solos, thick riffing and super cool attitude. Everyone from Kurt Cobain to Dimebag Darrell have sung his praises and add to that such Frehley-penned Kiss classics as “Cold Gin,” “Parasite” and his signature tune “Shock Me,” and it’s clear his impact is otherworldly to say the least. So cast your eyes skyward today and look for that smoking guitar up there in the heaven’s and wish The Spaceman Ace Frehely a “Happy Birthday” and check out six of our favorite Ace tunes on the following pages.
6. “Rocket Ride” (Kiss Alive II, 1977)
One of the studio tracks from the Alive II album, this rocking track features one of Ace’s most blazing guitar solos and was also released as a single.
5. “Parasite” (Kiss Hotter Than Hell, 1974)
Among Kiss’ heaviest tunes, this track off their sophomore album was a major part of their live show through the years.
4. New York Groove” (Ace Frehley Ace Frehley, 1978)
A cover of the obscure glam rock group Hello, this song off the first Ace solo album went to No. 13 in the Billboard charts and is one of his most famous songs.
3. “Cold Gin” (Kiss Kiss 1974)
Though he wouldn’t sing lead vocals with Kiss until the Love Gun album, Ace was contributing classic songs as early as their debut album.
2. “Rip It Out” (Ace Frehley Ace Frehley, 1978)
The lead off track to Ace’s first solo album which most fans agree is the best record in the Kiss solo album series, as well as best selling, and rivals the group’s studio albums as well.
1. “Shock Me” (Kiss Love Gun, 1977)
The ultimate Ace Kiss anthem, his first lead vocal with the group and one of the greatest Kiss songs of all time chronicles the spacey guitarists’ near death experience when he was electrocuted on stage. Lucky for us and rock n’ roll fans everywhere he survived to rock another day.