Greg Prato for Songfacts spoke with guitarist Ace Frehley about his top guitar solos in KISS and explains what drew him to some of the songs he covered on his Origins Vol. 2 album.

Good Times Bad Times by Led Zeppelin:

That was the first Led Zeppelin song I ever heard on record because it was the first song on Led Zeppelin I. I was lucky enough to see Led Zeppelin’s first New York appearance at the Filmore East when I was a teenager – they were opening for Iron Butterfly. They just blew me away. I knew from the minute I saw them that they were going to be huge. And of course, we all know the history behind Led Zeppelin.

Jumpin’ Jack Flash by The Rolling Stones:

I’ve done several covers of Rolling Stones songs over the years. I probably could have sang it, but I wanted to get a different twist on that song, so I called up Lita Ford, who is a good friend of mine. She sang Wild Thing on Origins Vol. 1. She came over for the weekend, and I coached her on that vocal. I got a really good vocal performance out of her. I was just thrilled with the end result.

I’m Down by The Beatles:

That was a song I always loved by the Beatles because it was not really that indicative of a Beatles song. Most of the Beatles songs had three-part harmony and were well put together and well-written, but I’m Down was more of just a kick-ass rock n’ roll number more in the vein of Chuck Berry.

I gravitated towards that song. I didn’t realize it was written in 1965… it’s a long time ago. But I got John 5 to play the guitar solo on the opening and he did a wonderful job.

Manic Depression by the Jimi Hendrix Experience:

I’ve been friends with Bruce Kulick for years. We did the Kiss Kruise several years ago together – his band was on the cruise with my band and several other bands. When Bruce found out I was doing Origins Vol. 2, he expressed interest in performing on it. We’re both Hendrix fans. He picked Manic Depression and we tracked it, we sent it to him, and he did a great guitar solo on it. Then we “riffed out” towards the end of the song, during the fade. I was really happy with what he did.

She by KISS:

My live band had been performing She before the pandemic hit. My record company called and said, “We need a KISS bonus track,” so that was the first song that came to mind. The guys in my band all sing lead, so I let them sing lead on that song live. It gave me a chance to showcase my touring band on this record. I was really happy about that – they did a great job.

Songfacts: Which are your top five guitar solos in KISS?

Ace Frehley: The solo in Deuce, Shock Me, Strange Ways. I like the solo I did in God Of Thunder – it was just a different type of solo. Gene used to call it “dinosaur bends” when I would bend the strings really heavy – the low string. And maybe the solo in the live version of Rock And Roll All Nite – it’s just a nice, Chuck Berry kind of solo. Reminiscent of older rock n’ roll songs.

Read more at Songfacts.

Ace Frehley’s Origins Vol. 2 will be released tomorrow (September 18th) . Pre-orders are available at Origins Vol. 2 is the followup to 2016’s Origins Vol. 1, which hit #23 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, and was his second highest-charting solo album and his 4th Top 40 album.

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  • genesraccoonwig on

    Regarding Ace’s Top 5 Kiss solos – Get no argument from me on Deuce, Shock Me and Strange Ways.
    While technically not a solo, I love the intro to Rock Bottom and rounding out the list is Rocket Ride.

    Special mention to Fractured Quantuum off Anomoly – I love how it starts with the sounds of the beach and then goes acoustic.

  • dcinsc7 on

    Best Ace solo – “Got to Choose”
    Honorable Mention: “Firehouse”

  • The Ghost of Lemmy on

    Looking forward to jamming this tomorrow.

  • bobrod on

    I think Ace’s best soloing with Kiss was on the Love Gun album, especially Shock Me and the solo on Tomorrow and Tonight. That solo was a like a song within a song.

  • Doug R. on

    I Stole Your Love
    Shock Me
    Makin’ Love
    Rocket Ride

    • Doug R. on

      Dark Light, ugh, can’t believe I forgot about that one. Not a great song, but another great solo from Ace.


    • Rattlehead on

      Doug! Deuce is my favorite guitar solo by Ace Frehley! Rock and Roll all Night from the Alive! album is also one of my faves by Ace.

      Ace may not have been the most technical of guitarists, but I think he did a great job using his abilities and the pentatonic scale to create great guitar solos that perfectly fit the songs. He was my first guitar hero and inspired me to want to learn to play guitar.

    • Doug R. on

      I agree, Rattle, Ace may not be a great technician, but he knows how to work his skills into making a great solo!

    • genesraccoonwig on

      Hey Guys – have you seen this on YouTube ? Great Ace solo lessons.

    • shannon mehaffey on

      Hey Doug, you know the first half of I Stole Your Love’s solo is Paul, right?

    • Doug R. on

      Yep, they both did a great job on their solos. Ace gets most of the attention (and deservedly so) for the guitar work in KISS, but Paul can hold his own with just about anybody.

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