Ace Frehley/classic KISS '73-'80

Bumblebee

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Call me corny, cheesy, lame, tone deaf, or whatever you'd like but I love old school KISS, especially Ace Frehley! I wasn't raised on classic KISS like a lot of you guys. I'm 31 years old so I missed the band's heyday and none of my friends were into them. I took it upon myself to give KISS a listen in the mid 90's. Like a lot of people I thought KISS put on a great show but I was thoroughly blown away by the pure and raw rock 'n' roll sound of their classic period, '73-'80ish. Apparently it's in vogue these days to view KISS as poor musicians in stupid costumes. I see KISS as much more than that. The music of the classic period was "Hotter Than Hell" and 200% pure Rock 'N' Roll! Besides, many bands in the 70's wore makeup and costumes but for some reason KISS is singled out for this? As far as musical prowess is concerned, how was KISS any less talented than bands such as AC DC and the like? How about Ace's skill as a lead guitarist? Again, apparently it is the current trend to proclaim Ace as one of the crappiest rock guitarists that ever lived. Why? I think Ace had a unique style and he recorded many, many memorable leads/songs. LONG LIVE ACE FREHLEY!!!:dude::dude::dude::thumb:
 

Tim Fezziwig

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Screw the ace haters. He is a GREAT lead player. He plays from the gut. He has great tone. He is a GREAT showman! My avatar shows my Love for ACE! My 1980 Ace-burst!
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_1eeaNWdVs]YouTube - Kiss alive cobo hall 100,000 years part 1[/ame]
 

QuicksilverSS

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I was a fan in the early days. One of my cousins used to make cardboard guitars and home made KISS stuff because they couldn't afford the real things. I guess you could say we were big KISS fans back in the day and I've seen them a few times. Always a great show.
 

Spaced Ace

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Amen my KISS brethren! All above comments are spot on. So many guitar players (pro and hobbyists) did NOT give Ace the credit he was due. Guaranteed that many of these same players could not play Ace's parts like Ace did. Their version would be dull and lifeless.

Ace did not overplay; that is a prime example of playing for the song & giving the song what it needed.

He remains my favorite even today.

:applause:
 

Bumblebee

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I've gone over all of the albums '73-'80 trying to find what people don't like about KISS. What did I find? All albums featuring Ace just plain ROCK!!! The rest of KISS was great as well, how many bands have 4 lead singers that are all great?!
 

SexyGibson

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Man, the only reason I can think that Kiss gets slammed it because of all the theatrics. No, none of them were "great" musicians; but as a group they were freaking awesome.
 

GuitarToneFreak

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Ace is probably my biggest influence in my guitar playing. I don't care how "good" he is in a technical sense, when you hear Ace soloing, it's got that certain flavor that you KNOW it's Ace. Instantly recognizable style, plus the dude's always got the coolest looking Lesters! :dude: We need an Ace icon on here!
 

Bumblebee

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SexyGibson, I think you are right about KISS being ridiculed for their theatrics. I also think that a lot of music KISS released in the 80's as well as the insatiable Gene Simmons marketing machine/ego/greed didn't help their reputation either. However as far as musicianship is concerned ('73-'80), I would rate KISS as excellent. Why? #1. They were 100% unique. #2. Their shows were second to none. #3. Their music/style was instantly recognizable, great, and memorable. #4. All original members were involved in song writing and lead vocal duties which led to a colorful palate of pure American rock. #5. KISS became one of the greatest and most successful rock bands of all time. I believe anyone would consider musicians with these attributes to be truly great.:) :thumb::applause::applause::applause:
 

Thumpalumpacus

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They lost me with Dynasty and especially "I Was Made for Lovin' You".

Their showmanship is best understood as simply wanting to be a rock-n-roll circus and there's nothing wrong with that. Their music was never going to be Rush or Yes and that's fine, sometimes I want shit that I can just bash out to. But disco Kiss?

Heheh, they ran into our old sayin', "death before disco." "Shandi" just put the nail in the coffin, and I never looked back ... until ole Timmy F here got me listening to 'em again. I find that they're a good antidote to climbing up inside my own ass -- no BS rock is good for the soul.
 

Kezia

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Almost a year or two ago I was starting to lose interest in playing guitar, then I got the opportunity to open up for a KISS Tribute band (Love Gun... Spaced Ace was in that band, haha) and after seeing them play I started to get more and more interested in KISS, especially Ace. It got me back into playing guitar AND got me back to playing Les Pauls. Ace is a great player and definitely a major influence in my playing style today.
 

Spaced Ace

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Thanks for the mention Kezia!

I would like to add something about those old KISS songs up to Dynasty... I can still play the ENTIRE album without skipping or getting bored. Those songs still excite me after all these years.

...and something the most guitar players cannot say about their solos.... I can still hum every Ace solo; all are memorable like a vocal line. That speaks volumes about him and his playing style.

...and he's funny as hell!
 

Thumpalumpacus

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Thanks for the mention Kezia!

I would like to add something about those old KISS songs up to Dynasty... I can still play the ENTIRE album without skipping or getting bored. Those songs still excite me after all these years.

...and something the most guitar players cannot say about their solos.... I can still hum every Ace solo; all are memorable like a vocal line. That speaks volumes about him and his playing style.

...and he's funny as hell!

His solos were first and foremost melodic -- he had the three Ts.
 

Bumblebee

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Thumpalumpacus, You wanna know what I thought was great about both "Dynasty" and "Unmasked"? The stand out rockers written/performed by Ace Frehley is what saved those albums :thumb:! "2,000 Man" ( a Rolling Stones cover ), "Dirty Livin' "(with Peter Criss), "Hard Times", "Talk To Me", "Two Sides of the Coin", and "Torpedo Girl" Not only was Ace contributing to the albums more than ever, which I thought was really cool, but he was also trying to keep KISS a rock band and not some half-ass disco act. Once again Gene and Paul were all too eager to cash in on what was popular at the time without regard to their reputation. No, KISS was not as musically inclined as Rush or Yes but to me that is irrelevant because I never could get into those groups and as far as I am concerned they are a totally different sub-genre of rock altogether (progressive) so they should not be compared. Also just to be fair, other popular rock and metal bands such as The Rolling Stones ( I don't remember the name of the song/s as I was never a fan ), Queen ( "Another One Bites the Dust" ), and Judas Priest ( "Burnin' Up" ) were incorporating elements of disco into their music as well.
 

Thumpalumpacus

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Thumpalumpacus, You wanna know what I thought was great about both "Dynasty" and "Unmasked"? The stand out rockers written/performed by Ace Frehley is what saved those albums :thumb:! "2,000 Man" ( a Rolling Stones cover ), "Dirty Livin' "(with Peter Criss), "Hard Times", "Talk To Me", "Two Sides of the Coin", and "Torpedo Girl".

True enough, and "2000 Man" and "Talk to Me" were cool. "Hard Times", too. My post wasn't a knock on Ace, but on the Paul/Gene axis that made them spin that way.

Not only was Ace contributing to the albums more than ever, which I thought was really cool, but he was also trying to keep KISS a rock band and not some half-ass disco act. Once again Gene and Paul were all too eager to cash in on what was popular at the time without regard to their reputation.

Indeed. I remember when Peter left -- me and my buds looked at each other and said, "Ace is next." even at 13 or 14, we knew. I can't say how, but we knew who was real. And who wasn't. Yeah, Gene, your ego blew up.

No, KISS was not as musically inclined as Rush or Yes but to me that is irrelevant because I never could get into those groups and as far as I am concerned they are a totally different sub-genre of rock altogether (progressive) so they should not be compared.

Absolutely, and I was trying to say that same thing; they are each different critters, and they tickle different parts of my ears.

Also just to be fair, other popular rock and metal bands such as The Rolling Stones ( I don't remember the name of the song/s as I was never a fan ), Queen ( "Another One Bites the Dust" ), and Judas Priest ( "Burnin' Up" ) were incorporating elements of disco into their music as well.

Also true, but the Stones and Queen were in my opinion also on the wrong track with that. Granted the AOBTD was Queen's biggest hit, and "Miss You" one of the Stones' bigger hits, I think we can agree that they aren't up to the snuff of their best -- not biggest -- songs.
 

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