The KISS Album Ace Frehley Called A ‘Disappointment’

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KISS‘ original lineup consisted of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss, and its roots go back to Stanley and Simmons’ previous band Wicked Lester, which they left to change their musical styles. Their unique looks, makeup, and stage personas gained popularity and fame in a short time, and they became one of the most famous rock bands in the world.

The group’s records sold millions and hit the charts worldwide, but this success didn’t prevent the problems and disagreements between the band members. Their guitarist, Ace Frehley, parted ways with KISS in 1982 because of his personal and creative differences with Stanley and Simmons. He started to pursue his solo musical career and decided to try being a KISS member one more time for a tour and new album, which he called a disappointment.

Ace Frehley Shared His Experiences About A KISS Album

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After Ace Frehley rejoined KISS as the guitarist in 1996 with a groundbreaking reunion tour along with Criss, they began working on their first record together since 1979’s ‘Dynasty.’ KISS released their eighteenth studio album, ‘Psycho Circus’ on September 22, 1998, receiving positive reviews from critics and rock music lovers. Still, some details about the release shocked fans, especially what Frehley said.

Although their longtime dedicated fans were happy and excited about listening to the original lineup after waiting for years, it’s impossible to talk about the teamwork of all original members. Simmons and Stanley collaborated with other musicians such as Kevin Valentine, Tommy Thayer, and Bruce Kulick to perform some guitar and drum parts in the record. Frehley disagreed with them about hiring others.

In addition, the KISS guitarist opened up about the album’s creation and recording process in his interview with The Disc Dive and revealed some truths about ‘Psycho Circus.’ Frehley defined it as a disappointment because the bassist and singer only let him perform and write one song, ‘Into the Void,’ by highlighting that they were control freaks. He added that he wrote the lyrics in forty-five minutes when Simmons asked him to make it more ‘spacey.’

In Frehley’s words, he said:

It was a disappointment for me. The only song I performed on was the one I wrote; ‘Into the Void.’ Paul and Gene are such control freaks. I don’t know why I wasn’t invited to play on a lot of the other songs, but I wasn’t. They used other musicians. The only song Peter played drums on was ‘Into the Void,’ and ‘Into the Void’ actually had a different title; it was called ‘Shakin’ Sharp Shooter.’

They were going to pass on it, but they liked the music part of the song; they liked the guitar riff I had written with co-writer Karl Cochran. Gene walked out of the studio and said to me, ‘Why don’t you do something spacey?’ Gene came up with the title, and then I said, ‘Give me 45 minutes, I’ll go up into the attic up here, and I’ll write the lyrics’ because they weren’t even going to give me a song on the record. I came in 45 minutes; I wrote all the lyrics for the song, I went in and performed it.”

As it can be understood from the original guitar player’s statements that the eighteenth studio album was a sign of a reunion that was doomed to fail. Shortly after the release, Frehley left the band again and continued his solo career with very successful records. The founding members probably couldn’t reunite and perform together again due to the problems they didn’t figure out or lack of communication for years.

You can listen to the album below.