CD Review- Ace Frehley: Second Sighting (1988)

Space Ace had a ton of momentum going into early 1988 after the release of the more than decent Frehley’s Comet (87) debut and a little 5 song ass-kicker EP  that dropped in early 88.

A few months later came the second and final Frehley’s Comet studio album under that moniker. I bought it right away as it was Ace. Ace was always my favorite guy in KISS.

I’m talking 70’s Ace as he was half cut all the time but wailed out some memorable solos on the KISS songs as well as putting out a phenomenal solo album in 78.

I’m sure Paul and Gene were pissed as Ace’s creativity went through the roof after 78.

KISS had a problem. More or less Gene and Paul had a problem.

For proof listen to the Ace tracks from 79’s Dynasty album (Hard Times/Save Your Love, Ace even made his cover of the Stones 2000 Man sound like his own) 80’s Unmasked (Talk To Me/Torpedo Girl/Two Sides of the Coin) and 81’s Elder(Dark Light/Escape From The Island)

What a roll…

Ace got a pass from me right up to 88 as something happened to the classic creativity period. It dried up like the Sahara desert for Ace.

Second Sighting is not a bad album as many made it out to be. Pretty much the blame was directed at Tod Howarth who was the second vocalist/guitarist and keyboardist. 

Howarth ended up writing this album or carrying this album as Ace really did not deliver the material needed. 

Sure Second Sighting is more on the melodic side of rock, You have to be in the right frame of mind to listen to it especially when comparing it to Ace’s previous albums/songs. 

The Spaceman did show up especially on opener Insane. Typical Ace track. A cool street vocal thing that Ace had and of course one of his cool classic liquored up solos! 

Ace is back and he told ya so! For this track that is.

What’s a guy like Howarth to do though? When your leader doesn’t come in with the goods so to speak its all hands on deck so Howarth steps up with 5 tracks. More on the melodic rock side (Time Runnin Out, New Kind of Lover) along with the go-to style of many a 1988 release which is a power ballad (It’s Over Now).

Ace came up 4 of his own songs with the best being Insane as I already mentioned. The other Ace tracks (Juvenile Delinquent, Separate)  are ok. Nothing to write home about really and even the last song on Second Sighting the instrumental The Acorn Is Spinning is well there…

There is a Canadian connection to this disc as well as Dancing with Danger a tune by Streetheart is included but how did Ace get a writing credit on this song when it was recorded and written solely by Streetheart 5 years earlier in 1983?

( Pictured below, Izzy is intrigued by Second Sighting)

Better yet how the hell did Dana Strum get a co-write as well? Shit, I should throw my hat in the mix say that I was a co-writer as well! 

I listened to this album for perhaps the first time in 32 years recently and as it didn’t exactly set the world on fire (stalled on the Billboard charts at 81)  give Howarth some credit though as he tried to keep the Comet from crashing so you gotta give him a pass.

The Comet did indeed burn up as once on tour in 88 the money stopped rolling in and the band packed it in. 

I packed it in with solo Frehley as well until Ace released Spaceman a few years back and it was actually a really good record.^

^-Ladano was where I read that Ace had put out a good rock record in Spaceman so I took the gamble bought it and liked it. Figured if it sucked I could yell at Mikey! 

Dang, maybe next time.

21 thoughts on “CD Review- Ace Frehley: Second Sighting (1988)”

  1. I really don’t like this album, but it’s not entirely Tod’s fault. The Ace songs suck too. Trouble Walkin’ is his best album of the ’80s era, but it’s no classic either.

    Nobody insult Jamie Oldaker’s drumming though. “e-tainment news reviews” did that in the comments of Ladano’s review of this album, and (allegedly the real) Oldaker showed up in the comments section to respond. Unlike Sheehan, he was pretty diplomatic if I recall correctly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah that was a shit storm which proves you never know who is reading. Oldaker took it like a pro and explained himself but you could tell he was a little pissed.

      Like

  2. Not the best, but not horrible…although the review is awesome. Ace’s problem is he should’ve never done a band thing. He should’ve done an Ace thing. As Holen said, “Trouble Walkin'” was his best work during that time and his 2000 out put has been really great as well. I have been listening to Dynasty and dang Ace is on a roll, plus he has more songs on the album than Gene!! Crazy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like the Frehley’s Comet name, thought it was kinda cool.
      Ace was on a huge roll and I remember how he basically went silent in the first half of the 80’s. No music nothing. No press not even in Kerrang as they would sniff that stuff out and there magazine would come out every 2 weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I kind believe he doubled down on it by saying it again! Well, give the man credit for one thing: he has strong opinions and sticks by them. Gotta respect that in a music critic.
        Having said that, playing the album and listening to Jamie’s drums, I liked them! Sure he’s not the same style as Anton, but he has his own style and for me it worked! I like this album, always have.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. True and when your leader doesn’t show up with the goods it could be a recipe for diaster.
      Second Sighting like I mentioned is not as bad as everyone made it out to be. I can listen to it now. Maybe I’ll listen to it again within another 32 years lol

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Musically I liked Ace because he wasn’t as slick as the other two…he sounded like a Keith Richards disciple… I mean that in a great way. He was the edgy one in the band. His guitar sound from their heyday still sounds great.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That 78 solo album is phenomenal. Ace stepped up and blew everyone away.
        I would have loved to have seen Mean Gene and Paul’s faces when they heard Ace’s record as they were probably expecting a wreckord! lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I heard all of them because one of my friends (our future drummer) all all of the solo albums…yea man that one was the best.
        I’m like that also…that is why I LOVED the Tom Snyder interview…Genes Face = Priceless

        Liked by 1 person

      3. They were pissed at Ace as he was pissed. Stole the show.
        I reviewed all 4 KISS solo albums last summer. It was a fun revisit.

        Like

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