Category Archives: KISS SOLO ALBUMS

Peter Criss- Peter Criss (1978)

Well, here it is Folk’s!

I had to go with the Peter Criss solo album last here folk’s!

This album in its 41 years of existence has been criticized in print by many KISS fans since it’s release!

I admit I was one of those. Peter sang on some cool stuff when he was in KISS like Hooligan/Baby Driver/Strangeways/Mainline/Black Diamond. I mean that’s a pretty cool 5 pack of Pete sung KISS Tunes!

So when this album dropped back in 1978. I got this as a Christmas gift that year from my parents! Excited about getting a KISS album when I dropped the needle as an 11-year-old, my excitement quickly was gone.

Ah, what’s this? Where’s the rock? Where are those Peter vocally driven KISS 5 pack of tunes that I mentioned previously?

Nowhere in sight! The only thing I liked at the time was the cover and poster included!

Tough Crowd!

This album was quickly banned from my turntable for the last 41 years with no intentions of ever a revisit. But when I acquired a bunch of KISS 70’S albums this year, all four solo albums were included.

So in doing this blog, I finally wrapped my head around the fact that perhaps the Blacklisted Turntable Banned Criss solo album from 78 should be revisited. What ya think?

Man, I’m doing it…

Catman opens with I’m Gonna Love You. Right off the hop, this album has that different sound of rock featuring a ton of horns. Peter delivers a great vocal here. Way different sounding than KISS and I can understand why this song confused me 50 seconds into this album upon my first listen back 40 years ago!

You Still Matter To Me has a keyboard/synth sound that sounds like what Paul McCartney was doing in the mid to late ’70s that drives this song. Listen carefully as you can hear Pete riding that cymbal hard during the chorus! Yeah, total Macca WINGS vibe in this track.

Tossin and Turnin has that big band feel featuring more horns and some female backing vocals while Peter jams out on his drums and three songs there is not one guitar solo yet? More of an R and B feel here. Criss, I will add plays a mean cowbell here! I posted a clip below of Criss and KISS blitzing thru Tossin and Turnin like no one’s business! Kinda sloppy with Pete’s sidekick Ace staggering around on stage during the Guitar solo! But I wouldn’t want it any other way!

After the uptempo horn driving, Tossin and Turnin come’s Don’t Let Me Down which is a real chill like song that kinda goes nowhere. A  flaky tune actually, but what does save it is Pete’s vocal.

Peter picks up the pace with That’s The Kinda Sugar Papa Likes when looking back Poison would have killed to have this as a title of one of there album’s. A good time goofy song that wait for it has a  guitar solo, Yup! Peter had Toto guitarist Steve Lukather show up and play a slick solo that goes and goes until the song ends. 5 songs in and finally a Guitar driven tune!

That my friend’s end’s Side 1!

Side 2 begins with Easy Thing. Kinda puzzles me that Criss would lead off Side 2 with soft rock ballad. Pete’s Deal=Pete’s Album!

Rock Me Baby has the Catman ramping things up (kinda) in a mid-tempo horn-driven swing tune that makes up for the kinda slow-mo opening tune!

Kiss The Girl Goodbye. Should have named this song Kiss the Drums Goodbye as there is no ‘PETER CRISS ON THE DRUMS’ (see what I did there? Stole that line from the KISS ALIVE 2 God of Thunder’s Paul Stanley Rap!). Another Crooner Criss track! Having said that. It’s a decent track that features just Peter’s voice and an acoustic. This track I will say is better than ‘Beth’.

Hooked on Rock N Roll has Pete and sidekick Stan Penridge (co-writer on this album) rocking the amps back up to 10 (HA!) Not really cranking up the album perse like Ace’s but for Pete, it’s a decent track!

I Can’t Stop The Rain ends the album with another ballad (Side 2 has 3 Pete Ballads). To be honest a little too much slow music on Side 2 but Peter’s the boss here, so whatcha gonna do!?

So there ya have it. The much-maligned album by Peter Criss. You know he took a ton of heat from Simmons and Stanley when all four KISS guys sat around listening to what the other had done with there albums back before these albums were released!

A ways back fellow Blog Pal Rich Kamerman  supported this album. Here are Rich’s comments from Ladano’s Blog when Mikey slapped the Criss album with a 1.5 out of 5 scoring!

Take it away, Rich…

Here’s a controversial opinion: Peter’s album is the most consistent of the bunch. It doesn’t have the highs of the other three, and it certainly doesn’t “rock” (or RAWK), but song-for-song and performance-for-performance I think it holds together better than the other three.

Here’s another opinion that probably isn’t shared by the majority of KISS fans: my favorite song from the solo albums is Paul’s “Hold Me, Touch Me…”, which I have loved since the day I bought it (which happened to be release day). I guess I’ve always had a penchant for schmaltz ballads, even at that age. For some reason, it has a similar feel for me as Kermit The Frog’s “The Rainbow Connection.”

Had to get that off my chest and this seemed like the best place to do it. Feel free to mock me. I can handle it. 😀

Kudos to Rich for putting himself out there and saying how he felt about in the comments when pretty much everyone was going squirrely in the comments about this album myself included!

But in the 41 years since I heard it. It’s really not as bad as I had made it out to be. Sure it has nothing to do it with Hard Rock.  Good enough out of the four solo albums Peter’s album is so far outside the box as you could get from the KISS sound.

Maybe Peter wanted it that way. He knew the other 3 guys would go down Rock Avenue with there albums which for the most part they did! Peter took such a left-hand turn that he didn’t even play the drums on 3 tracks on his own record as Allan Schwartzberg handled those duties and basically no drums on another track! Pete only drummed on 6 tracks on his own album.

I think my parents would have dug this album back in 1978! haha

As a Young Fella, I totally didn’t get it. Now I do. Peter was perhaps more than the other 3 guys tired of it all and wanted to go elsewhere with the music as he was older than Ace, Paul, and Gene.

Who knows I’m only guessing here Folk’s but not as bad I was expecting! As I mentioned in my first review of Simmons solo album that Gene went outside the box. Peter went way outside the box and then sent that box to the recycling bin!

I have to give him respect for that!

deKe’s 1978/1979 Score- 1/10

deKe’s 2019 Score-6/10^

^ Good on the Catman taking a gamble with his career! I really wish he would have done an instrumental track and called it ‘Litterbox’ and put it on this album! Gene and Paul would have lost there Shit!

Well, there you have it! Thanks for reading and commenting along!








Ace Frehley-Ace Frehley (1978)



For many a KISS fan, the Ace Frehley solo album is the best of the four! I’m in that boat as well. Ace considering he was boozed up back in the 70’s Ace did the unimaginable!

The Spaceman composed 8 Stellar (original) tracks (the 9th track is a cover tune) that quickly made him my favorite KISS guy, as the Spaceman was the one who brought the Rock element to KISS!

This album shows that in spades! When the chips were down Ace stepped up basically taking drum guru Anton Fig to his home studio back in Connecticut and along with KISS producer Eddie Kramer hit one out the park!

Ace showed the world what he had up his sleeve and that he could when push came to shove deliver the goods which resulted in him becoming a substantial creative thorn in the side of Gene and Paul.

Ace could sing Lead Vocals and write ass-kicking street rock songs which irked the two founding members!

I reviewed this album about 4-5 years ago so I won’t go through track by track, but opening number Rip It Out set’s the bar very high for this album and by the time the albums finishes up with the musical only Fractured Mirror the bar is dry!

There is no dip in the productivity of any of these songs on here. I love Ace’s ax solo’s on this album. How about that ripping one on Speeding Back To My Baby!

We can’t leave out Anton Figs contribution to this album as well! Anton drums his ass off on these 9 tracks. What a dynamic duo on here.  As KISS fans we all know that Anton drummed on all but one song on Dynasty, as well as Anton, did all the drumming on 1980’s Unmasked release! Not that I knew any different back in 1979-1980 as Peter Criss was still featured on the covers of both studio albums!

I love the fact that Ace being all snapped up on Party Treats(pick your vice) still plows through tracks like Snowblind/Ozone/Wiped Out!

This album today still places easily in my all-time Top 5 KISS studio releases! It’s that good!

deKe’s 1978 score- 10

deKe’s 2019 score-9.5^

^-.5 was deducted from the album just for the fact that Ace cheaped out and did a cover tune(New York Groove). Even when I caught KISS Live on the Dynasty Tour Ace played this tune which now looking back at it there were way better songs off of Ace’s album to play live.

But I think since New York Groove was the highest-charting single of the 4 solo albums that probably had something to do with it to irk Gene and Paul once more.

Now that I think about it Ace’s album sold the most of the 4 solo albums which you could add another ‘irked’ Gene and Paul moment!

All hail a Boozed-up 1978  Rock Soldier!

Paul Stanley-Paul Stanley(1978)




In all things KISS. Paul Stanley’s solo release from 1978 was out of the four the last of the solo albums I had heard which if my memory serves me correct it probably wasn’t well into 1979 I had listened to what Starchild had done on his album!

Stanley has always been the most sensitive one of KISS, and this album reflects that.  Make no mistake about it as Paul recorded a rock record. More of a grown-up collection of tunes at the time I suppose which considering some of the bubble gum stuff that KISS recorded Starchild wanted to be taken seriously as a songwriter!

Give Stanley credit for that!

Does Paul succeed? For the most part, he does!

Side One

Opener Tonight You Belong To Me with its acoustic opener that launches into the electric guitars along with the drums kicking down the door that Stanley comes in through vocally! Straight ahead rock track very single like! Pretty decent opener actually. Different than KISS but still rock!

Move On I always remember KISS playing this when I saw them in October 1979. Which looking back was kinda cool. Move On has Paul digging deep and pulling one out of the hat! I like the pace of this track and then the song’s chill’s right out up than ramps up again!

Ain’t Quite Right is sleazy back alley like the track that features a brilliant guitar solo which to me has some hooky elements of Bad Company during the chorus. Ok, maybe not 1970’s Bad Company but perhaps the late 80’s version of Bad Company when they were Commercial Company!

Ah. Now Starchild goes all in with Wouldn’t You Like To Know Me which is a great uptempo rocker with some more brilliant guitar chops that the solo sounds very Frehley like! Considering Bob Kulick played the solos on this album it makes sense as Bob played Ace like solos on some KISS songs when Ace didn’t show up!

Take Me Away (Together as One) which has Paul flexing some serious rock chops on this song as he goes outside his comfort zone yet still keeping the tune Rock! Amazing that this ends Side 1 and there isn’t a dud really among the first five tracks!

I’m Shocked!

Side 2

Flip the vinyl over and It’s All right lifts off with a brilliant hard rock riff along with the kick pedal of the drums and were off and running and the thing that I dig about this song is that it sounds live. Very little in backing vocals and Stanley gives his all in the vocal department! Great chorus and a real ass cracking tune that doesn’t even need the complementary guitar solo! Well done!

Hold Me Touch(Think of Me When We’re Apart) Yeah the jury is out on this tune. This kind of AM 70’s Radio Fodder is not really my deal. It’s ok for what it is but is little too much of a wanting a single! This may be your cuppa tea but it’s not strong enough for me. Now having said that. My pal Mikey Ladano posted a story and he wrote about this tune. Here’s what Mikey had to say about it.

“Jesus fuck!  I went full ballad.  This was probably my favorite ballad of all time back then.  Stanley’s guitar solo is flawlessly written and executed.”

Maybe I’m missing something here? Haha!

Paul must have heard me as he ramps the amps back to 10 and delivers Love In Chains! A straight ahead forward rocker. No rocket science here folks but kudos to Paul for kicking the dust off the previous AM tune and whoah another brilliant solo by either Bob or Paul which is wickedly good!

Stan the Mans album ends with Goodbye. A decent send off that features some more brilliant ax work during the verses. Nice hard rock melodic track.  Adios Amigos Mr. Stanley!  Thanks for coming out!

To be honest this was the first time that I actually dug into this album sonically. Yeah I know it was there along. I even have it on CD but there was so much KISS that I always focused on there studio/live material.

Stanley 78 releases a rock record which to my ears you can hear Paul taking his songwriting approach into a more melodic approach that was heard on Dynasty and even more so on Unmasked! This album could have been easily Side’s 3 and 4 of Dynasty or Unmasked(take your pick). That’s where his head was at the time so you gotta hand it to him!

Good on Paul as he stuck doing what he knew best at the time. Rock Songs! Also of the 4 solo albums, Paul did not do a cover tune!

deKe’s 1979 score- 5

deKe’s 2019 score-8



Gene Simmons-Gene Simmons (1978)


Hey, Folks! Now that I’m back from holidays I thought what better way to fill the next two weeks of posts than with review’s of all four of the KISS Solo Albums that were all released on the same day back on September18th 1978!

Peter/Ace/Starchild and Money Bags thought they could sell anything and for a time they could. These solo albums also marked where the decline(in popularity) came in and perhaps that was due to overexposure.

Think about it for a second.  

In a span of 15 months between June 1977 and September 1978 KISS released 1 studio album( Love Gun)  1 Double Live Album (KISS ALIVE 2)  1 Double Greatest Hits Set(Double Platinum) and 4 Solo Albums!

That’s a ton of product!

Good on em I suppose, but man that is a crazy pace so I guess when KISS thought about the solo album idea you can bet your KISS Dolls that Gene and Paul probably believed that the two trainwrecks Ace and Peter would self destruct and make fools of themselves! Nothing could be further from the truth! Sort of!

So let me give you some thoughts and my kinda B.S on these solo records 41 years later!  Like my bunch of KISS reviews earlier this year, I will be doing a scoring system out of 10! Feel free to comment below whether I was a genius or a complete lunatic with this batch of albums via my scores!

First up…

Gene Simmons!

I had to go with Mean Gene as the first review! Why? Well back in 1978, this was the first of the 4 solo albums I had heard at a friends house! Right away, I was intrigued by that cover. Gene looking menacing with a drip of blood coming out of his mouth. I kinda wished they would have used his Alive 2 cover picture where Gene looks like he demolished a Heinz Ketchup Bottle at a Wiener Roast!


Simmons just as you would expect goes all over the map on this album. Something like over 20 guests are on this album. Joe Perry/Bob Seger/Donna Summer/Rick Nielsen/Cher are just a few of the artists on this album. Gene just had to prove to the world that he’s the best and everyone should know that!

Does it work on this album?


Side One!

I will say Radioactive as an opener sets Gene’s( sober) bar high. Everything works right with this track. The cool opener with catchy verses/chorus and a wicked solo! How about that one-minute opener with a bunch of violins swirling about that launch Radioactive with a sinsiter laugh! Bonus points on this track for that Christine 16 like piano playing during the chorus of Radioactive! I call this GOLD!

Burning Up With Fever is typical Gene. I kinda dig that lazy, hazy stomp of this track that has Donna Summer wailing around on backing vocals which kinda gives this track a relaxed vibe!

Nice acoustic driven Beatles like the tune that’s See You Tonight which has Gene taking a vast chill pill and laying down a pretty decent vocal. The drums drive this track forward not taking it down wussy avenue!

Next up!

‘Well if you’re lookin’ for the best, then baby be my guest I’m right before your eyes, and I’m tellin’ you no lies You wanted my disease, you’ll have to do as I please You’ll jump off the roof if I say, I won’t let you get away !’

Geezus Demon! Disease? Yikes but I guess in 78 anything went and Gene spreading the disease was one of those things. The track that I’m referring to is Tunnel of Love which kinda plods and stomps kinda like a Turtle trying to cross the Autobahn! Fair enough but after 3 opening good tracks this one kinda lags a bit!

True Confessions is a fun, happy tune. Gene going on about not being some chicks social security that has a brilliant jiving chorus. More female backing vocals and that neat dribble of the piano which for a few of these tracks is pretty apparent and give Simmons credit he went outside the box at times on this album!

Side Two!

I still remember from 1978 the first time I heard Radioactive. Living In Sin would have to be the second tune I ever heard as it features Cher doing that wacky, goofy phonecall in the middle of the song.  The song is repetitive at times with the Living in SIn ( at the Holiday Inn) yadda yadda. But Gene does what he wanted to do as back in 1978! Who was gonna tell him differently?

Always Near You/Nowhere To Hide is perhaps the most unlike Simmons tune on here if you were to compare his wham bam thank you mam philosophy on many of his KISS Tracks! Another track that has Gene going outside his comfort zone and no mention of putting a log into your fireplace at all around these songs!

Cool opening of guitar that leads into Man of a 1000 Faces with its orchestra like chorus which reminds me of late 70’s elements of Cheap Tricks Dream Police! Gene give him credit sings for his supper on this track which earns him some bonus points here as it’s not that typical ‘Oh Yeah Oh Yeah’ sis boom bah rah of Gene later on in the ’80s! You know what I’m talking about the ‘Burn Bitch Burn’ Genie tunes of the 80’s Demon. Ok ok I like that one!

Mr Make Believe is another one of those trippy like tunes that may have been a hit on your local am station when they played syrup rock in the 70’s/80’s. The demon even goes up an octave higher at times during the chorus which begs the question did Cher give him a hand(ahem) here?

I always read that Gene said he redid See You In The Dreams as he didn’t like the version that KISS cut on there Rock N Roll Over album from 1976! Gene’s solo version is good, but to my ears, KISS version rocks way better with the aid of Paul Stanley’s vocals during the chorus! Plus you had a boozed up Peter Criss and snapped up Ace Frehley contributing drums and guitars respectively which goes perfectly with the two Sober KISS dudes! Sorry Gene your solo verison lags comapred to your KISS version.

Gene ends his album with Wish You Upon A Star! which to me is silly, but Gene does what he wants to do! Great time to get up off the couch to go for a piss as Wish You Upon A Star plays out!

All these years later, Well 4 decades later I have to admit  Gene Simmons solo album here ended up being a pretty decent listen in July 2019! I have to give Gene credit as he went totally outside the KISS box at times, which was impressive as he showed a softer side at times to his onstage persona.

I didn’t understand what he was doing back in 1978 with this record. As a 11 yr old going on 12 at the time I wanted Gene songs like Ladies Room and Christine 16,

Simmons stayed the course and charted into some unknown waters on this album and his makeup didn’t smear because of it!

For that, I respect him. Kinda!

dekE’s 1978 Score-5/10

deKE’s 2019 Score-7/10