KISS‘ 1977 album ‘Alive II’ gained success for the band, especially with the highest attendance on the tour in the band’s history. The band’s market income was more than $10 million in the same year. KISS members and the manager Bill Aucoin wanted to push the limits to get the band in a better position. Aucoin brought forward the idea of all members releasing solo albums separately on the same date. In these albums, members did not contribute to the others’ work. It was the first time all band members released their solo albums simultaneously.
Thanks to these solo albums, Stanley, Simmons, Frehley, and Criss had a chance to reflect their styles apart from the band. Criss created an R&B work using ballads, while Stanley and Frehley followed KISS’ hard rock genre. Simmons preferred to combine hard rock, ballads, and The Beatles-inspired pop in his solo work. They were released on September 18, 1978.
Paul Stanley’s album was the only one that included all original songs among the members. It became number 40 on the US Billboard Album chart. On the other hand, the album of Peter Criss became the lowest one by reaching number 43 on the US Billboard Album chart. Simmons’ album peaked at number 22 in the US, while Frehley’s cover of ‘New York Groove’ became a hit. Simmons and Frehley’s albums gained the most sales success for the band by selling more than 1 million copies worldwide.
Ace Frehley And Gene Simmons’ Commercial Success
Ace Frehley’s album was the first released among the four solo albums of KISS on September 18, 1978, by Casablanca Records. Frehley recorded it with Eddie Kramer, who contributed to impactful names’ works like Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin. The cover of ‘New York Groove’ in the album, initially recorded by glam rock band Hello in 1975, became number 13 in the United States. It was the highest placement among the four solo works of the band members.
Frehley’s album reached number 26 on the Billboard 200 chart and received a platinum certification at its release date. It sold one million records and had one of the most sales success among the four solo albums. Many critics considered Frehley’s album the best of all four of the band.
On the other hand, in his solo album, Gene Simmons reflected various genres such as funk, rock and roll, and Beatles-influenced pop, particularly hard rock. Many special guests like Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Chip Trick’s Rick Nielsen, and Cher contributed to Simmons’ work. He also covered ‘When You Wish Upon a Star,’ the song composed for Pinocchio.
The album received platinum music recording certification in 1978 by selling 1 million copies globally. Gene Simmons’ solo album received the highest chart ranking among the four albums by reaching 22 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart.
KISS members released four separate albums to enhance their success while the recording industry was at the top in the late ’70s. Although all members had a place on the charts, Simmons and Frehley gained the most sales success for the band by selling 1 million copies each.