Although it took him a while to fully break out of Earth's orbit, Ace Frehley has had a long and successful solo career since he first left Kiss in 1982.

Battles with substance abuse and a five-year reunion with his former bandmates caused Frehley to vanish in comet-like style for long stretches during '80s, '90s and '00s. But over the past decade Frehley has kept up a recording pace few of his peers can match, crafting five new studio albums since 2014.

Here's the best solo or Frehley's comet songs the original Spaceman has released since leaving his famous former band. With the exception of the previously barely known "Into the Night," we'll be skipping the many songs Frehley covered during his career. It's also important to remember that Frehley was still a member of Kiss when he released his debut solo album in 1978 - so you won't find "New York Groove," "Rip it Out" or any of that album's other numerous highlights here.

20. "Separate"
From: Second Sighting (Frehley's Comet, 1988)

One of the few high points of the rushed and too-often Ace-less second album from Frehley's Comet, "Separate" finds Frehley using a unique half-spoken vocal delivery over a slow-boiling guitar riff.


19. "Rockin' With the Boys"
From: Spaceman (2018)

The second single from Frehley's 2018 solo album Spaceman finds him assuring his lover that he'll be home eventually, as soon as he's done playing music with his bandmates. If that sounds familiar it's because that's the same story Peter Criss crooned in Kiss' 1976 single "Beth." And that makes sense because Frehley had the "Rockin' With the Boys" chorus written since the '70s, and just had to wait for the right verse and bridge to turn up.


18. "Off My Back"
From: Spaceman (2018)

A clearly frustrated Frehley uses a jangly guitar riff to tell his girlfriend it's way beyond time they want their separate ways on this Spaceman highlight.


17. "Something Moved"
From: Frehley's Comet (Frehley's Comet, 1987)

Make no mistake, Frehley's Comet was meant to be a band, with singer and multi-instrumentalist Tod Howarth sharing the spotlight and lead vocal duties with Frehley. His soaring vocals serve as a nice counterpoint to Frehley's more unique singing style on this track from their debut.

16. "Breakout"
From: Frehley's Comet (Frehley's Comet, 1987)

This song dates back to Frehley's Kiss days. He and the band's second drummer Eric Carr wrote it together when the group was recording 1981's ill-fated Music From 'The Elder.' After Carr's death in 1991, Kiss included a demo of the song on their 1992 album Revenge, since it included the only extended drum solo Carr had ever recorded in the studio. Frehley dedicates "Breakout" to Carr every time he plays it live.


15. "Walkin' on the Moon"
From: 10,000 Volts (2024)

Many of Frehley's best songs seem to feature interstellar settings or themes, which makes sense given the spaceman persona he inhabited in his former band. "Walkin' on the Moon" find him professing a love that can't be contained by just one planet.


14. "Calling to You"
From: Frehley's Comet (Frehley's Comet, 1987)

Except for the second half of the guitar solo, you'd be hard-pressed to recognize this as an Ace Frehley song. But as catchy keyboard-boosted late '80s hair metal goes it beats just about everything on Kiss' Crazy Nights, which was released the same year.


13. "Up in the Sky"
From: 10,000 Volts (2024)

The best song from Frehley's newest solo album finds him lamenting the state of the world and hoping that maybe that UFO he saw that one time might save us from all this mess. It's been over 50 years since Frehley and Kiss released their debut album. Let's be honest, how many of you would have predicted he'd still be such a unique creative force - or even alive - all these decades later?


12. "Genghis Khan"
From: Anomaly (2009)

Weird Ace Frehley is always the best Ace Frehley, and here's one of the greatest examples of that rule. If he'd ever written any verses for this song they were thrown out the window in favor of six minutes of smoking guitar riffs occasionally broken up by Ace wishing the first Khan of the Mongol Empire - who had been dead for nearly 800 years by the point - the best of luck in the afterlife.


11. "Immortal Pleasures"
From: Space Invader (2014)

The second album Frehley released after his five-year reunion with Kiss ranks among his most impressive work. Its songs feature titanic progressive-rock tinged riffs, sophisticated textures and a sense of grandeur that he hasn't recreated yet. The wistful "Immortal Pleasures" finds him looking back on his past accomplishments and seeking even loftier heights.


10. "Shot Full of Rock"
From: Trouble Walkin' (1989)

For his third album in as many years, Frehley ditched the Frehley's Comet moniker, took over all the lead vocals for himself, and delivered his sharpest, most focused collection of hard rock in more than 20 years. Just about every track on Trouble Walkin' holds up all these years later, but this locomotive opening number stands out particularly well. In typical frustrating and ironic style, once Frehley found the winning formula he went into hibernation again – finally emerging seven years later as part of the massively successful Kiss reunion tour.


9. "Change"
From: Space Invader (2014)

By his own admission, Frehley has cheated death more than once, and endured several bouts with substance abuse before finally getting permanently clean. This makes him uniquely qualified to deliver the self-help message featured on "Change" - and he pairs it with an absolutely crushing guitar riff to make sure it sticks in your head.


8. "Rock Soldiers"
From: Frehley's Comet (Frehley's Comet, 1987)

Drug and alcohol addictions were a big part of the reason Frehley left Kiss back in 1982. But his problems didn't stop there. For the opening song on his first post-Kiss solo album, Frehley tells the story of the 1983 police chase and car crash that nearly took his life: "I cried 'I am invincible' / Said I was high above the law / But my only high was just a lie / And now I'm glad I saw." Then, over a military marching beat from his old buddy Anton Fig, Frehley plays a couple of guitar solos that remind us exactly why it's so good to still have him with us.


7. "Words Are Not Enough"
From: Live Plus 1 (Frehley's Comet, 1988)

Yes, the keyboards are cheesy and dated, and yes, the whole thing is very poppy. But to our ears, "Words Are Not Enough" seems purer of intent than some of the other Frehley's Comet would-be anthems.  Also, somehow his guitar work sounds awesome in this rather synthetic setting.


6. "Outer Space"
From: Anomaly (2009)

The biggest problem with the two '80s Frehley's Comet records was Frehley's attempt to fit in with the pop-metal sound that was dominating the charts at that time. Happily, this problem was largely rectified with Trouble Walkin', and one record (and two decades) later completely eliminated with songs like "Outer Space." The record found Frehley employing a more aggressive, beefed-up hard rock sound than in the past. Rather than trend chasing, however, the results feel like honest, natural extensions of '70s classics like "Rip It Out" and "Rocket Ride."


5. "Foxy and Free"
From: Anomaly (2009)

Once again torturing fans, this time with a seven-year long wait after leaving the Kiss reunion caravan, Frehley popped up with Anomaly in 2009. As if to compensate, the album featured Frehley's strongest set of tunes since his 1978 Kiss-era solo effort. "Foxy and Free" starts off with all the restraint of a bull released from a rodeo pen, but soon settles into a more melodic, typically offbeat head-bopper, complete with loads of cowbell.


4. "Into the Night"
From: Frehley's Comet (Frehley's Comet, 1987)

Covering the Russ Ballard song "New York Groove" back in 1978 paid off big time for Frehley, giving him both the biggest hit song and best-selling album among the group's four simultaneously released solo albums. So choosing another Ballard composition as the first single from his post-Kiss debut nine years later made a lot of sense. But where "Groove" was a celebration of life in the big city, the sophisticated and surprisingly serious "Into the Night" looks at the darker side of urban life. It was a pretty bold choice for a comeback single, and it worked very well creatively, heightening expectations for Frehley's new solo career.



3. "Past the Milky Way"
From: Space Invader (2014)

Frehley goes psychedelic! Over a trippy, churning blend of acoustic and electric guitars, Frehley credits and thanks his then-fiancee, Rachel Gordon, for putting his life back on track: "Since I met you / Everybody tells me when we're together / I'm a better man." He's clearly a better songwriter: Alongside the expected rockers, "Past the Milky Way" is just one of several tracks on Space Invader that find Frehley exploring new, more complex and layered material very successfully.


2. "Remember Me"
From: Trouble Walkin' (1989)

Ironically enough, the most surprising experiment on Frehley's third post-Kiss album, the blues-influenced "Remember Me," proves to be one of its most enduring triumphs. The stripped-down musical and lyrical structure suits his voice and personality perfectly. Most importantly, it also serves as an absolutely fantastic showcase for his guitar soloing, which hadn't sounded this confident, well-paced and hummable since the late '70s.


1. "Inside the Vortex"
From: Space Invader (2014)

There's a definite comet-like pattern to Frehley's solo activites. There were five years between his departure from Kiss and the first three-album blitz of his solo career, seven between Trouble Walkin' and his reunion with Kiss, seven more until 2009's Anomaly and five more before Space Invader arrived. Luckily, his albums became more worth the wait each time. "Inside the Vortex" rides an absolutely massive riff through the cosmos, with Frehley's icy, detached Vulcan vocals contrasting with his warm guitar sound perfectly.


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Gallery Credit: Matthew Wilkening

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