Ace Frehley Had 1 Hit Song Without Kiss and It Was Originally by Another Band

Ace Frehley is most known for being one of the original members of Kiss. During the 1970s, he had one hit classic rock song without Kiss. In his autobiography, he said he wasn’t very impressed with the song initially. He also revealed how he reacted to the song’s chart success.

Ace Frehley of Kiss with a guitar
Ace Frehley of Kiss | Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Kiss’ Ace Frehley wanted the songs on his solo album to have a certain sound

Kiss originally had four members: Frehley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Paul Stanley. On September 18, 1978, each member of the band released a self-titled debut album. In his book No Regrets, Frehley said he expected his solo album to be the most critically successful of the quartet.

Frehley wasn’t sure it was a good idea for each member of Kiss to release a solo album on the same day. He thought perhaps Kiss’ label, Casablanca Records, should have released the solo records slowly over the course of months. Regardless, he wanted his album to be a solid, guitar-heavy rock record.

Ace Frehley produced a hit song. “The most popular song off that record would probably be ‘New York Groove,’ a song I didn’t even write and frankly didn’t think that much of the first time I heard it,” Frehley recalled. “Originally recorded by a band called the Hello People, ‘New York Groove’ was written by Russ Ballard. Russ had a band called Argent in the ’70s and I was lucky enough to see them perform in concert as a teen.” Although he says otherwise, the original “New York Groove” was by a band called Hello, not Hello People, which was a different band.

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The way the world reacted to the song

Ace Frehley turned out to be the most commercially successful of the four solo albums. “New York Groove” went on to reach No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. It stayed on the chart for 21 weeks. “New York Groove” remains Frehley’s only charting single as a solo artist. Its parent album peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for 23 weeks.

Ace Frehley didn’t find the same popularity in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, the album did not chart in the U.K. and neither did Frehley’s cover of “New York Groove.” In fact, nothing Frehley released ever charted in the U.K.

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In No Regrets, Frehley discusses his feelings on the impact of his album. “I was stunned and moved by the response, and especially by the enduring popularity of ‘New York Groove,'” he said. “It’s a great song for a guy from the Bronx, which is what I still am after all these years. It was a total departure from both Kiss and my personal style and taste, but it was absolutely the right song at the right time.” While “New York Groove” is different from Kiss’ music, it remains a major part of Frehley’s legacy.