Ace, Gene, Peter and Paul (Solos Box Set)

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Ace, Gene, Peter and Paul (Solos Box Set) Review

by Greg Prato

Depending on which Kiss fan you ask, the group's 1978 solo albums were either the masked quartet's crowning achievement (from a merchandising standpoint), or they can be pinpointed as the beginning of the end for the original lineup. Either way, all four solo releases have seen numerous re-releases and/or repackagings over the years -- separate picture discs, a single disc Best of the Solo Albums compilation, and more. Nearly 20 years since the solo albums' original release, an import box set was issued that collected all four albums, 2006's Ace, Gene, Peter and Paul. No unreleased songs, demos, pictures or videos of the recording sessions are included, just the original albums, with each member's mug on the front of their respective CD (in fact, the only thing to entice Kiss collectors who already own these albums is a bottle opener that says "Detroit Rock City"). The music remains the same -- Ace Frehley's is the surprise of the bunch and the best, Paul Stanley's is the most Kiss-sounding, Gene Simmons took the most chances and detours, while Peter Criss' bordered on easy listening territory. It's been said before and still holds true -- if you plucked the three best tracks from each solo release, you would have had an extremely strong Kiss studio album. Let's face it though, most purchasers of Ace, Gene, Peter and Paul will not be hearing these tracks for the first time, but rather, looking to complete their extensive Kiss tchotchke collection.

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