Despite never being an official member of Kiss, Bob Kulick played an important role in the band's history.

Kulick auditioned for the group in 1972, but was passed over in favor of Ace Frehley. It would seem that the band remembered his name and number, though. Five years later, when Frehley couldn't or wouldn't attend the recording sessions for the studio songs on the band's Alive II album, Kulick was brought in to play lead on three tracks.

That led to him playing lead guitar for all but one song on Paul Stanley's 1978 solo album, and all four of the new tracks on the band's 1982 hits collection Killers. He was also one of four co-writers of the song "Naked City," from the Kiss' 1980 album Unmasked, although he did not perform on the track.

Here's our list of the 10 best Kiss or Kiss-related songs featuring Bob Kulick's lead guitar playing.

10. "Love in Chains"
From: Paul Stanley (1978)

This song seems to start with Kulick already in mid-solo. The energetic tone he sets right out of the gate helps makes "Love in Chains" the most muscular track on Stanley's album.

 

9. "Down on Your Knees"
From: Killers (1982)

After the calamitous failure of their 1981 concept album Music from 'The Elder,' Kiss was rushed into the studio to record some new "back to basics" songs for an overseas greatest hits compilation. Frehley was fully checked out by this point, but Kulick filled in for him quite admirably on all four tracks. Fun fact: This song was co-written by future "Summer of '69" star Bryan Adams.

 

8. "Nowhere to Run"
From: Killers (1982)

Stanley wrote or co-wrote all of the new songs on Killers, and sang lead vocals on all four tracks as well. With Frehley replaced by Kulick and founding drummer Peter Criss also gone, the version of Kiss that recorded Killers was as close to the recording lineup behind Stanley's solo album as it was to the one that recorded '70s albums such as Destroyer and Love Gun.

 

7. "Ain't Quite Right"
From: Paul Stanley (1978)

Kulick's tasteful soloing is the perfect fit for this simmering ballad, which sounds like it was conceived in a dreamstate.

 

6. "All American Man"
From: Alive II (1977)

Apparently still celebrating America's 1976 bicentennial, Kiss added a patriotic bent to two of the five new studio songs they recorded so that Alive II wouldn't repeat any of the same songs featured on 1975's Alive! Here Kulick serves as wingman to Stanley's "Six-foot, hot look all American man" for the first time.

 

5. "Rockin' in the USA"
From: Alive II (1977)

The second of Alive II's America-celebrating songs finds Kulick accompanying Simmons all over the world, but really all they want to do is get back home to their beloved USA.

 

4. "Partners in Crime"
From: Killers (1982)

Kulick gives his whammy bar a particularly tough workout as Stanley brazenly recruits a married or at least partnered woman into his adulterous web.

 

 

3. "Take Me Away (Together As One)"
From: Paul Stanley (1978)

This is the extended epic of Stanley's 1978 album, dynamically shifting moods for nearly six minutes. That gives Kulick plenty of time to shine, particularly during the centerpiece solo that arrives at around the 3:15 mark.

 

2. "I'm a Legend Tonight"
From: Killers (1982)

The strongest of the four new songs on Killers finds Kulick's economic, highly melodic soloing providing a soundtrack for Stanley's daydreams about the legendary sexcapades he's going to undertake as soon as he can get free from his soul-crushing day job.

 

1. "Larger Than Life"
From: Alive II (1977)

The best of the five new songs on Kiss' second live album (Frehley's "Rocket Ride" is a close second) features Kulick backing up Simmons' numerous lyrical boasts with short bursts of soloing filled with squeals and dramatically bent notes.

 

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