By early 1978, KISS was at the peak of the band's formidable powers. The group's most recent album, Alive II, was an instant smash. Released in October 1977, the record would peak at #7 on the Billboard charts over the first week of the year. The #1 album in America that week: Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.
KISS' notorious label, Casablanca, saw an opportunity to strike in one of the very few commercial avenues the band never really excelled: the Hot 100. After peaking at #12 with the live version of "Rock and Roll All Nite," they'd famously cracked the top 10 with "Beth," and landed in the top 20 twice with Rock and Roll Over singles "Hard Luck Woman" and "Calling Dr. Love."
With KISS' popularity at its zenith, they dug into Side 4 of Alive II, comprised solely of new studio songs, and plucked Ace Frehley's track, "Rocket Ride." The song was issued as a single on February 22, 1978. Frehley's phase-heavy guitar sound and the guitarist's laser-beam solo would make "Rocket Ride" another thriller for the KISS Army. It would also be a genuine chart hit, crashing the top 40 to land at #39 the week of April 22, 1978. The #1 song in America that week: The Bee Gees' "Night Fever."