New Music Review: ACE FREHLEY “Origins Vol. 1″

ACE FREHLEY Origins Web Cover Photo

REVIEW – The Spaceman that made so many kids- yours truly included- want to pick up a Les Paul guitar and plug it into a Marshall amplifier has returned again with his seventh solo album (counting the two Frehley’s Comet records) entitled “Origins Vol. 1” and is released on the 15th of April, 2016 on the Entertainment One Music label.

Ex- KISS guitarist Ace Frehley lets us in on who made him want to pick up a guitar on this album full of covers of his favorite songs.  Some selections are expected; Cream’s “White Room”, Hendrix’s “Spanish Castle Magic”, featuring John 5, the Stones’ “Street Fighting Man”, and some are cool surprises; Free’s “Fire and Water”, which features guest vocalist Paul Stanley, Thin Lizzy’s “Emerald”, featuring Slash, and quite surprisingly, Frehley’s version of “Rock and Roll Hell”, from the KISS album “Creatures of the Night” after Frehley left the band in 1981.  Plenty of appearances by Frehley’s understudies, Lita Ford on The Troggs’ “Wild Thing”, Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready plays on a remake of “Cold Gin”, and John 5 makes another appearance on another KISS classic remake, a blistering version of “Parasite”.  The album also includes Ace’s versions of Led Zeppelin’s “Bring It On Home”, Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride”, and The Kinks’ “Till The End Of The Day”.

Cover albums have always intrigued me.  I’ve heard the argument that it’s a lazy way of doing a new album instead of it being full of new original songs, it’s just redone songs that everyone has heard before.  I can maybe agree with that to an extent, but at the same time, I love hearing artists that I respect, showing me what artists they like and respect.  To me, influence is important in music, and it allows you to better understand the artist, knowing where they came from and what made them want to do what they do best.  That being said, this is one of the funnest records I’ve listened to in a long time.  Ace’s last run of albums, including 2014’s “Space Invader” and 2009’s “Anomaly”, are very well done. The writing, recording, vocals, guitar tones, musicianship, all point to Ace doing the best he can, which is really great to see and hear.  I can’t wait to hear the next one.

ACE FREHLEY “Origins Vol. 1”

1. White Room (Cream)
2. Street Fighting Man (The Rolling Stones)
3. Spanish Castle Magic (Jimi Hendrix Experience) (feat. John 5)
4. Fire and Water (Free) (feat. Paul Stanley)
5. Emerald (Thin Lizzy) (feat. Slash)
6. Bring It On Home (Led Zeppelin)
7. Wild Thing (The Troggs) (feat. Lita Ford)
8. Parasite (KISS) (feat. John 5)
9. Magic Carpet Ride (Steppenwolf)
10. Cold Gin (KISS) (feat. Mike McCready)
11. Till The End Of The Day (The Kinks)
12. Rock and Roll Hell (KISS)

Total Time: 51:33

• Ace Frehley  – lead vocals (all, except 4); rhythm and lead guitars (all); bass guitar (1, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12)
• Chris Wyse – bass guitar (2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10)
• Scot Coogan – drums (1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11); lead vocals (1, 6)
• Matt Starr – drums (2, 4, 12)
• Ray Brandis – percussion (2, 6, 9, 11)
• Warren Huart – harmony lead guitar (5)
Special Guests:
• John 5  – rhythm and lead guitar (3, 8)
• Paul Stanley  – lead and backing vocals (4)
• Slash  – lead guitar (5)
• Lita Ford  – lead guitar and lead vocals (7)
• Mike McCready  – lead guitar (10)