RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Ace Frehley – Origins Vol. 1  
eOne Music

Release Date: April 15, 2015

Rating: B

No Matter if you love KISS or hate them, worship guitarist Ace Frehley or diss him at every turn… you can’t deny Space Ace must have an amazing record collection!

Holy sh*t,  just look at this track listing of remakes Ace chose to put on Origins Vol. 1.  From the Stones to Hendrix to Thin “fricking” Lizzy, this is one monster of a record… err… CD… err, digital download… err, whatever format you chose... it rocks!

Ace sings some stuff, plays some stuff and then just for kicks, he has a bunch of his famous friends join him on this latest effort.  The combination of Ace’s killer musical taste, ability to make these songs work for him, and his special guests make this as much fun as cruising the main drag, drinking warm beer fresh from the cardboard box with the top down and chasing chicks in the mall parking lot in 1983!

Let’s get to the goods… the opener is “White Room,” a Cream remake followed by “Street Fighting Man” by the Rolling Stones; these versions are damn good and start things off kinda like a good opening band at a concert.

Just as one begins to think, “This is just another famous dude paying homage to his record collection”  comes “Spanish Castle Magic...”  This Jimi Hendrix cover kicks it up a notch.  John 5 supplies some killer guitar.  Things are now looking up.

Next, ex-Kiss band mate Paul Stanley steps in to do his best Paul Rodgers impersonation on Free’s “Fire and Water.”  It’s okay.  Not nearly as good as the real Paul R. thing, but Paul S. being on this track makes this disc cool, if not nostalgic.

What happens next is like when the headliner takes the stage:  Ace and Slash bash the sh*t out of the Thin Lizzy song “Emerald.”  Dude! This is a bad-ass remake that will have fists pumping in the air.  Very few remakes have ever been energized like this.  Plus, the song deserves to be heard by a new audience, and this will make sure of it.

Lita Ford sings “Wild Thing.”  It is not as fun as that fat comedian who did it in the ‘80s, but it is much sexier...  “Oh, Ooooooooooooooh!!”   Lita and Ace make this a fun tune.  John 5 shows back up for the KISS song, “Parasite,” sung here by Ace.  Mr. Frehley also brings along none other than Mike McCready for his classic KISS moment “Cold Gin.”  This song just never gets old, just cold.

“Magic Carpet Ride” is perfect fodder for Frehley’s voice to shine.  Well, I’m not sure his voice ever truly shines but he sounds good on this one.  Ace brings it strong and rocks up The Kinks classic “Till the End of the Day.”  That voice just lends itself to these last two songs.  It’s not pretty.  It is, however, unique.  Replacing that famous Ray Davies British punk sound with the New York ‘wudda want?’ vocal sound of Frehley makes this one seem tougher and cooler.  The album wraps up with another KISS tune.  This time it is “Rock and Roll Hell.”  It’s not a famous KISS track, but it is a good way to end this collection of songs.

Ace had fun with this one.  You can tell he chose these songs with at least a bit of thought.  The energy is right.  The songs are true to the original concept, but they are given the Ace Frehley makeover… which means they are greasy and grimy and, most of all, fun. 

Seriously, this is not just another batch of cover tunes thrown out there to make some cash…. well, I suppose it IS but it comes from a better place than a lot of those types of releases, and it is well done… and it has attitude. 

Oh heck, I like it and so will you… I think.  I hope… suffice it to say, even if you just get it for “Emerald” then you will be happy.  It’s not just me who thinks so, either.  Ace can sum it up better than me: “I’m really thrilled with the whole thing. I’m excited about it, and I think there’s a song on here for everyone.”

Thanks Spaceman!

Track Listing

White Room (Cream)
Street Fighting Man (Rolling Stones)
Spanish Castle Magic (Jimi Hendrix) *John 5
Fire and Water (Free) *Paul Stanley
Emerald (Thin Lizzy) *Slash
Bring It On Home (Led Zeppelin)
Wild Thing (The Troggs) *Lita Ford
Parasite (KISS) *John 5
Magic Carpet Ride (Steppenwolf)
Cold Gin (KISS) *Mike McCready
Till The End Of The Day (The Kinks)
Rock N Roll Hell (KISS)

By Jeb ‘Parasite’ Wright