Ace Frehley – Origins Vol. 1
2016, Entertainment One Music
Buy the album
1. “White Room”
2. “Street Fighting Man”
3. “Spanish Castle Magic”
4. “Fire and Water”
6. “Bring It On Home”
7. “Wild Thing”
9. “Magic Carpet Ride”
10. “Cold Gin”
11. “Till the End of the Day”
12. “Rock and Roll Hell”
Ace Frehley – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Chris Wyse – Bass
Scot Coogan – Drums, Lead Vocals
Matt Starr – Drums
Paul Stanley – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Slash – Guitar
John 5 – Guitar
Lita Ford – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Mike McCready – Guitar
Well, cover albums are usually fun, even they do have kind of a throwaway feel to them. But, hey, at least it’s not a live album, right?
Origins, Vol. 1 is a collection of classic rock songs covering the likes of Zeppelin, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, Steppenwolf, the Troggs, and, of course, KISS. Ace also recruits a number of impressive friends to help out on the album, including his old KISS band mate Paul Stanley (lead vocals on Free’s “Fire and Water”). This album marks the first time Stanley & Frehley have appeared on a studio album together since Psycho Circus way back in 1998.
Having success with “2,000 Man”, I guess Ace figured it was a good time to cover another song by the Rolling Stones. This time he picked “Street Fighting Man”. It’s a song that’s been covered plenty of times over the years, but Ace’s version may be the best of all the cover versions that I’ve heard.
It’s no surprise that this album focuses on rock ‘n’ roll from the 1960s & 1970s, but I did find it slightly surprising that Ace chose to cover thee songs from his old band — “Parasite”, “Cold Gin”, and “Rock and Roll Hell”. Especially so in the case of “Rock and Roll Hell”, which was written by Gene Simmons about Ace and was recorded for the band’s Creatures of the Night album. Although to be fair, despite technically being in the band at that point, he didn’t play on the album at all as he was on his way out the door. It’s a song about him after all, so I guess Ace wanted to put his own stamp on it.
You could say the same for “Parasite” (which sounds FANTASTIC here) and “Cold Gin”. Ace wrote both of those songs but didn’t sing on either one, Gene Simmons did.
Enjoyable listen, as Ace always does well when covering other musicians. Looking forward to a second volume.
Highlights: “White Room”, “Street Fighting Man”, “Emerald”, “Parasite”, “Rock and Roll Hell”