Ace Frehley's Origins Vol. 1 covers album teams him up with some of the best musical talent of his era and beyond.

In recent years, Ace Frehley, the legendary original lead guitarist of KISS, has made a comeback for himself. Albums like Anomaly and Space Invader have established that the Spaceman is still a formidable force in the world of rock and roll, and will likely not be going away anytime soon!

Origins Vol. 1 is the latest release from the Space Ace, this time around featuring him paying homage to some of his rock and roll heroes, and even revisiting a few songs from his past. Special guests collaborating with the Spaceman on this covers CD include Lita Ford, John 5, Slash, and even former KISS bandmate Paul Stanley!

 

Ace Frehley's Origins Vol. 1 covers album teams him up with some of the best musical talent of his era and beyond.
Ace Frehley’s Origins Vol. 1 covers album teams him up with some of the best musical talent of his era and beyond.

 

Unlike a number of aging artists, Frehley has managed to maintain his musical talent, still singing tracks in a distinctive voice and displaying his legendary guitar prowess. Covers albums seem to be something becoming all the more common amongst veteran classic hard rockers, and it is good to see that the man behind all of the action is still in fine form musically.

Doing covers is a tough task unto itself; the artist has to find the right balance of musical elements. You do not want to record carbon copies of the original songs, but at the same time, you do not want to go so far out in left field that the song is no longer recognizable. Fortunately, Frehley strikes gold on Origins Vol. 1; he has proven for years that he is a great musician when it comes to adapting the songs of others as his own. The tracks here are all recognizable, yet certainly not clones of the artists’ own respective takes on the material.

So, what are the highlights here? Cream’s “White Room” and The Rolling Stones’ “Street Fighting Man” make for a powerful one-two punch to get things underway. Slash guests on an excellent cover of one of Thin Lizzy’s finest deep tracks, “Emerald.” Frehley even revisits his old KISS compositions “Cold Gin” and “Parasite,” the latter given a blistering, more powerful rendition through the added guitar of John 5; these versions of the songs even feature the Spaceman on lead vocals (he did not sing on the original KISS versions of them). We even get to hear his reimagining of Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride!” Fans of Mr. Frehley will love hearing him work his Space Ace magic on these tunes.

The market is more than a little oversaturated when it comes to covers albums. Fortunately, Ace Frehley proves himself to be more than competent at turning the songs of others into his own here on Origins Vol. 1. Any fan of the Spaceman is going to want to add this one to their collections.

 

 

By Taylor Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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