Ace Frehley – Origins Vol 2.
Released: 18th September 2020
Ace Frehley | guitar, bass, vocals
John 5 | guitar
Lita Ford | vocals
Robin Zander | vocals
Bruce Kulick | guitar
Rob Sabino | keyboards
Matt Star | drums
The original Rock Solider Ace Frehley is back!
Way back in 2016 Ace Frehley released Origins Vol 1. I had a listen and gave it a thumbs up (review here) Now 4 years later The Space Man has followed it up with the obviously titled Origins Vol 2. And there was no way I was going to turn down the chance to get an early listen and throw down a few thoughts.
As with Vol 1. this is a retrospective look at Ace’s life with the songs and bands that influenced him. Given his tumultuous career both professionally and personally it seems fitting the opening track is ‘Good Times, Bad Times’. In the dictionary the definition of rock n roll survivor should be accompanied by a picture of Ace Frehley, he’s overcome addiction to drugs, alcohol and even Gene Simmons ego. Ace takes to this Led Zeppelin classic with the same respect shown on the first album. You can’t re-invent the wheel so there’s no point trying and to take a hatchet to a song like this and although it’s not going to break any new ground, it’s a solid start to part deux.
Never to shy away from a challenge Ace tackles a certified hard rock classic with ‘Space Truckin’. According to Frehley this song was recorded years ago and has been sitting on a dusty shelf somewhere all this time. Thankfully Ace dusted it off, added a little bit of spaceman magic and delivered another staying true to the original cover. Ace stays within his vocal range not trying to reach the heights of the likes Ian Gillan belted out way back in 1972. Throw in a smoking hot guitar solo and you have “Space Ace truckin’” indeed.
As with the previous release Ace gets by with a little help from his friends, and there’s none more capable or more suitable than Lita Ford. Another certified rock ‘n roll survivor the lovely Lita returns to continue where she left off on Vol 1. If Ace has 100 rock n’ roll survival stories, Lita has 101. The pair breathe new life into ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’. Keith Richards’ sloppy guitar style is replaced with sharp crisp playing, the understated solos now sizzle with Frehley’s fingers firing up the fretboard. Lita’s vocal delivery gives the song a new attitude with a grittier edge, something the original Rolling Stones version is missing in 2020. Sometimes you need a sister act to give a song a kick in the balls.
Star power is at full force when Cheap Trick front-man Robin Zander steps up for ‘30 Days In The Hole’ and the results are exceptional. The 1972 classic rock track gets a well deserved shake up, the tempo is lifted and the guitars have a more metallic edge. But the standout is Zander absolutely nailing Steve Marriott’s vocals.
If you’re a fan of the old school Origins Vol 2. delivers it in spades. Ace takes on 12 certified rock classics, adds a fistful of rock stars, a little bit of space magic and delivers a solid follow up to Origins Vol 1.
Ace Frehley – Origins Vol 2. tracklisting:
1. Good Times Bad Times
2. Never In My Life
3. Space Truckin’
4. I’m Down feat. John 5
5. Jumpin’ Jack Flash feat. Lita Ford
6. Politician feat. John 5
8. 30 Days In The Hole feat. Robin Zander
9. Manic Depression feat. Bruce Kulick
11. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place