‘Origins Vol. 2’ is the second cover songs collection from Space Ace Frehley.
Written by: Dave T
ARTIST: Ace Frehley
ALBUM: Origins Vol.2
LABEL: eOne Music
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Ace Frehley – lead vocals, guitars, bass, production
Guests: Alex Salzman – bass, guitars, co-production * Matt Starr – drums, percussion * Paul Simmons – drums * Lana Cove – backing vocals * Jeremy Asbrock, Ryan Cook – guitars, vocals * Rob Sabino – organ * Phillip Shouse – guitar, bass * John 5, Bruce Kulick – guitars * Lita Ford, Robin Zander – Co lead vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Good Times Bad Times * 02 Never In My Life * 03 Space Truckin’ * 04 I’m Down * 05 Jumpin’ Jack Flash * 06 Politician * 07 Lola * 08 30 Days In The Hole * 09 Manic Depression * 10 Kicks * 11 We Gotta Get Out Of This Place * 12 She
Now this is a tough one. The first 2016’s ‘Origins Vol.1’ was a strong release in my book while 2018’s Ace Frehley solo album ‘Spaceman’ sounded like a tired effort to these ears. ‘Origins Vol. 2’ is the second cover songs collection from Space Ace Frehley.
Let’s start with the pros, shall we? Led Zeppelin‘s ‘Good Times Bad Times’ is a solid start in full typical Ace Frehley style. Deep Purple‘s ‘Space Truckin’ (with its funny accompanying music video) is a great condensed version as Ace has proven he’s able to deliver as he did with ‘2,000 Man’ for ‘Dynasty’ fueled by Rob Sabino’s organ, while Humble Pie‘s ’30 Days In The Hole’ hugely benefits from Robin Zander’s vocals.
Time for the cons. Neither Lita Ford nor Bruce Kulick as guests could save the shortcomings of The Rolling Stones‘s ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ and Hendrix‘s ‘Manic Depression’ versions, respectively. The Kinks ‘Lola’ with backing vocals courtesy of Ace’s current girlfriend Lara Cove is frankly boring. Moreover, who needs more new cover versions of the likes of the Fab Four from Liverpool’s ‘I’m Down’, Cream‘s ‘Politician’ or The Animals‘s ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’?
The bonus track, Kiss‘s ‘She’ finds Ace doing a good job, but at the same time it proves how groovy the rhythm section of Peter Criss and Gene Simmons was and how tight as a rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley was as well. All three are sorely missed on this version, as are Simmons vocals.
The remaining songs are ‘Never In My Life’ (Mountain) and ‘Kicks’ (Paul Revere & The Raiders). The production does not help either, as the compression that gives the illusion of energetic performances and the use of AutoTune is excessive.
Because of Ace Frehley’s song selection, performances and overall sound, I cannot say I enjoyed much of ‘Origins Vol.2’ as I did with Vol.1. On a side note, there’s seven different vinyl variants and two different CD releases to choose from. However, I’m not sure that it will make much difference.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)