September 14, 2020 Ace Frehley – Origins Vol. 2 (Album Review)
Legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Guitarist, Ace Frehley will release his brand new cover album, Origins Vol. 2, on Friday, September 18, 2020 on eOne Music. No stranger to cover albums, Frehley released his second highest charting solo effort, Origins Vol. 1, back in April of 2016 which featured covers of Classic Rock hits by the likes of Thin Lizzy, Cream, and Led Zeppelin. More recently, Frehley released his latest LP of original music, Spaceman, nearly two years ago in October of 2018.
More than just a cover album, Origins Vol. 2 is not one of those releases thrown together to meet some contractual requirement with a record label. No, Origins Vol. 2 really puts the emphasis on the word ‘Origins’ with eleven stand out tributes to bands whom Frehley grew up rocking out and those that had a profound influence on Frehley as a guitar player. In his own words, Frehley commented: “I just thought about the songs that I used to play in clubs when I was doing other people’s material. I went through my album collection and thought about the songs that influenced me the most. It was fun picking out the songs. It’s a pretty well-rounded record and I think the fans will enjoy it.” Furthermore, Origins Vol. 2 also features a bonus track as well as several notable special guests who really add to the experience.
Popping this one in, Origins Vol. 2 kicks off in the same fashion as Led Zeppelin’s debut album, 1969’s Led Zeppelin, with the jangly guitar classic “Good Times Bad Times.” This was an excellent song choice for Frehley who turned up the volume and added some cowbell to this Led Zeppelin classic and it really pops. Next on tap, Frehley rocks the crunchy “Never In My Life” (Mountain) and then gifts an exhilarating performance of “Space Truckin’ ” (Deep Purple) featuring journeyman Keyboardist Rob Sabino and a cool edit by Frehley, changing the chorus to say “Space Ace Truckin’.” As one of the most daring guitarists out there, John 5 joins Frehley for two tracks on “I’m Down” (The Beatles) and “Politician” (Cream).
One of the funnest tracks on Origins Vol. 2, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (The Rolling Stones) is killer as 1980s Rock icon Lita Ford takes over on lead vocals. No surprise, Ford and Frehley really give it their all on this electric tune. One of the catchiest tunes in Rock history, Frehley covers “Lola” (The Kinks) and then shakes things up with Humble Pie’s “30 Days In The Hole” featuring Robin Zander of Cheap Trick on lead vocals. Taking on a guitar god, Frehley joins up with another former KISS guitarist, Bruce Kulick, and the pair do justice to “Manic Depression” by none other than The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Rounding out Origins Vol. 2, Frehley dives deep into the 1960s scene with “Kicks” (Paul Revere & the Raiders) and “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” (The Animals) before the sinister bonus track “She” (KISS).
With his own distinct sound, Frehley has put together a well versed collection of Rock covers with Origins Vol. 2. Taking on stand out tracks like Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times,” The Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” and Deep Purple’s “Space Truckin’,” Frehley did a great job putting his own spin on these Rock classics. In his performance you can really feel these tunes mean something to Frehley as they date back to his time playing clubs as an unsigned musician. Frehley is right, the fans should really dig Origins Vol. 2 and all the Rock-and-Roll goodness this album has to offer. Well worth the listen, Cryptic Rock awards Origins Vol. 2 4.5 out of 5 stars.