Ace Frehley’s latest offering, Origins Vol. 2, is a jewel of an album chock-full of cover songs that gracefully landed in my den of iniquity after I miraculously missed out on Frehley’s Origins Vol. 1. While paying homage to yesteryear’s heroes, the Spaceman plays it like he sings it. What you get out of this collection is definitive hits with a handful of B-sides thrown in like space dust that Ace cooks up alien-style, charbroiled by the flames of his UFO.
Way above Mountains, “Never in My Life” lifts off whitecaps into a galaxy-cruising version of Deep Purple’s “Space Trucking.” Ace rearranges some of the lyrics, name dropping the likes of Kiss bassist Gene Simmons. “Hey, Curley, come on, let’s go Space Ace trucking.” Later, blazing onto terra firma like a man in search of “Lola,” this UFO spirals you down a Kissified “30 Days in the Hole.” What?! No sexual innuendos here, nor jail time served; just interplanetary rock and roll. “30 Days…” features Robin Zander from Cheap Trick on vocals, because, as Ace stated, “I really wanted to do the Humble Pie song, but I just couldn’t cut it vocally…Steve Marriot is just too good of a goddamn singer.” Nevertheless, these are puzzle pieces of our past that eventually lead up to Ace effortlessly singing most of these classics while making them his own.
Some of the tracks get too early-morning AM radio, like the covers of Cream, The Animals, and Paul Revere and the Raiders, but hey, that’s what makes up this Space Ace bag of space rocks. The coupe de grace being the classic Kiss song “She” that still sends shivers up your spine like an acid-infused epidural. In retrospect, this is a great album of late-‘60s and ‘70s rock, shocking you the way only Ace Frehley does.
Origins Vol. 2 Track Listing:
1. Good Times Bad Times (Led Zeppelin)
2. Never in My Life (Mountain)
3. Space Truckin’ (Deep Purple)
4. I’m Down (The Beatles)
5. Jumpin’ Jack Flash (The Rolling Stones)
6. Politician (Cream)
7. Lola (The Kinks)
8. 30 Days in the Hole (Humble Pie)
9. Manic Depression (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)
10. Kicks (Paul Revere and the Raiders)
11. We Gotta Get Out of This Place (The Animals)
12. She (Kiss) (Bonus Track)
Run Time: 44:39
Release Date: September 18, 2020
Record Label: eOne