Ace Frehley is having a great April of 2016. How could he not be? Not only did he celebrate another year of life on the 27th, he simultaneously released his latest video featuring a team-up KISS fans thought they could only dream of after the lead guitarist walked away from the Greatest Band in the World in 2002. Paul Stanley joins Ace in an electrifying cover of Free’s “Fire and Water.”
“Fire and Water” is just one collaboration from Ace Frehley’s “Origins, Vol. 1.” The collection of 12 cover songs was released through Entertainment One Music on April 13th, 2016. It’s the follow-up to Frehley’s 2014 album “Space Invader.” The guitarist has always paid tribute to his influences on his past records. For example, Sweet’s “Fox on the Run” from 2009’s “Anomaly” and the Steve Miller Band’s “Space Cowboy” from “Space Invader.”
KISS and its former members are the perfect example of the old saying, “A band is like a family.” There’s no denying all of the original members have thrown mud in each other’s direction at one time or another. However, at the end of the day, everybody meets at the dinner table and realizes their bonds are too strong for petty differences.
“We are linked together forever. We created something that will live far past our lifetimes. And I would love to see him succeed,” Stanley stated in a recent interview.
Frehley praised Stanley’s “fabulous” performance for the song, which differs from what he’s known for in KISS. “It’s a real cool vocal. Everyone who’s heard it just thinks it’s the s#!t.”
As a longtime KISS and Ace Frehley fan, it’s a dream come true to see the Starchild and Spaceman back together on stage, even if it is just for a promotional video. With or without the makeup, they still have an explosive rock and roll chemistry that is undeniable. Stanley’s charisma and sway commands the audience’s attention. Frehley plays his six-string with a calm self-confidence and even pulls out the smoking guitar gimmick as a cherry on top.
Paul and Ace’s first collaboration together since 2002’s KISS Farewell Tour can be found on Frehley’s new cover album, “Origins, Vol. 1.” There’s a lot more on the release to enjoy than just their version of Free’s “Fire and Water.” The flashy guitarist teams up with the likes of Slash, Lita Ford, John 5 and Mike McCready to tackle influential gems like Cream’s “White Room, the Rolling Stones’ “Street Fighting Man,” Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride,” and others.
Ace even tackles a couple of the KISS songs he wrote for the band’s debut and sophomore records. Their self-titled album’s “Cold Gin” and “Hotter Than Hell’s” track “Parasite” were originally sung by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. At the time of the original recordings in the 1970s, Frehley was insecure in his singing abilities. Decades later, he reclaims the lead vocals with a new sense of confidence.
One immense treat KISS fans will no doubt love is Ace’s cover of “Rock and Roll Hell.” Originally released on the band’s 1982 album “Creatures of the Night,” the song was written by Gene Simmons, Bryan Adams, and Jim Vallance. It’s a rare instance of Frehley honoring a KISS song he had nothing to do with. He appears on the original cover of the record, but didn’t play or write anything on it.
Every track on “Origins, Vol. 1” is skillfully covered and enhanced by the shredding abilities of Ace Frehley and his band. You can hear the heart and soul he put into every stroke and strum he let loose on the strings. The passion he puts into his playing reflects the admiration he has for each song he chose for the album.
Ace Frehley’s “Origin, Vol. 1” is available now on CD or as a digital download.