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Additional personnel and performances: John 5, Slash and Mike McCready (guitars), Paul Stanley and Scott Coogan (vocals), Lita Ford (guitars and vocals).
To see Ace Frehley make a record entirely filled with cover songs I guess shouldn't surprise anyone, because his only smash hit as a solo artist so far was in fact somebody else's song initially and putting his own mark to existing songs hasn't been an unfamiliar business to him at a later stage either for that matter. In a way, I think it's a pity that he chooses to release this album right now, since his last studio record, Space Invader, was probably his best work since the 70's and in my book I would have preferred reading notes of another studio record with mostly original Ace material instead.
Our own favorite spaceman's very characteristic voice brings a cool and natural swing and classic touch to the songs and in some odd way it enhances some of the songs, even if his performance is kind of unpolished, strictly technically pretty unsatisfactory actually, and for the most part, far from the original singers' contributions in regards to great vocal efforts. The songs used for this record's purpose are exclusively from legendary artists, making it a whole lot easier to quickly soak in the material, but just because the songs are highly recognizable, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are great and songs like Street Fighting Man and especially Wild Thing never were appealing to me in the first place.
The guest performers on this record truly set their own mark on their personal effort, even if the main man does the absolute lion's share of the work himself. Partially because Ace obviously has his own style, that's different from what the rest of the guys bring to the table, but first and foremost because of the fact that the other guitarists are allowed to put their own distinct brand to the songs.
It might seem a little strange that Ace's former band colleague in Kiss, Paul Stanley, is on the list of guest performers, because of their past relationship in that band, but anyway, Paul's vocal contribution to Fire And Water neither does good nor bad to the record's total outcome, and to be honest, so does neither of the other guys' inputs as well, since when listening to something from Ace, it's what he brings forth that's above all what's interesting to me.
Origins Vol.1 is definitely an okay piece of musical work, but it doesn't come out as something I would personally run my ass off for buying instantly, because a cover record is hardly my, or anyone's I reckon, first priority in terms of purchases.
If you fancy what the man has done before, this is a fair chance for you to listen to what he once was influenced by and to also get to hear reworked versions of a couple of old Kiss tunes. It's indeed remarkable that he has chosen Rock And Roll Hell to be one of the tracks from that band, since he wasn't present himself during the original recording of the song, but at the same time, odd decisions like this one shows that you will never know what will happen around this guy and I think also that these things are what keep the legacy and mystery of Ace Frehley alive.
also review of: Space Invader