Ace Frehley’s New Record Is The Exception To The Rule About Covers Compilations

Courtesy: eOne

Covers collections are a dime a dozen.  From one genre within the bigger musical universe to the next, they are overly abundant offerings.  There is no denying that in the bigger picture of things, covers collections are little more than space fillers used by acts for the purpose of fulfilling contractual obligations between new albums.  Many of those albums are that and little more.  However, every now and then at least one rarity rises above the rest to do at least a little more, and actually show some value.  Ace Frehley’s latest covers compilation is one of those rarities.  Released Friday through eOne, the 12-song record stands out in part because of its featured covers.  This will be discussed shortly.  The performances of the songs play their own part in the album’s presentation and will be discussed a little later.  The production that went into the record rounds out its most important elements and will be addressed later, too.  Each noted item is important in its own right to the whole of the collection.  All things considered, they make Frehley’s latest space filler a work that will appeal to plenty of classic rock fans.

Ace Frehley’s latest covers compilation, released Friday through eOne, is an interesting addition to this year’s field of new space fillers.  That is because unlike its counterparts, it actually proves itself to actually be worth at least some value.  That is due in part to the record’s featured songs.  While there are some notable works featured in the record from some very well-known bands, there are also some lesser-known deep cuts from those bands, too.  Mountain’s ‘Never in my Life’ is an example of one of those deep cuts.  The band is well-known, and while Climbing!, the album in which the song is featured, is considered a hit for Mountain, the song itself was never considered to be one of the album’s biggest hits.  ‘I’m Down,’ which was a b-side to The Beatles’ hit song ‘Help!,’ is another example of Frehley including a lesser-known work from a big name band in this record.  Cream’s ‘Politician’ is yet another example of the noted lesser-known songs featuring in this record.  While the album in which the song is featured – Wheels of Fire – is the world’s first platinum-selling double album, the song was never used as a single.  To that end, it is more of a deep cut.

On the other end of the spectrum, works, such as The Rolling Stones’ ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash,’ The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s ‘Manic Depression’ and Deep Purple’s ‘Space Truckin’’ (whose lyrics Frehley changes slightly here when he sings, “we’re space ace truckin’) are examples of the more well-known works featured in the album.  Between these songs and the lesser-known pieces is in reality a little bit of a rock music history lesson.  Audiences get to learn about some big name bands (I.E. The Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin) and those who were more mid-level (Mountain, Paul Revere & The Raiders) while also getting a starting point on discussions on the acts and their catalogs.  What’s more, being that those lesser-known works are rarely if ever played on corporate terrestrial radio and are just as rarely presented in other acts’ covers compilations, their inclusion adds to their importance.  Keeping all of this in mind, the compilation’s featured songs actually prove at least some value to its presentation.

While the songs featured in Frehley’s new covers set present at least some value, the performances of said songs plays just as much importance if not more.  That is because while Frehley and his fellow musicians do stay at least somewhat true to their source material throughout the record, they  also give the songs a new updated sound.  Case in point is the group’s performance of The Rolling Stones’ hit song ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash.’  The Rolling Stones’ original composition is energetic in its own right, and the band’s live performances of the song step things up in the song even more.  Frehley and company’s version here however really amps things up.  Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards’ guitars are replaced in this case by that of Frehley and guitar goddess Lita Ford.  The duo also takes on Mick Jagger’s vocals jointly and definitely take things collectively in a whole new direction.  It should be noted that Ford does drop some f-bombs here, so some listener discretion is advised.  Honestly, its disappointing that Ford would work blue here since the original song did not need any foul language in order to be enjoyable.  Charlie Watts’ steady, subtle time keeping has even been replaced by an equally heavy drum line here.  Simply put, the performance in whole does stay true to the source material in terms of sound, but in terms of style it is a completely different song.  So that is certain to generate its own share of interest and discussion among listeners.

The group’s take on The Animals’ ‘We Gotta Get Outta Here’ is another example of the importance of the performances of the featured songs here.  The Animals’ original rendition of the song was grounded in its bass line and vocals.  In the case of Frehley and company’s take on the song, Frehley takes on the bass line, using the guitar instead for that famous line.  Between that, the semi-operatic vocal delivery and the bombastic drumming, the whole of the song takes on a distinctly 80s hair metal vibe that echoe the sounds of KISS (no surprise there) instead of presenting the song in its more subdued original presentation.  At the same time, considering that the song’s lyrical content focuses on a relationship matter and “needing to get out of this place,” the song’s energy in this presentation does seem to work in its own right.  To that end, it is sure to generate its own share of interest and engagement.

On another hand, the performance of The Beatles’ I’m Down’ stays almost true stylistically to its source material.  Yes, it’s amped up compared to the original, but compared to let’s say The Beatles’ performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, this performance actually echoes that performance relatively well, even despite being so amped up.  As a matter of fact, this performance is actually a step up from the Beatles’ original song.  That is not to say that The Beatles’ original is bad by any means.  That should not be misconstrued.  Rather, Frehley and company took a song that was great to begin with and stepped it up, improving upon it even more.  Between this performance, the others noted here and the rest of the collection’s performances, it can be said that the performances pose their own importance to the record’s presentation just as much as the songs themselves.  The performances are just one more part of what makes the collection worth hearing, too.  Its production rounds out its most important elements.

The production of Origins Volume 2 is important to note for the very reason that has already been raised in examining the performance of the record’s featured songs:  the performances take the original songs from decades ago and really amp them up.  This is important because in so many of the songs, there is a lot more going on than in these works than the originals.  In other words, there is more need to balance all of the elements to ensure each song presents the fullest performance.  Those behind the record’s production are to be applauded for their efforts, too.  For all that is going on in each song, the guitars, bass, vocals, and drums are quite well balanced.  The energy is transmitted just as well because of that expert work that went into balancing each element within each song.  The end result is an album that works just as well for its aesthetics as for its content.  When this is considered along with the record’s content and the performances therein, the result is a covers collection that while it is a covers set, actually proves itself worth hearing at least once if not more.

Ace Frehley’s new covers compilation Origins Volume 2 is an interesting follow-up to his 2016 set Origins Volume 1.  That is due in part to its featured songs.  The songs are a balance of well-known works and deep cuts.  They and the bands that performed them can actually serve as a starting point on discussions about rock’s modern history.  That is actually a positive in its own right.  The performances of the featured songs is important to this record because they stay true to their source material in terms of sound, but stylistically, they clearly show Frehley’s own influence, what with the overly bombastic nature of each performance.  That is certain to generate its own share of discussion among audiences.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  That is because it ensures for all of the elements going on in each song, those elements are well-balanced, making the record just as worth hearing for this aesthetic element as for its content.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make the compilation a presentation that is the exception to the rule for covers compilations.  It is available now.  More information on the set is available along with all of Ace Frehley’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.acefrehley.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/officialacefrehley

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/Ace_Frehley

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Ace Frehley To Perform Live On ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ Monday Night

Courtesy: eOne

Ace Frehley will release his new album next month, and in anticipation of its release, will make an appearance Monday night on ABC.

Frehley, one of the original members of KISS, will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live! asa special guest member of Kimmel’s house band, Cleto and the Cletones as part of the promotion for his new album Spaceman.  The album is currently scheduled for release Oct. 19 via eOne.

 Spaceman is Frehley’s first album of original material since the release of his 2014 album Space Invaders. It features a cover of Eddie Money’s ‘I Wanna Go Back’ the singles ‘Bronx Boy‘ and ‘Rockin’ With The Boys‘ and six other songs sure to be their own fan favorites.

The album’s full track listing is noted below. Pre-orders are open now.

 

Courtesy: eOne

1. Without You I’m Nothing
2. Rockin’ With the Boys
3. Your Wish Is My Command
4. Bronx Boy
5. Pursuit Of Rock and Roll
6. I Wanna Go Back
7. Mission To Mars
8. Off My Back
9. Quantum Flux

 

 

 

Frehley is scheduled to perform on the KISS Kruise VIII from Oct. 31 to Nov. 5.  The cruise leaves from Miami, Florida before heading to Key West and Nassau before returning to Miami on Nov. 5.

Three more dates in Florida are scheduled following the cruise, from Nov. 9 to 11.  All of Frehley’s current live dates ate noted below.

Oct 31, 2018 – Nov. 5, 2018 – Miami to Key West and Nassau, KISS Kruise VIII
November 9, 2018 – Clearwater, FL, Capitol Theatre
November 10, 2018 – Melbourne, FL, King Center for the Performing Arts
November 11, 2018 – Miramar, FL, Miramar Amphitheatre

More information on Ace Frehley’s new album, live dates and more is available online no along with all of his latest news and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.acefrehley.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officialacefrehley

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Ace_Frehley

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

 

The Rock Carnival Returns This Summer

Courtesy:  Stan Levinstone Presents/Game Loud

Courtesy: Stan Levinstone Presents/Game Loud

The Rock Carnival is officially returning.

The Rock Carnival, the Northeast’s only classic carnival + Rock ‘N Roll experience returns this year for its second year.  And headlining this year’s festival is none other than one of the great legends of rock, Alice Cooper.  The second annual Rock Carnival will be held Friday, September 30th – Sunday, October 2nd.  It is produced by Stan Levinstone Presents and Game Loud.  It will take place at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood New Jersey.  It is the home of the Lakewood Blue Claws minor league baseball team.  The team is a minor league affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.  This year marks the first time that it will take place at FirstEnergy Park.  General Admission tickets for single day and weekend access are available now along with Reserved Seat Weekend passes VIP packages, and Skybox Meet and Greets.  The General admission passes and Reserved Seat Weekend Passes can be purchased online here now.  The VIP and Skybox packages are available here.

While Alice Cooper will headline this year’s festival he will not be the only big name on the bill.  Also on this year’s bill are the likes of: Kyng, Overkill, Texas Hippie Coalition, Jackyl, Ace Frehley, Clutch, Blue Oyster Cult, Zakk Sabbath, Monster Magnet, Fuel and many others. Twisted Sister will also be on hand for the festival in its final tri-state appearance.  The performance is part of the band’s official farewell tour.  Performances will take place across a number of stages including two side-by-side main stages.

Along with the major acts scheduled to perform, a special “Classic” Friday night celebration has been added to this year’s festivities.  The celebration will feature performances by a number of cover bands including: Voyage (Journey tribute band), Almost Queen (Queen tribute band), and Zakk Zabbath.  Zac Sabbath’s lineup features Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society Ozzy Osbourne) on vocals and guitar, Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie) on bass, and Joey Castillo (Queens of the Stone Age) on drums.

More information on the second annual Rock Carnival will be announced in the weeks to come.  Audiences can keep up with all of those updates online now at:

 

 

Website: http://therockcarnival.com

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheRockCarnival

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheRockCarnival

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Frehley, Stanley Team Up For Frehley’s ‘Fire And Water’ Video

Photo Credit: Jay Gilbert

Photo Credit: Jay Gilbert

Paul Stanley and Ace Frehley are back together.

The former KISS band mates teamed up recently to film the video for the song ‘Fire and Water.’  The song, which is a cover of Free’s hit 1970 song, is taken from Frehley’s new covers album Origins Vol. 1.  The video was premiered this week exclusively via VEVO.  It marks the first time in 18 years that Frehley and Stanley worked together on a music video.  The last time that the pair worked together on a music video was for the title track from KISS’ 1998 album Psycho Circus.  It also marks the first time in 14 years have even performed together on stage.  The last time that they shared the stage was in 2002 at the Olympic Winter Games.  What’s more, it marks Frehley’s first music video since releasing the video for his cover of ‘Do Ya.’  That song was also covered by The Move and ELO.  Considering Frehley’s comments on working with Stanley on his new video, one must assume that the differences between the musicians are now water under the bridge.  It was great working with Paul again and all the years we’ve spent apart doing other projects seemed to vanish once we hit the stage!, he said.

 

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

 

 

Origins Vol. 1 is the follow-up to Frehley’s 2014 album Space InvaderThat album debuted at #9 on Billboard’s Top 200 upon it’s relase.  Origins Vol. 1 has made a big splash both with audiences and on the charts since its release earlier this month.  It sold more than 16,000 copies nationwide in its first week in stores.  Earlier this week it reached the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hard Music Chart, #3 on the magazine’s Rock Chart, and #6 on its Current Chart.  Its numbers internationally were just as big.  It reached #2 on Sweden’s Hard Rock Chart and #05 on the England Indie Album Breakers Chart.

Along with the new video for the song, it is also streaming online via SoundCloudOrigins Vol. 1 is available now in stores and online.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of Frehley’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.acefrehley.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officialacefrehley

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Ace_Frehley

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Frehley’s Fans And Classic Rock Fans Will All Find Something To Like About Space Invader

Courtesy: eOne Music

Courtesy: eOne Music

Legendary rock band KISS has been in the news quite a bit in 2014.  The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame amid a fire of controversy.  And bassist/founding member Gene Simmons has found himself in the headlines time and again seemingly thinking himself everything from an economist to a professional therapist to an expert on the music industry in whole.  And now not long after the release of his latest solo album Space Invader original guitarist Ace Frehley is back in the news, having made some less than complimentary remarks regarding his former band mate Paul Stanley.  His comments regarding Stanley aside, Frehley’s own latest full length studio effort proves to be worth at least a listen by itself.  The album is one that any old school rock and roll fan will enjoy even with just one listen thanks to its mix of bombastic guitar licks and equally classic lyrical topics.  That mix of bombastic, over the top music and classic style lyrics is evident right off the top in the album’s opener and title track.  Even more enjoyable is the solid rocker that is ‘I Wanna Hold You.’  And Frehley’s completely….spacey cover of The Steve Miller Band’s hit ‘The Joker’ is one that absolutely must be heard to be full understood.’  The more up-tempo, rocked out cover of the classic tune gives it a wholly new identity.  It’s not one of those covers that will hit audiences with the first listen.  Rather, it will grow on audiences that are open-minded enough to give it chance.  Those that do give it a chance will agree that in some bizarre way, it actually works as odd as it sounds.  That being the case, it’s one more song from this latest release that will leave audiences agreeing once more that Space Invader is one record that any classic rock fan should hear at least once before the year winds down.

Ace Frehley’s latest full length studio effort is one that fans of both the original KISS lineup and of classic rock in general should hear at least once before this year wraps.  Frehley makes his case for this argument right off the top in the album’s opener/title track.  Its full-on, over-the-top music alone is proof enough of why it is worth checking out.  The manner in which the song was produced gives it a feel that instantly conjures thoughts of it being performed in a live setting.  And on its lyrical side, it is just as interesting.  Frehley writes in this song, “You know the planet/Has been in trouble/For a thousand years/We’ve all been blind/There’s no time to waste/Give up the struggle/We must embrace our host/Give it up for/Space Invader.”  He goes on to write of the said figure, “He comes from distant galaxies/Space invader/He stands before you/To set you free/No rhyme or reason/No piece of mindThe Earth’s survival/Will coincide/The day draws near/Of his arrival/We must accept our fate.”  So is “Space Invader” supposed to be a certain religious figure?  Frehley does write of “Space Invader” that “he comes to save us…behold his majesty.”  Regardless of what Frehley may or may not be saying here, there’s no doubt that this song is sure to generate its own share of discussion if only for its rather interesting lyrical content.  That discussion, along with its musical side, makes for a song that is understandably the right choice to open this album.

‘Space Invader’ is quite the opener for Frehley’s new album.  The mix of its full on classic rock sound and  thought provoking lyrics make it a solid first impression from Frehley on this his latest release.  One more piece that audiences will enjoy is the straight forward rocker that is ‘I Wanna Hold You.’  This song is an even better representation of what makes Space Invader work than its opener/title track.  Lyrically, one would expect it to be just another ballad style piece.  He writes in this song, “I can’t escape/Emotions tell the tale/It’s give and take/Love isn’t always fair/People will stop and stare/What we’ve got/We don’t have to share/No damage done/There’s more to come/And I’ve been dreamin’ so long/I wanna hold you/I really must confess/Because I told you so/You’re not like the rest , oh no.”  It sounds like a page right from some cheesy 80s big hair ballad.  But the song’s musical side tells a very different story.  It’s a rather up-tempo 4/4 piece anchored by Frehley’s guitar work and that of drummer Matt Starr.  Frehley shows even at his age, that old dogs can in fact be taught new tricks.  And Starr’s timekeeping is just as impeccable.  The song’s musical elements couple with its simple and fun lyrics to make one more of the highest of points on this album.  It isn’t the last of the album’s high points, either.  If this song, and the album’s opener aren’t enough for audiences, then Frehley’s full-on re-imagining of The Steve Miller Band’s hit song ‘The Joker’ will definitely make audiences sit up and take notice.  Anyone that is familiar with ‘The Joker’ knows how laid back this song proves to be.  That laid back nature is what makes it such a fan favorite to this day.  Frehley’s take on the song gives it not only new life but a wholly new identity.  It really is most easily understood when heard for itself.  The best way to explain it is that Frehley has taken it and turned it from something laid back to something akin to an arena anthem, if that makes any sense to anyone out there.  It has big guitar licks, big drums, the works.  It most definitely isn’t what one thinks of when one thinks of ‘The Joker.’  But it will grow on listeners that are open-minded enough to give it a chance.  Those that do give the song a chance will hear it for the interesting work that it most definitely proves to be. And along with the likes of the album’s opener/title track and the up-tempo anti-ballad that is ‘I Wanna Hold You,’ it’s one more song that proves the overall value of this record to Frehley’s fans and fans of classic rock in general.

The songs noted here each play their own part in the overall sustainability of Space Invader.  They may not be the favorite of one listener or another.  There are plenty of other songs not noted here that each listener will find to be his or her favorite.  Those songs along with the ones noted here prove collectively that Space Invader is definitely a modern classic rock record worth at least one listen.  Ace Frehley will be on tour next month in support of his new album, beginning November 13th in New Brunswick, New Jersey.   His upcoming tour schedule also includes a performance on November 17th at the Carolina Theatre.  Before any of those dates, Frehley will be taking part in the annual “Chiller Theatre” later this month, October 24th – 26th.  Audiences can get more information on these dates and all of the latest news from Ace Frehley online at

 

Website: http://www.acefrehley.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officialacefrehley

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.