Ace Frehley, KISS co-founder and 2014 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee, continues his reflections on a lifetime in music with Origins Vol. 2. No stranger to cover versions throughout his musical history — having recorded, rebranded and repossessed such notable nuggets as New York Groove, Do Ya and I Wanna Go Back over the course of his eight previous studio efforts — this new collection presents a thoughtful and exciting selection of songs that inspired and helped shape the legendary guitarist. Foremost of importance to the original Spaceman is delivering an album his fans will enjoy, but one where every song also has a place in his life’s jukebox.

The second single from Origins Vol. 2, in the form of a cover of  The Beatles’ 1965 B-side I’m Down, can be streamed below.

“Everyone was telling me, ‘You gotta do a Beatles song, Ace. You didn’t do one on the first record.’ The early Beatles inspired me more than the later records, because they were more raw and more rock and roll. I decided to tackle I’m Down and I thought it came out great. John 5 did a great solo on the song, and then we riffed out at the end.” In addition to the stellar contribution to the song by John 5, it is also one of several tracks on which engineer Alex Salzman performs bass. When recording, there’s no plan, Ace details. “I normally try and keep the bass lines pretty simple and pretty close to the original recordings,” he says. “Usually, when I record, it’s just me and Alex in a studio and then we add the drums last. Alex is a very accomplished musician, he plays keyboards, guitar, and bass. But I’d sometimes say, ‘Alex, why don’t you throw the bass down?’ I just got finished doing a guitar solo or a vocal. And I guess a little of it has to do with it is that sometimes I’m just lazy!” There’s certainly no laziness in the performance that does more than a little justice to the original and Ace gets the opportunity to rip out a rocking traditional guitar solo.

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 & the Raiders)
11. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (The Animals)
12. She (KISS) [Bonus Track]

To read more about Origins Vol. 2, and to hear Ace’s first cover, Space Truckin’ click here.

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16 Responses

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  • James Apple on

    This was fantastic.

  • Ray Gillen on

    I guess I`m in the minority when it comes to cover albums , I don`t like them .The closest thing to a cover album that I liked was van halens diver down which still has new songs on it as well. Why do they do these albums ? Ran out of ideas ? You think you can do it better ? cash grab ?
    I don`t mind a couple of covers during a show but to do a entire album , blah .

    • Michael Minutaglio on

      I agree most cover albums are lame and lack any imagination. I will recommend the covers album from Adrenaline Mob and the cover EP’s by Halestorm. They make the songs their own. Most of the time the covers just make me wish I was listening to the original. The worst in recent years was the Weezer cover album. It sounded way too much like the originals, they didn’t make it their own at all. Listen to Adrenaline Mob do Romeo’s Delight or Devil Went Down to Georgia, or Halestorm KILL it on I Want You (She’s So Heavy). THATS how you do cover songs!!

    • Dana on

      No Ray,

      I am with you, I never liked covers albums, or cover songs, all that much, either. I feel very few improve on the original, with exception of Little Caesar’s Chain of Fools, which I like far better than Arteha’s version.

      I am also one of those Beatles snobs, who feel none of their songs should ever be re-made. I’m Down, isn’t one of them, but most of their other songs, I think should be left alone.

      As for cover records, they are usually made when an artist either doesn’t have any original material, and/or they have a contractual obligation to the record label to fulfill. Sometimes, they have original material, but want to save that for their new label, so they run their contracts out with covers albums and greatest hits packages.

  • Michael Minutaglio on

    I feel like such an idiot…i thought this was an Aerosmith song (from Permanent Vacation). And I am a huge Beatles fan.

    I guess you learn something new every day!!

  • elliot goldberg on

    i like this and i really like both of his versions of “space truckin” (the “single” for the funny, clever video and for the “album” for the extra-length jammin!) nowadays, all-covers albums are not a good sign, but these first two songs bode well for the rest of the album. it’s not just ace has been releasing albums on a more regular basis, but they’re consistently good!….a great testament to his perseverance and his commitment to staying healthy. god bless ace frehley!

  • robert davenport on

    I want to follow up on Ray’s point a bit, I’m not a fan of cover albums either , but I do love it when a band does something awesome with a cover and puts themselves into it- michael pointed out the great halestorm version of a beatles classic which I also love , also Ace is kind of known for doing covers and putting his own spin on them – again thanks Dana for the explanation of why bands do this , hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend ~

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