For a start, Origins would appear to be a bit of a misleading title as three of the tracks here are Kiss songs and a fourth, Thin Lizzy’s Emerald, was released after Kiss had established themselves on the World Stage – maybe Influences might have been a more accurate title? Nit picking aside, however, there’s quite a lot to like about this delve into the musical tastes of Ace Frehley.
Of course, it’s a hit and miss affair – Frehley’s duet with Slash on the afore mentioned Emerald is a bit of a stinker – but for the most part Frehley keeps things simple and plays to his strengths, with his duets with Paul Stanley (a great version of Free’s Fire and Water) and Lita Ford (a rambunctious rampage through the Troggs chestnut Wild Thing) being particularly successful.
His riffy reading of Led Zeppelin’s Bring it on Home is pretty good too, with Ace even taking his limited vocal capability and turning in a creditable Robert Plant impersonation, whilst respectful takes on White Room by Cream and the Rolling Stones’ Street Fighting Man show just where the Frehley song writing sensibility comes from.
Talking of song writing, the three songs here that Ace had a hand in the birthing of, Parasite (with late nineties guitar for hire John 5 helping out on guitar duties), Cold Gin (which features Pearl Jam alumnus Mike McReady) and Rock n’Roll Hell all fare well in their new surroundings, with Ace’s vocal on Cold Gin in particular a welcome diversion from the original.
Not bad at all then, but as with most of these vanity projects it really is hard to come up with a reason to exhort you to buy the thing unless you’re an Ace/Kiss diehard – casual listeners will probably just shrug and wonder what all the fuss is about. But if you are a kiss fan, the prospect of Ace and Paul together again is probably worth the price of admission alone, eh?