Comet is the band Ace formed after leaving Kiss in 1982. At the time I was a huge Kiss fan, and Ace had always been my favorite Kiss member, so I followed everything he did. After the Comet disbanded, Ace continued to pursue a solo career until he reunited with Kiss in 1996. Ace Rules!
OFFICIAL "ACE FREHLEY" RECORDINGS
Ace Frehley - Frehley's Comet (Megaforce) 1987
1. "Rock Soldiers"
2. "Breakout" (3:38)
3. "Into the Night" (4:12)
4. "Something Moved" (4:02)
5. "We Got Your Rock" (4:12)
6. "Love Me Right" (3:54)
7. "Calling to You" (3:54)
8. "Dolls" (3:28)
9. "Stranger in a Strange Land" (4:02)
10. "Fractured Too" [instrumental] (4:14)
Ace sobers up, gets some
new band members and begins to crank again. I remember hearing bootlegs of the
Comet live before this album even came out, and it sounded good. Once the album
was out, I had to rush out and buy it. Ace sings on about half the songs with
his "can't sing/ don't care" vocal style. The other half are sung
by Tod Howarth who has the perfect melodic rock voice for the 80's, when this
came out. "Rock Soldiers" is a biographical song and one of the best
songs Ace has ever written. "Rock soldiers, how do we know? 'Cause Ace
is back and he told you so!" Great song! "Breakout" was a
song co-written by Ace and former Kiss bandmate Eric Carr. The drum work
on this song, handled by Anton Fig, is outstanding. It's too bad Eric never
was able to play on a finished version of this song, as this would have been
his "Moby Dick." A demo version of this song with Eric on drums appears
on Kiss' "Revenge." Of course
"Fractured Too" is part two of the instrumental that originally appeared
on Kiss' "Ace Frehley." As on the Kiss solo album, Eddie Kramer was once again behind the board turning the knobs.
Frehley's Comet - Live +1 (Megaforce) 1988
1. "Rip It Out" [live] (4:34)
2. "Breakout" [live] (7:32)
3. "Something Moved" [live] (3:57)
4. "Rocket Ride" [live] (4:34)
5. "Words Are Not Enough" (3:25)
After the release
of the debut Frehley's Comet, Ace and his band took off for the road opening
for shock-rocker Alice Cooper. To hold fans over until the next studio album Megaforce released "Live
+1." The live tracks were recorded at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago
on September 4, 1987. The remaining track ("Words Are Not Enough."
) was a studio leftover from the debut session. Ace showed with this live
ep that he had the same, if not better, stage energy than his ex-band Kiss. "Breakout" contains
an Anton Fig drum solo. Ace Rules!
- Live + 4 (Altantic) 1988
1. "Rip It Out"
2. "Something Moved"
3. "Cold Gin"
4. "Shock Me"
6. "Rocket Ride"
7. "Into The Night"
8. "Rock Soldiers"
10. "It's Over Now"
"Live + 4" is basically
the same live material as "Live +1" with some additional video clips.
Tracks 01 - 06 are live, recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, England
on March 19, 1988. Tracks 07 - 10 are the concept video releases. The
live material is stellar! This VHS gets my vote as the one release that
needs to be re-released on DVD.
Frehley's Comet - Second Sighting (Megaforce) 1988
1. "Insane" (3:45)
2. "Time Ain't Runnin' Out" (3:52)
3. "Dancin' with Danger" (3:25)
4. "It's over Now" (4:39)
5. "Loser in a Fight" (4:33)
6. "Juvenile Delinquent" (5:13)
7. "Fallen Angel" (3:44)
8. "Separate" (4:56)
9. "New Kind of Lover" (3:14)
10. "The Acorn Is Spinning" [instrumental] (4:50)
"Second Coming" is the sophomore release from Frehley's Comet and features a similar line-up to the debut. Back is guitarist/vocalist Tod Howarth, bassist John Regan and of course, Ace Frehley on vocals and guitars. Jamie Oldake replaces Anton Fig on drums. Oldake had previously worked with Bob Seger and Eric Clapton.
Frehley's Comet's second full length album is, in part, exactly what anyone would have expected from Ace. About half the album is pure Ace Frehley. Album opener "Insane" is a guitar-heavy rocker with a signature Ace riff. Likewise, songs like "Juvenile Delinquent," and "Separate" would have been at home on Ace's 1978 solo album. However, "Second Coming" is also a product of the times. Some songs are far more keyboard saturated and glossy than anything Ace had recorded in the past.
The other half of the album stands in contrast to the raw rock and roll that Ace is known for. "Time Ain't Runnin' Out" is a Tod Howarth composition that is pure 1980's pop metal. The song sports a big, catchy hook and Howarth smooth vocal approach. Though Ace has a charismatic style of singing, Howarth has far more range and is probably a technically better singer. The song is also slicker and features more keyboards than the typical guitar-driven Ace song. "It's Over Now" and "Fallen Angel" are Howarth compositions as well. "It's Over Now" is a slick, made-for-radio power ballad that was released as a single. For whatever reason, the song didn't chart thought it's at least as good, if not better than much of the boring, hackneyed stuff on the radio at the time. "Fallen Angel" is a glossy hard rock song. His writing style definitely stands in stark contrast to Frehley's. "Dancin' With Danger" is a song originally recorded by the Canadian band Streetheart. Though Ace is given a writing credit, and certainly adds his own charm to the song, he did not write the song.
The album ends with a semi-instrumental. "The Acorn is Spinning" is a heavy rocker with some voice-overs about a boxer mixed in. Though "Second Coming" is considered by many to be Ace's weakest effort, it is still a solid rock and roll platter. Ace Rules!
Ace Frehley - Trouble
Walkin' (Atlantic) 1989
"Shot Full of Rock" (4:47)
2. "Do Ya" (3:47)
3. "Five Card Stud" (4:01)
4. "Hide Your Heart" (4:33)
5. "Lost in Limbo" (4:10)
6. "Trouble Walkin'" (3:08)
7. "2 Young 2 Die" (4:29)
8. "Back to School" (3:43)
9. "Remember Me" (5:01)
10. "Fractured III" [instrumental] (6:43)
on the cover of GUITAR WORLD with Dimebag Darrell and Snake Sabo |
Ace Frehley 8x10 promo photo (click to enlarge)
the record executives won as the Comet name had been dropped for this "solo"
album, although long time Comet bandmates Anton Fig, John Reagan and Ace's favorite
producer Eddie Kramer were still on hand. The third studio effort by Ace is
his best thus far, with the possible exception of Ace's Kiss solo album. Definitely superior to Kiss'
" Hot in the Shade" which was released around the same time. The funny
thing is that Ace covered Paul Stanley's "Hide Your Heart" on this
disc and actually did a better job of it than Paul himself. (Molly
Hatchet also did an awful version of this song.) Ace's cover of ELO's "Do
Ya" is excellent as well. Peter Criss makes a guest appearance on this
disc, raising hopes that KISS would reform with all original members, which
of course they did in 1995 for the MTV Unplugged session. Of course before that
would happen Peter's band Criss and
the Comet would do a short club tour together. I missed that one. I'm still
bummed. Also on hand, probably hanging around the studio slobbering on Ace's
Les Paul were the Skid Row gang. Ace
"The album (Trouble Walkin') was to include some very special guests–most notably Peter Criss, along with Sebastian Bach, Dave Sabo and Rachel Bolan from Skid Row...I also invited Eric Carr to play drus on one track, and he instantly accepted. He was really excited about the prospect of working with me agan. Unfortunately, a few days later, I received a phone call from Eric, who sounded very upset. He informed me that Gene and Paul were opposed to the idea; therefore, he had to regretfully decline the invitation. I was also upset, as Eric's situation brought back unpleasant memories of how fucked up they could be at times". -No Regrets, Ace Frehley, p257
Ace Frehley - 12 Picks (Megaforce) 1997
1. "Into the
2. "Words Are Not Enough" (3:25)
3. "Insane" (3:47)
4. "Hide Your Heart" (4:36)
5. "Trouble Walkin'" (3:08)
6. "Rock Soldiers" (5:03)
7. "Rip It Out" [live] (3:42)
8. "Breakout" [live] (3:30)
9. "Cold Gin" [live] (6:48)
10. "Shock Me" [live] (9:43)
11. "Rocket Ride" [live] (4:55)
12. "Deuce" [live] (4:48)
Ace Frehley - Loaded Deck (Megaforce) 1998
1. "One Plus
2, "Give It To Me Anyway" (4:17)
3. "Do Ya" (3:48)
4. "It's Over Now" (4:42)
5. "Shot Full Of Rock" (4:47)
6. "Stranger in a Strange Land" [live] (4:30)
7. "Separate" [live] (4:58)
8. "N.Y. Groove" [live] (4:54)
9. "Rock Soldiers" [live] (7:23)
10. "Remember Me" [live] (4:55)
11. "Fractured Too" [instrumental] (4:10)
12. "Fractured III" [instrumental] (6:40)
In an attempt
to cash in on all things Kiss-able, Megaforce
put out these two "best of" discs that just happened to coincide with
the very successful Kiss reunion tour.
Hmmm, coincidence? I think not! Both feature some rare studio and live material
as well as the "hits." (did Ace have a hit?) The original pressings
also came with an Ace guitar pick. Well, being the Ace-ophile I am, I had to
own these two discs. The live material is superb Ace Frehley--Ace never failed
to give a good show. I am of the belief that ACE is at his best live where he
can let it fly. I wish Megaforce had put all the live material on one disc as
it would have been nice to hear it as a complete show. "Shock Me"
contains Ace's signature smoking (literally) guitar solo. The two unreleased
tracks ("One Plus One" & "Give It To Me Anyway") are
not bad, but were obviously left off the original studio discs for a reason;
they weren't as solid as the other songs. In any case, well worth picking up,
especially if you are a Kiss-oholic like
myself. Cool notes by Comet bandmate John Reagan. One bit of info that peaked
my interest was the words. "Comets have a way of returning." After Kiss' "Farwell Tour," bring
it on! Ace Rules!
Oh, and to those greedy
record executives who attempted to cash in on Ace's return to popularity with Kiss, well, good job, you got my hard
earned cash. Ace also has a song on the "Smell the Fuzz" compilation called "Cherokee Boogie."
Ace Frehley - Greatest Hits Live (Megaforce) 2006
It Out" [live] (3:42)
2. "Breakout" [live] (3:29)
3. "Cold Gin" [live] (6:48)
4. "Shock Me/Ace guitar solo" [live] (9:43)
5. "Rocket Ride" [live] (4:55)
6. "Deuce" [live] (4:20)
7. "Strangers In A Strange Land" [live] (4:10)
8. "Separate" [live] (4:58)
9. "N.Y. Groove" [live] (4:54)
10. "Rock Soilders" [live] (7:23)
11. "One Plus One" (3:25)
12. "Give It To Me Anyway" (4:18)
Greatest Hits Live Picture LP |
I have sort of mixed feelings
about this disc. One the one hand, it is well known that Ace had nothing to
do with this CD making it is painfully obvious that "Greatest Hits Live" is
nothing more the the record company bilking more money out of the Kiss/Ace
Frehley legacy. Certainly, there is no denying this, especially since all these
live tracks were previously released on "12 Picks" and "Loaded Deck". I mean,
c'mon, they surely have other live tracks around that they could have included.
The very least they could have done was added an unreleased track, or an additional
live track or something. Shoot, they could have at least included "Something
Moved" from "Live +1". However, all the complaining aside, I still bought this
release, right? So there must have been something about it I liked. Well, it
is cool to have all these live tracks together on one disc. This collection
of songs indeed does represents some of Ace's best work during the period after
his highly publicized departure from the hottest band in the world. Certainly
Ace is at home on the stage, and that comes across well on this recording. The
majority of these live tracks were recorded in London, although "Strangers in
A Strange Land" and "Rock Soldiers" were recorded in Chicago, IL. Thankfully
the record company did see fit to make the songs flow together as if it were
one complete show without any gaps between songs. The last two tracks are studio
b-sides that were also released on "Loaded Deck", both of which are prime Ace.
Both songs were produced by infamous producer Eddie Kramer. To entice collectors
the record company did include a limited edition 3D cover.
| Ace Frehley – Anomaly (Bronx Born Records) 2009
1. Foxy & Free (3:40)
2. Outer Space (3:45)
3. Pain In The Neck (4:08)
4. Fox On The Run (3:30)
5. Genghis Khan [instrumental] (6:05)
6. Too Many Faces (4:19)
7. Change The World (4:06)
8. Space Bear [instrumental] (5:21)
9. A Little Below The Angels (4:14)
10. Sister (4:46)
11. It's A Great Life (3:57)
12. Fractured Quantum [instrumental] (6:15)
If anyone hasn't figured it out from the blubs that proceed this review, I am an Ace Frehley fanatic. I love everything he’s done up to Anomaly, so it was a no brainer that I would also enjoy it. I waited anxiously for my Amazon pre-order to show up on the 15th of September. Two weeks later and I was still waiting impatiently. In the meantime I really tried hard to stay away from downloading the album to hear it. “Anomaly” is the space man’s first solo album since 1989's "Trouble Walkin'" and the first time Ace has been a part of a new album since Kiss' 1998 "Psycho Circus". He has to fill some pretty big shoes, but if anyone can do it, Ace can.
Finally the CD and LP arrive in the mail. It took only a matter of minutes before the CD was in a player and cranking! Ahhhh, now this is Ace Frehley! "Anomaly" is twelve songs of raw, crunchy, rock and roll. The first four songs along should silence any skeptics. “Foxy & Free”, “Outer Space” and the quirky “Pain in the Neck” are all classic, hard rockin’ Ace. "Pain in the Neck" has this weird riff/rhythm on the chorus and is just strange enough to stick in the memory like super glue. “Fox on the Run” is a perfect cover song for Ace. “Sister” is another hard rocking track and is one the best Frehley has recorded in or out of Kiss.
One song that seems a little out of character for Ace is “A Little Below the Angels”, an acoustic based, autobiographical song that includes a spoken word part that includes Ace’s daughter. The vocals by the children reminded me slightly of “Dolls” from the first Comet release. “Anomoly” includes three instrumentals. “Genghis Khan” is a semi instrumental as the song does include a couple of lyric lines repeated here and there. This song has a nice mid-tempo groove and a great acoustic break. "Space Bear"has a heavy 1970’s blues-based hard rock vibe. "Fractured Quantum" is the instrumental I was most looking forward to the most as it is part four in the Fractured serious. This song is a quieter piece with a simple enduring melody and should please longtime fans.
"Anomoly" is a pure Ace. Quirky, American hard rock. It will probably never see the notoriety or praise that his former band will received for their new CD being released around the same time. However, this is not a slick album full of pro song writers. This is just Ace expressing himself and creating raw rock and roll.
Ace was selling autographed copies on his web site, as well as autographed 8x10 promo photos (pictured below). Thanks to my dear friend Morgan for snagging them both before they were sold out. The Wal-Mart version of Ace's CD also contained an Ace tattoo.
Ace Frehley - Space Invader (eOne Music) 2014
1. Space Invader (4:18)
2. Gimme a Feelin' (3:55)
3. I Wanna Hold You (3:33)
4. Change (4:09)
5. Toys (4:08)
6. Immortal Pleasures (5:05)
7. Inside the Vortex (4:41)
8. Past the Milky Way (3:46)
9. Reckless (5:32)
10. The Joker (3:35)
11. The Starship [instrumental] (7:03)
"Space Invader" follows Frehley's last solo outing from 2009, "Anomaly" and right up front, "Space Invader" delivers the good! This is prime Ace Frehley. Guitar-driven hard rock with Ace's signature "can't sing/don't care" vocal style. It bears resemblance to his personal best solo album from 1978 and other points in his career. Ace fields all the vocals, guitars and much of the bass as well. Chris Wyse (Ozzy Osbourne, The Cult) performs bass on "What Every Girl Wants" and "Starship". Matt Starr (Beautiful Creatures/Bang Tango) performs the drums.
The title track launches this space ship into orbit and is exactly what the doctor ordered. This song definitely has that same feeling and edge that the '78 solo album had. Ace's guitar solos rip through the speakers on this song, and every song hereafter. From Ace's playing to the choruses the album reeks of that classic 70's sound though a song like "Toys" reminds me more of the Frehley Comet 80's material, with it's big hooky chorus. As well, "I Wanna Hold You" has a slight "mod rock" vibe from the 60's. This song reminds me of Kiss' cover of the Dave Clark Five classic "Any Way You Want It". (A song Ace had no part of recording.) "Immortal Pleasures" is one of the greasier cuts on "Space Invader", in terms of its raw delivery, dirty guitar solo, Ace's freewheeling vocals and lyrics that seems straight out of the Kiss handbook. Ace pays the Space persona all over this record, which of course will please any Ace/Kiss fan. He uses "Past the Milky Way" as a metaphor to his past struggles with addiction. This moody track is a retrace of his life much like his previous confessional, "Rock Soldiers". Ace sings, ""I'm not a quitter, not at any cost...running out of oxygen, but I've got my guitar". The song is a little more veiled than "Rock Soldiers" but is still seems a very personal song for Space Ace. "Reckless" also recalls Ace's classic 70's album with it gorgeous mix of acoustic and electric rolls.
The weakest spot on an otherwise perfect record is the somewhat lethargic cover of Steve Miller's party classic "The Joker". It's certainly not a bad cover, but it doesn't compare to some of the covers Ace has spiced up in the past such as ELO's "Do Ya or Sweet's "Fox on the Run". A simple lyric chance such as, "Some people call me the space cowboy, some call me gangter of love, some call me the Space Ace..." would have added some much needed charm to the song. The song does feature a gnarly guitar solo that dresses up the song from that point on.
The album ends with an instrumental. The song only partially moves past the "Fractured" series, though the song would fit well right alongside those three track. The song is an up-tempo rocker that ends with a reprise of the melodies of "Fractured Mirror". Ace jokingly shouts "Has anybody seen George Jetson?" to wrap the album up.
"Space Invader" is exactly what I want and expect from Ace. It's Frehley proving that there can be only one Space Ace. It's guitar driven rock and roll. It's quirky. It's Ace.
Ace Frehley, Anomaly, autographed promo photo
UNOFFICIAL "ACE FREHLEY" RECORDINGS
Ace Frehley-The Warehouse (CD-R bootleg)
Recorded live at the Warehouse, Brooklyn, NY Feb.,
1. "Shot Full of Rock"
2, "Trouble Walkin'" (3:10)
3. "Insane" (5:01)
4. "Cold Gin"(6:51)
5. "Breakout" (3:31)
6. "New York Groove" (5:04)
7. "Rock Soldiers' (7:04)
8. "Lost In Limbo" (4:47)
9. "Do Ya" (3:59)
Excellent show from Ace's
home stomping grounds. Sound quality is not perfect, but certainly not bad either.
Sounds like this may have been a radio broadcast due to the condensed sound.
Probably not the entire show either, but regardless a good disc with a good
selection of tracks.
Ace Frehley - The Other Side of the Coin (Megaforce/00286-1997-1) 1997
2. "Don't Wan Loose You" (3:27)
3. "Take Me to the City" (3:22)
4. "Dancin' With Danger" (3:46)
5. "Into the Night" (4:05)
6. "Heard An Angel" (3:12)
7. "Back on the Streets" (5:39)
8. "Stranger in a Strange Land" (3:57)
9. "Dolls" (2:56)
10. "Back Into My Arms" (4:51)
11. "We Got Your Rock" (3:42)
12. "I'm So Wired" (3:38)
13. "Catch Me When I Fall" (3:54)
14. "The Girl Can't Dance" (3:13)
15. "Remember Me" (3:23)
16. "Words Are Not Enough" (3:49)
click to enlarge
Sixteen Ace demos! Wooohoo!
What more could an Ace fan ask for? Several of these demo tracks have been re-recorded
for various Frehley's Comet albums, and one track ("Back on the Streets") showed
up on Vinnie Vincent's first solo record.
Not sure what the deal is with Ace recording a Vinnie
Vincent track, but it's still quite cool to hear. Also unsure of who exactly
put this CD out. It is a mass produced CD, not a CDR. According to what is printed
on the disc and inserts, this CD is a promo CD put out by Megaforce Records.
For some reason I doubt that and am more inclinded to think this is a bootleg,
albeit a nice one. Ace rules! A big huge mega-thanks to my friend Kurt from
Norway for giving me this gem.
...let me answer some
of the KISS related questions you have on your site - the deal with Ace recording
Back On The Streets is that at the time Frehley's Comet started doing that
song (in '85), they, as well as Vinnie, were managed by the same person (former KISS road manager George Sewitt), who
suggested that FC record the song. It was finally released in a newly-recorded
version by the "Comet Band" (which included former members of Frehley's Comet
including Ritchie Scarlett and John Regan) on the "Return Of The Comet," an
Ace Frehley tribute album in the late 90s.
Ace Frehley - Rare & Raw (CD-R)
1. "The Hurt is On"
2. "Give It To Me Anyway" [demo] (5:26)
3. "Animal" (4:14)
4. "Breakout" [demo] (3:37)
5. "Baby It's You" (3:20)
6. "Rock or Be Rocked" (3:31)
7. "Deuce" [demo] (3:22)
8. "Strutter [demo] (4:59)
9. "Cold Gin" [demo] (5:12)
10. "Watchin' You" [demo] (3:52)
11. "Black Diamond" [demo] (3:48)
12. "In Your Face" (3:35)
A disc of odds 'n' sods
Ace material. The first six tracks are various Ace demos, several of which never
made it to any official release. Tracks 7 - 11 are old Kiss demos. "In Your Face" is a song that was recorded for the Psycho Circus
album but wasn't released on that album. It was, however, releaased on a CD
single that came with the Psycho Circus in 3-D video.
Ace was also the subject
of a tribute called "Spacewalk-A
Salute to Ace Frehley."
Did I mention ACE RULES?
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