Part 2 in my series of reviews on Ace Frehley! Missed the last part, Frehley’s Comet? Click here!
FREHLEY’S COMET – Live + 1 (1988 Megaforce Worldwide)
I remember finding this EP in a department store’s music section, and having to choose between this and Brighton Rock. It really wasn’t a difficult choice. I couldn’t have both so I chose Ace Frehley. After all, Ace was my favourite member of Kiss.
“Rip It Out”, printed as “Rip-It-Out” on this EP, opens the set, recorded in Chicago. “You wanted ’em, here they are! Frehley’s Comet!” Hmm, that opening doesn’t sound at all familiar, does it? Ace and the Comet tear through it, and let’s not forget that the drummer who played on the original, Anton Fig, plays on this one too — solo included. I like the way that Tod Howarth sings, backing up Ace. His higher voice lends to a nice harmony, thick and Kiss-like. “Rip It Out” flows right into “Breakout”, another song with a drum solo, and this one extended! “Anton rules, doesn’t he?” asks Ace during the fade out.
Those two songs took up the first side. “Something Moved”, another recent song from Frehley’s Comet, is sung by Tod. It’s an aggressive hard rock song, but Anton lays down a solid beat, while Ace throws out some wild bends. Ace’s Alive II classic, “Rocket Ride”, is the final live song. In this case, I don’t think it’s much compared to the Kiss original. I prefer Kiss’ sloppy rock n’ roll take on it, Ace’s version is too tight for my liking. The solo smokes though.
My favourite song is the new studio track, “Words Are Not Enough”. It’s a slick, commercial hard rocker. All the ingredients are included: A keyboard riff, a killer chorus, and a knock-out extended solo. Given the time period, I always felt this was the biggest “potential” hit Ace could have had. It was bang-on for 1988 and I still like it in 2013.
I wholeheartedly recommend Live + 1 to any respectable Kiss fan, and to any hard rock fans wanting a first taste of the Ace.