REVIEW: Frehley’s Comet – Live + 1 (1988)

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.

4.5/5 stars

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22 comments

  1. Yep this is a smoking E.P..bought this as soon as this came out as well Mike.
    Just the fact that Rip It Out was on it was enough of a sell for me…..and a tight backing band as well….this is a great release and well it left u wanting more! And would also provide enough of a stop gap between studio albums as I agree with you Words Aren’t Enough is a great track as well…..
    Should be some good banter when you post The next Frehley review!

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    1. Hope so Deke! All these albums have special places in my heart so don’t expect too much criticism from me.

      This is one of those Kiss-related releases that I think every Kiss fan should own.

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  2. I did buy this E.P. But I think it’s a disappointment. Something Moved is a boring song, the worst on the Frehley’s Comet album and I never liked Tod’s voice. I think he totally ruins a great song like Breakout. Richie Scarlet is really superior to Tod. Why did he leave the Comet in the first place?
    But Words Are Not Enough is a great song and should have been on the debut instead of Something Moved or Dolls. On the other hand, this live version of Rip It Out is worth the price of this E.P. alone.

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    1. I know you don’t like Todd’s voice. I kind of figured you might feel a little differently about this EP, because of that. I agree that Something Moved is one of the weakest songs. WHy did Richie leave the Comet? I don’t know.

      I will say if you are a Richie fan you will enjoy some of the things I have coming up, including two songs by The Comet Band, featuring Richie, John Regan, Arthur Stead (original keyboardist) and Steve Werner. They do “Animal” and “Back on the Streets”, Richie on lead vocals.

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      1. Animal is a killer. I have that one on a cassette with a lot more Ace demos.
        The Comet Band, huh? Sounds cool. Do they have an album out or on its way? I’d by that in a heartbeat.

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        1. At the rick of spoiling a future upcoming review…

          But you’re cool, I’ll share this with you.

          There’s a very interesting tribute CD called Return of the Comet. It has LA Guns, Brian Tichy (Tateryche!), Presidents of the USA, Dimebag, Tod Howarth, Eric Singer, etc. It also has an exclusive Bruce Kulick track. That’s where the Comet Band songs are from.

          So you can look forward to seeing this in the coming weeks!

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        1. As one writer to another, I enjoy taking breaks every few weeks. I tend to do furious amounts of listening/writing for several days and then take a week for just listening for enjoyment. I find it helps keep me fresh. I’ve been resting up this past week, and I think this weekend I might be feeling the urge to write some Frehley!

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        2. Haha thanks for including me in your company, but I have no pretentions toward being a writer. I just fling shit at the wall and hope it sticks. And hey, you’re lucky. It only takes you a week to feel like getting back in the saddle. Me, I can have periods of lots of stuff, and then (maybe even) months of absolutely nothing. You’ll see it if you pay attention to the original post dates of the KMA reposts I’m doing. Feast or famine. Yep, you’re lucky. A week is perfect.

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        3. You have a style. I have… verbal diarrhea. Haha. And it is true, fatherhood (twice over) has indeed cut into some of my time… but it’s hardly an excuse. If I was truly motivated, there would still be many opportunities to get it done.

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        4. Bah, don’t put yourself down like that! “Verbal diarrhea” is still a style! I like it. My sister loved the reviews that you did of her stuff. Besides the HAAPs is its own creative (and entertaining! outlet). I’m wondering how many readers assume your name is Harlan.

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        5. Sorry about that, its an old reflex. Easier to just assume i don’t know what I’m doing. ;) It was easy to write about your sister’s record – it was awesome! That’s just words from the gut. Maybe that’s the key – if I try, I suck! Hahaha. And the HAAP is a perfect example of slapping stuff up and hoping some of it is cool. A total shit show. I will admit, though, that it is fun to just post whatever I want, whenever I want. Keeping things to one subject got a bit constraining.

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        6. Not to blow smoke up your ass, but I love it. Like you say it’s seeing what sticks to the wall. You usually get me a few times daily. I’ll be in the lunch room showing the guys one of your strange finds.

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        7. heh, I’m glad you find something interesting enough to share! I really am just shamelessly reposting a lot of stuff, these days. It’s all good stuff, though (at least, I think so).

          And no smoke up the ass, I’m not that kinky.

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        8. Bwahahaha.

          Yeah I’d say you have a pretty good batting average for those reposts though. Especially the Kanye ones. Not that I want to hear anything else from him, but they were good.

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