Ace Frehley Explains Why His ‘Origins’ LP Includes a Cover of a Kiss Song He Never Played On
Ace Frehley fans who find it odd that his new Origins Vol. 1 album includes a cover of "Rock and Roll Hell" — a Kiss song he didn't originally play on — have Frehley's label rep Ken Gulick to thank.
Frehley and Gulick described the process by which "Rock and Roll Hell" ended up on the record during a visit to Eddie Trunk's show, explaining that thanks to Gulick, Frehley ended up listening to the 1982 Kiss record Creatures of the Night start-to-finish for possibly the first time ever.
"I just wanted to make sure we ended up with some unpredictable songs on the record," said Gulick. "So I burned a CDR of 10 songs that I thought he should consider, and we drove around listening to them."
That CD, according to Gulick, contained two Rush songs, two Cheap Trick songs, two Who songs — and two songs from Creatures of the Night, which was tracked while Frehley was making his exit from the group. As Gulick explained, he'd gotten the impression from some recent interviews that Frehley might feel like he had some unfinished business with the record.
"There's one or two interviews where he talked about ... not playing on it, and I thought, 'You know what, Ace? Your face is on this thing. You helped it go gold and platinum. Why don't you listen to it?'" recalled Gulick. "So we played 'Rock and Roll Hell' in the car and 'I Still Love You,' and he fell in love with 'Rock and Roll Hell.' There was no talking him out of it — they tracked it within 24 hours."
"From beginning to end? Never. Never," said Frehley when asked whether he'd ever listened to Creatures. "I was exiting the group when that whole thing went down. I was already out the door."
Admitting he doesn't remember whether he even played on the record, Frehley shrugged, "I've listened to that record, but not beginning to end. I'd listen to a couple of tracks and put it down. I don't remember listening to 'Rock and Roll Hell' for a very long time, but when I heard it, I fell in love with it. I thought it was a great song, and I thought I could do a good version of it."
Frehley's "Rock and Roll Hell" marks the second time he's covered a cut from a Kiss LP he wasn't involved with. In 1989, he recorded a version of "Hide Your Heart," a song co-written by Kiss co-founder Paul Stanley with professional songwriter Holly Knight, unaware that it was tabbed as the first single from the band's Hot in the Shade LP.
"I had no idea they were tracking it, they had no idea I was tracking it," he later said. "After I had recorded it and spent thousands of dollars on the production, [Gene Simmons] called up and said ‘Could you please take that off your record, because we’re putting that out as our first single.’ I said no way."
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