ACE FREHLEY – Trouble Walkin’ [Rock Candy remaster]
Rock Candy Records has reissued the long out of print third solo album by ACE FREHLEY, “Trouble Walkin´”, in my opinion, his best.
Dubbed the Space Ace, he was the man with the rocket firing guitar, the coolest member of rock gods Kiss and a man who attracted a legion of fan followers of his own, for reasons both good and bad.
Ace’s devilishly potent guitar playing lent Kiss a sense of purpose and ambition that elevated them from amusing comic book crusaders to seriously dangerous metal heroes.
Fired from Kiss in 1981 Frehley pursued a solo career, one that was eagerly anticipated by legions of fans keen to sample his razor sharp riffs and quirky songwriting in a brand new setting.
With two successful albums recorded under the banner of Frehley’s Comet, Ace retired the band moniker in favour of a solo outing for album #3, the amusingly titled “Trouble Walkin”. The recording reunited Frehley with veteran Kiss producer Eddie Kramer helping to craft a record of high grade hard rock with all the accoutrements that you might reasonably expect from such a maverick character.
There was a gaggle of musical special guests – among them ex- Kiss bandmember Peter Criss, and Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach, Dave ‘Snake’ Sabo & Rachel Bolan. Also returning to the band was original Frehley’s Comet rhythm guitarist Richie Scarlet, while on backing vocals we find AOR top singers such as Al Fritsch (Drive She Said) and Peppy Castro (Balance).
An inspired creative cover of Electric Light Orchestra’s “Do Ya” was nearly a hit on MTV, while other highlights included the album opening “Shot Full Of Rock”, the hard bluesy workout “Remember Me” and the instrumental “Fractured III”.
There’s fun and rocking compositions like “2 Young To Die”, “Back To School”, “Lost in Limbo” and the title track were we can hear Ace playing some catchy riffs and hot solos.
The set also features the Desmond Child / Paul Stanley penned “Hide Your Heart” recorded for Kiss’ 1989 album Hot In The Shade. Both “Trouble Walkin´” and Hot In The Shade were released around the same time, creating some dissent between Frehley and his former masked band mates. If you ask me, Ace’s version is better.
I really like the commercial approach of Ace Frehley previous albums with Frehley’s Comet, but on “Trouble Walkin´”, Ace sounds and feels ‘unleashed’ playing the best styles of rock he loves: hard rock and classic American metal with a bluesy foundation.
Backed by tight band and a shiny production, Ace unloads salvo upon salvo of lighting fast licks and twisted riffs proving that his talent was as explosive as ever.
The Rock Candy remaster gives more air and gain to these rocking songs, a very underrated record that deserves more attention. As said, in my opinion this album is the best work that Ace Frehley ever did.
Recommended piece of classic American Hard Rock.
01 – Shot Full Of Rock
02 – Do Ya
03 – Five Card Stud
04 – Hide Your Heart
05 – Lost In Limbo
06 – Trouble Walkin’
07 – 2 Young 2 Die
08 – Back To School
09 – Remember Me
10 – Fractured III
Ace Frehley (guitars, lead vocals)
John Regan (bass, synthesizer)
Richie Scarlet (guitars, lead vocals)
Anton Fig (drums and percussion; except on track 06)
Peter Criss (background vocals, percussion on track 01, 04, 06)
Sandy Slavin (percussion, drums on track 06)
Sebastian Bach, Dave Snake Sabo, Rachel Bolan (Skid Row)
Al Fritsch (Drive She Said)
Pat Sommers (Roger Daltrey Band)
Peppy Castro (Balance)
Produced by Eddie Kramer, Ace Frehley and John Regan
BUY IT !