Ace Frehley has been pumping out product lately and as a fan, I couldn’t be happier. His record label decided that it was time for a nice addition to his catalog and that was to finally issue all his albums on his label eOne on cassette and to do it in style. What you get is a box set that is all 5 of his eOne albums on cassette for the very first time. It is a limited edition box set (I don’t know how limited) and comes with a bonus of 4 collectible Ace Frehley picks. It is called The Space Cassette Box Set and I am glad to finally have it in the collection.
The box is sturdy and very well done. The lettering on the front is nice and the back gives you pictures of the albums as well as track listings of each album and a handful of Ace pictures. The box is small so reading the track listing for someone with my age and poor eyesight is quite difficult. The box fits the tapes perfectly and even room for an extra box that holds the picks. I like the way the lid folds back but still connected to the box. Good job with that packaging.
When you take the cassettes out of the case, there is more to see. There is a whole space theme design on the inside including the bottom and the walls surrounding the tapes. It has to be space related as it is the Spaceman himself, Ace Frehley.
There is a sticker on the plastic wrapping that gives you the basic information of what is included. I was album to save the wrapping and put it back around the box by just cutting one side out and sliding the box in and out of the wrapper. I am happy I was able to save it and keep it protected.
Then we get the four pick designs. There are four different picks each with a different color. One one side we have four different Ace poses with three in black and one in white. The the flip side has Ace’s signature with the Ace of Hearts card drawn underneath. They are housed in a box that is about cassette size and the rattle when you shake. I thought something might’ve been broken when I got the box set, but it turned out to be the picks moving around. Thank goodness.
And the last thing we have are the cassettes for the five albums released on the eOne record label. They are ‘Anomaly’, ‘Space Invader’, ‘Origins Vol. 1’, ‘Spaceman’ and lastly, ‘Origins Vol. 2’. I have all these on vinyl so I guess now I need them all on CDs as well. Wallet…get ready!! Below we show and talk through each album briefly.
Wow, I forgot how good this one really is. This was the first solo album since he left Kiss for a second time and 20 years since his last true solo album back in 1989. We get a sober Ace for the first time I believe and what we get is a more focused Ace and one ready to play.
The album gave us 3 great mostly instrumentals including “Genghis Kahn”, “Space Bear” and the fourth Fractured song “Fractured Quantum”. All worth the price alone. Ace was really trying to prove something with this release. As far as songs, you get “Foxy and Free”, “Outer Space” (personal favorite), ‘Too Many Faces” and a great cover with “Fox on the Run”. This was just a solid release for me. I have really enjoyed digging through this one again.
SPACE INVADER (2014):
After Anomaly, Ace took a few years before another release and I have to say I was a little disappointed as I didn’t think it was as strong as Anomaly or a lot of his other releases. You also didn’t get another instrumental chapter in the Fractured Series which was a downer as well. I just felt the songs weren’t as strong and not sure the focus was there either.
That doesn’t mean there weren’t some songs worth adding to the Ace collection. You get a couple really strong songs with “Gimme a Feelin”, “Space Invader” and “Toys”. I also liked “Inside the Vortex”, but this time his cover wasn’t one I enjoyed as he covered Steve Miller’s “The Joker”. It was missing something for me. Anyway, overall still worth having just not up to par as the rest of this list will show.
ORIGINS, VOl. 1 (2016):
It is a decent release for a covers album. I am usually not a big fan of cover albums. I don’t mind that he does a cover song on almost every album, but a whole album…ugh. There is a song on here that is bad, that really and truly sucks so bad my cheeks hurt…“Wild Thing” with Lita Ford and I didn’t care for “Magic Carpet Ride”.
But, there are some good songs. “Fire and Water” with Paul Stanley on vocals was a real treat and one of my favorites off the release. I also dug “Parasite” with John 5 and the Led Zeppelin cover of “Bring It On Home”. The rest were decent enough to make it an album worth getting for any Ace fan, but might not be one of you top Ace releases.
Who would have that that 40 years after the first Solo album, that Ace would deliver something as good as this? I didn’t. Another great album from beginning to end. With a little help from Gene on two songs, Ace brought to us his most reflective album and another inspiring release. His playing was some of his best and production was top notch.
The songs “Rockin’ With the Boys”, “Bronx Boys”, “Pursuit of Rock And Roll” and “Mission to Mars” are now some of my favorite Ace songs. Not since the debut have I been drawn in to his music so quickly. The songs felt fresh while reminding us of the good ol’ days with the sound and the lyrics. It is just a classic Ace release. And what was also cool about this one is there are so many cover variations and colored vinyl that any collector will go broke trying to get all of them. It is awesome!!
ORIGINS, VOL. 2 (2020):
I am not sure I wanted another covers album from Ace, but we got one any way. I am not sure if it is better than Vol. 1 but I do like more tracks from it so I guess it might be. He covers more of his idols and more of songs he likes and still has some special guests. The one constant between the two albums is both songs with Lita Ford were awful. And it isn’t Lita, the song choices were bad and nothing original.
But, there are some great stuff. I do like “Space Truckin'” with Rob Sabino on keyboards, “30 Days in the Hole” with the great Robin Zander, “Manic Depression” with Bruce Kulick and “I’m Down” with John 5. And of course, he covers Kiss to perfection with the song “She”. It is Ace, and really that is all that matters to me any way.
And that is the set. I don’t suspect I will ever open the tapes so they won’t ever get played but the don’t need to be as I have them on vinyl which is what I prefer. Still, being the Ace collector, I had to have it and I think they did a great job with it. I like the different color cassettes for each album and the picks are nice collectible as well. The box is sturdy and nicely done. They took some care in the whole packaging and which shows they care. For that, as a collectible, it is a 5.0 Out of 5.0 Stars. As to buy to listen…it is a little pricey so make sure you want it.