Ace Frehley: Trouble Walkin'(1989)


Record Store Day I have never participated in, as here in my hometown our one record store (which is part of a chain which shall go nameless) SUCKS  at doing anything remotely cool with it.

The one time I did go down to that store (2018 I think it was) to check it they had like a lame 4 shelves tucked off to the side for RSD Titles. Not much to look at here folks just keep passing through.

Thanks for coming out!! Not!

The day was not a total waste as I did score 4 used albums at a second-hand shop and got to hang out with my daughter Lexie as well!

So that was a plus!

Fast forward to RSD Septemeber 2020. I didn’t even bother to go down to the mall but a few days before I noticed on Facecrack one of the record stores I follow from Montreal (Aux 33 Tours) that they were doing RSD but the catch was online only. They said if you show up to the store looking for RSD records not happening, all online.

Well, now I thought this was interesting. So at 1pm, all the RSD titles appeared on their website. I figured I came this far to login to the Aux 33 Tours site so what the hell…

Let’s Do This!

Click and …

My pic was Ace Frehley, with his 1989 release “Trouble Walkin” that in 2020 is the first time it would be issued on vinyl in 31 years!

I had heard good things from the blogging folk about” Trouble Walkin’.” I have never owned this album in any format so I guess it was about time right?


At the time though (89) there was so much music coming out some stuff fell by the wayside. Sure I saw this album in adds and in the stores but I still didn’t bite. My younger brother bought it and I borrowed his tape and listened to once I think.

Maybe I didn’t bite as I liked the Frehley’s Comet name and now it was just under the boss man Ace’s name.  They canned Tod Howarth which I also thought was a goofy move but someone had to take the fall from the poorly received “Second Sighting” from 88.

Who knows what really went down with “Second Sighting” but upon spinning this album Ace and his bandmates at the time John Reagan(Bass), Anton Fig (Drums), and Richie Scarlet(Rhythm Guitar and Vocals) tried to get back to that rockier side of the debut “Comet” from 1987.

While Ace himself did not factor as much as he should have on “Second Sighting” he makes up for it here by contributing seven songs all in co-writes with other people.

When Ace decides to kick back and crank it up he can produce some quality rock like the opener “Shot Full of Rock”. “Five Card Stud” is a good ripping tune. The title track “Trouble Walkin'” has a pretty decent pre-chorus leading into the chorus. 

 Ace’s guitar work is awesome as well which has never been questioned on any KISS or solo album as Frehley has always delivered the goods!

Look who showed up and sang backup on four tracks as well? The one and only Peter Criss!  

Skid Row was a big band at the time and they show up singing backgrounds on “Back To School” well Bach does as you can hear him plain as day.

How about another KISS connection and that was that both Ace and KISS had both “Hide Your Heart” on each of there albums from the same year!

Ok better yet how about two bands and two solo acts that released “Hide Your Heart” as a single in 1989!

Molly Hatchet was first out of the gate with the song  followed by Ace who released his version four days before KISS released the album that featured “Hide Your Heart”(Hot In The Shade) followed later in the year by Robin Beck who released it as well.

I guess the story goes that “Hide Your Heart” written by Paul Stanley/Holly Knight and Desmond Child was rejected for the KISS Crazy Nights in 87.

Better yet Bonnie Tyler released it in 1988 as a single.  So if you count that into the equation under a two-year span two bands and three solo artists released this song as a single! 

None of the 5 versions set the charts on fire butI’m sure Starchild raked in a bit of cash on “Hide Your Heart”.

Ace always had a knack of taking cover tunes and making them sound like his own (2,000 Man, New York Groove), and as well on this album Ace covers the Jeff Lynne song “Do Ya” which is a great version of the song. 

No Ace album could end without an instrumental and Trouble Walkin’ is no different as “Fractured III” tidy’s things up.

Considering up to RSD 2020 I really had no idea about ever getting around to getting this Ace album but I’m glad I did. Sure it was pricey but that’s what RSD is..Pricey! First RSD purchase ever so what the hell!

I like the layout and the spray-painted look of the vinyl and the music is pretty good as Ace was going for the rebound but as the album didn’t even crack the Billboard Top 100 in 89 I guess there was more Trouble Walkin’ for Ace ahead in the early ’90s as well until KISS came calling in 1995!





45 thoughts on “Ace Frehley: Trouble Walkin'(1989)”

  1. Awesome review Deke! I love this album and it is one of my favorites of his. The “Hide Your Heart” song is actually my next Original vs Cover post for October. I wrote it last week in large part due to this release. We will see what I think on that song soon enough.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I bought this on RSD as well. I have not opened it yet, but your review is tempting me. Even if the vinyl looks “spray painted”.

    It’s a shame that for the size of your city, and having no other city around for hundreds of miles and you get stuck with a shite chain like Sunrise. Yes Sunrise Records sucks. More like Sunset Records. They are my last place I go looking for records. Hearing autotuned pop songs while being surrounded by teenagers willing to overpay for the latest 180gram digital repress is not my idea of a good time.

    Nice review dude. I have never heard this album, but now I think I need to.

    If you love the Montreal store that is cool. I will throw my 2 cents in though. Encore Records in Kitchener and The Record Works in Woodstock (Ontario) have not only the best selections, but the best prices. Maybe check them out online.

    Lastly “..there was so much hard coming out some stuff fell by the wayside..maybe I didn’t bite as I liked the Frehley’s Comet..” (That’s what she said). Trouble Walkin’ indeed.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I did not even look at the pictures but now I see what you mean. It does look cool, so what do I know.

        You are not a noob. I thought the hard meant hard rock so it suited. Ace fits into that genre.
        I just wanted to beat Mr. Books to the punch.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I really miss record stores. Even back in the day the chains were not bad but the ones I liked the most were the mom and pop shops. When Nashville got Tower Records in the late 80s…I lived there ordering imports from the UK…I also went to second hand shops in the 80s…loved those and still do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How about this. The last remaining store that rhymes with Jam the Record Plan in Kingston has a RSD John Prine Box set on Discogs for 4 times the face value.
      They probably only got one in and instead of allowing a good customer to buy it a face value, they are gouging the price.
      If I was a customer of theirs I would walk in and tell them I will never shop their again.
      I enjoy RSD but only for myself. Not to make a quick buck like a lot of people.

      I will be out this Saturday again, but mostly to find the Nativity In Black. I have been waiting a long time for that one.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joe and yes worth it for sure. I’m sitting out this Saturdays on line stuff as I have on preorder the Halford book, the Adrian Smith book and UFO Strangers In The Night on vinyl which is a reissue coming out later in October.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Can’t believe it’s a double vinyl!! Wow, what a beautiful record. You did well here. Funny thing about that Catman cameo. I thought for sure that was him singing on Too Young to Die. “A hungry cat calls…” plus it was so raspy. But nope it was Richie Scarlet. Hearing Bach on this album was great too.

    Do Ya is a pretty great single and better than ELO, but don’t tell Harrison.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Man. I will not take off the shrink wrap as its my proof I bought an RSD record! lol
      Funny thing was when I put it on it I went with Side 3 with the title track and I thought wow this voice sounds Demonic and slow kinda like a Simmons vibe.
      I than realized I need to spin the album on 45 rpm! lol. RSD sticker said that right on the cover. lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have the perfect record to test this theory. 12″ EP.
        45 rpm one side. 33 1/3 the other.
        I was going to review sometime in the distant future. Maybe sooner rather than later.

        I have some 45 rpm albums and they all sound sweet to my old ears too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I remember doing that the first time. Then figuring it out and laughing at myself.
        Also, there have been a few times where the music was so fast (so slow), or the lead singer so deep and slow, or high and fast I thought was it on the wrong speed but it wasn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice! RSD is like a feeding frenzy for vinyl sharks. On the fence about going on Saturday, especially with COVID. Thinking the rabid fans will not be social distancing around the RSD bin. Anyway, good score on the Ace set. Looks cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think this album is really underrated and it should be talked about more and written about more.
    And your right, Ace just nails the covers. I really like Do Ya and I like his version of Hide Your a Heart better. It’s more guitar.
    I hold this one at the same level as his first solo album.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. On this album Deke, only Remember Me is a song that I don’t like. And on my Ace playlist songs like Shot Full Of Rock, Do Ya, Hide Your Heart, Trouble Walking and 2 Young 2 Die sit really well with Rip It Out, Cold Gin, New York Groove, Snow Blind, Ozone, Talk To Me, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

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