Calling Dr. Love: Wood!

August 19, 2011 | By | 11 Replies More

Frehley_Ace_77_1Even if you’re not a KISS fan or hate KISS or Gene Simmons or whatever, give this tune another listen – the original studio version, not the redo. Make it a loud listen.


> This whole album (Rock and Roll Over) has woody guitars all over it – because it was produced by Eddie Kramer of Zep and Hendrix fame. Probably also woody because it was recorded live, all four guys playing in the same room: the Star Theater in Nanuet, N.Y.

> Eddie said this in an interview: “The way we recorded Rock and Roll Over was essentially live, and any mistakes were corrected later. There was some tape editing to put together the best performances. Recording a band live with everyone playing is still in my opinion the best way to get a great performance on tape.” [Amen Eddie!]

> This album is a great example of a pretty raw recording of set-neck mahogany guitars with DiMarzio Super Distortion pickups (Paul Stanley used a DiMarzio Dual Sound, which is just a coil-splittable Super Distortion) through Marshall heads and cabs.

> Gotta love the bottom of the neck chord riff!

> Ace’s solo on this tune remains one of my favorites of all time. Thirty seconds of simple (by today’s standards), but great. And who ends a solo on that G-string bend?

YouTube and a computer won’t do the wood justice, but:

Here’s the original studio cut:

For comparison, here’s the redone version with the current band and current recording techniques. No comparison imo:

Here they are in ’77. Ace rips the solo…but since all frickin’ live concert vids are produced by people who don’t play guitar, you don’t get to see much of the solo….

Category: Ace Frehley, DiMarzio, KISS, Marshall, Paul Stanley

Comments (11)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. George says:

    ‘Sorry, but the remake sounds MUCH better.

  2. Billy says:

    Great one here on KISS! I’m a huge fan and couldn’t agree with you more on all you say here. Rock And Roll Over is one of my all time favorite KISS albums, the guitar tones are pretty much perfect.

    keep the great stories coming.


  3. HO says:

    Good stuff. Disagree with first comment. The original is far superior to the remake. Raw, “live” sound and overall vibe is better, and especially Ace’s lead. Nobody can accurately dupe the character Ace brings to the table. He never worried about speed, it was all about the right notes at the right time with his own particular flair. This one, like a ton of Ace leads, is simple genius.

  4. gearslob says:

    I burned out many tennis rackets to this album before I could finally play, and eventually play it! THis solo kills and just thinking about it makes me 8 years old again! ROCK ON!!

  5. guitthumper says:

    Are we sure Ace played that solo? Wasn’t this around the time he began missing sessions due to his substance abuse? Assuming he did play it, what guitar did he use? There’s definitely some whammy work on this one, and I know Ace loves Hendrix but this pre-dated EVH and I’m not sure that he was using any tremolo equipped guitars at this time. Maybe he was bending the neck of an LP to get the dive bomb effect…
    Anyway, love the site! Any more info is appreciated!

  6. BSE says:

    I like the tone better on the rerecorded track. However the original has that punch and clarity, but no sustain whatsoever. In this day and age everyone is making bass happy albums. Let the bass handle the bass and let the guitar sustain and cut through. Just my .02.

    Did anyone else notice the similarity of the rerecorded first chord and King’s X “looking for love”? That chord and tone were identical.

  7. HO says:

    Ace plays that solo. There’s no whammy work or any indication that there’s anything other than deft use of bends/over-bends and vibrato.

  8. breakfastime says:

    By this time Ace was a rock star and had lots of guitars–he did own and use some Strats.

    The dive bomb at 1:15 could be a Strat I think, or it could be an LP ultra-bend…

    But the solo sounds like pure LP magik –pure Ace!
    Kiss used stand-ins before and after: for parts of Destroyer (Hunter/Wagner to the rescue)and again on Alive2 studio cuts and Creatures of the Night(Bob or Bruce Kulick?)but I’m pretty sure RnR Over and Love Gun are really the band playing everything.

  9. Leroy6 says:

    I like the drums on the newer version, but feel the guitar tones and Gene’s vocals are a bit lame. The solo is just plain boring compared with the original.

  10. bobby says:

    I would call the second one an ok cover but sonically the sound is awful. I was really surprised (but I shouldn’t have I guess) how Peter’s drumming was Way better than Eric S. And I do think Ace’s playing has so much more feel to it than the new guy.

  11. This is one of the few kiss albums where there are no ghost players.I agree that the the way they recorded it is why its arguably their best album.ace is just amazing on every track.makin love is my favorite curious if they ever recorded any kiss albums again playing live

Leave a Reply