Ace: The Short Legacy
Formed in early 1973 by britishers Alan " Bam" King and Phil Harris (Rhythm guitar and vocals), Ace was known at first as "Ace Flash and The Dynamos" and later shortened to Ace once Paul Carrack (Keyboard and Vocals), Terry "Tex" Comer (Bass) and Steve Witherington (Drums) joined. Witherington was replaced in '74 with Fran Bryan from Dublin, Ireland who played in the band "Bees Make Honey". Ace established their reputation on small clubs in London and eventually signed with Anchor Records.
In the summer of '74, Ace started recording their first album, Five-A-Side. The pop rock debut was produced by John Anthony and consists of ten tracks. The album only had one hit, How Long. How Long reached the charts in the U.K and reached No.3 in the United States. How Long is a soft rock chant about Carrack wanting to leave the band yet still stayed with his bandmates for another two albums. Other tracks featured are "Sniffin' About", "Rock and Roll Runaway", "The Real Feeling", "Time Ain't Long" and many more. What's fascinating about Five-A-Side is that every track is just listenable, every track doesn't have the same groove but it teases the listener with fundamentals of rock, country and even blues.
The tracks were primarily written by Paul Carrack except for "Sniffin' About" and "Rock n Rock Runaway" in which credits were given to the whole band. "Rock n Roll Runaway" was the second single of the record but failed to become a hit and only reached #73 on the Billboard 100. Despite failing the charts, Five-A-Side proves that its an polished uplifting old time rock n roll record with sturdy tracks and enjoyable grooves just enough to distinguish themselves as Ace.
Time For Another
With Time For Another as Ace's sophomore album, the band leaves it's grooves and becomes more of a blues act. Consisting of ten tracks like its debut, the record had no hits and failed to consolidate the adequate success of Five-A-Side. Around '76 Ace toured the U.K with Yes and as well moved to Los Angeles. John Woodhead replaced Phil Harris on lead guitar and vocals. The record received unenthusiastic interest but tracks like "I'm a Man", "You Can't Loose" and "Does It Hurt You" makes it a restful album yet again listenable throughout its entirely.
Still playing soft rock and still no big hit, No Strings released in '77 shows off Carrack's laid back songwiting and easy listening melodies. The last studio record is as smooth and assorted as it can get, repetitive lyrical content and no major guitar performance. Even though Carrack is the main focus in this record, the band shows intense chemistry for their last rock n roll tunes.
Ace disbanded in mid '77 when Paul Carrack, Terry Corner and Fran Bryne joined the Frankie Miller Band.
Out of the quintet, Paul Carrack was the most successful playing with Eric Clapton, Roger Waters, Roxy Music, Squeeze and being the lead vocalist for Mike + The Mechanics.