Ace (band)

From Academic Kids

Ace were a British rock music band who enjoyed moderate success in the 1970s.

Formed in the UK during December 1972 and originally called Ace Flash And The Dynamos - quickly abbreviated after a couple of gigs - Ace comprised; Paul Carrack (b. 22 April 1951, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England; keyboards, vocals), Alan "Bam" King (b. 18 September 1946, Kentish Town, London; guitar, vocals) Phil Harris (b. 18 July 1948, Muswell Hill, London; guitar, vocals), Terry "Tex" Comer (b. 23 February 1949, Burnley, Lancashire, England; bass), Steve Witherington (b. 26 December 1953, Enfield, Middlesex, England; drums).

The members were assembled from various other known bands and were all competent musicians. Carrack and Comer came from Warm Dust, and King arrived via Mighty Baby, whose antecedents were the highly regarded 1960s band The Action. Ace became one of the darlings of the UK pub rock circuit with their polished funky pop music.

Before the recording of their first album, ex-Bees Make Honey drummer Fran Byrne (b. 17 March 1948, Dublin, Ireland) had replaced Witherington. The album, Five-A-Side, was a creditable debut. The single "How Long", culled from this record, gave them an enormous hit that they were never able to repeat. It was a perfectly crafted pop song with a hypnotic bass introduction directly "borrowed" from "Travelling Song" by Pentangle, followed by Carrack's sweet electric piano. The simple tale of infidelity captured people's attention and it became a Top 20 hit in the UK and also reached number 3 in the USA charts.

The band eventually moved to America but disbanded in July 1977 when most of the remaining members joined Frankie Miller's band.

Of the members of the band Carrack has enjoyed most post-Ace success, playing in Eric Clapton's band, joining Squeeze, and latterly playing with Mike & the Mechanics. Carrack re-recorded "How Long", which became a UK Top 40 hit again in 1996.

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