Ace (band)

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Also known as Ace Flash and the Dynamos
Origin Sheffield, England
Genres Pub rock, pop rock, soft rock
Years active 1972–1977
Labels Anchor
Varèse Sarabande
Associated acts Mighty Baby, Warm Dust, Squeeze
Past members Paul Carrack
Terry "Tex" Comer
Phil Harris
Alan "Bam" King
Steve Witherington
Fran Byrne
Steve Kirby
Jon Woodhead

Ace were a British rock band, who enjoyed moderate success in the 1970s. Their membership included Paul Carrack, who later became famous as the lead vocalist of Mike + The Mechanics and as a solo artist. Ace are best known for their hit single "How Long?", which was a UK top-20 single in 1974,[1] and reached No 3 in the US in 1975.


The band was formed in December 1972 in Sheffield as 'Ace Flash and the Dynamos', but this name was quickly abbreviated to just Ace.[2] The members were assembled from various other professional bands. Carrack and Comer had previously played with Warm Dust, and King with Mighty Baby, whose antecedents were the 1960s band The Action.[2] Ace were popular on the pub rock circuit. Their music was pop with a funk influence.

Before the recording of their debut album, Five-A-Side,[3] ex-Bees Make Honey drummer Fran Byrne replaced Steve Witherington.[2] The single "How Long?" (a song about Comer considering to leave the group; he later remained with the band) was taken from this record, and was a significant chart success, achieving a Top 20 place in the UK Singles Chart,[4] and reaching number three in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in the spring of 1975. The Five-A-Side album did well on its own, too, peaking at number 11 on the Billboard 200.

The band eventually moved to the United States, and replaced Phil Harris with Jon Woodhead in June 1976,[5] releasing their third and final album No Strings in January 1977. They disbanded in July 1977, when Carrack, Comer and Byrne joined Frankie Miller's band.[5]

In addition to his solo career, Carrack has since played in Eric Clapton's band, Roger Waters' The Bleeding Heart Band, Roxy Music for the Manifesto album and tour, Squeeze in the early 1980s, and Mike + The Mechanics, for which he is most well-known. His solo re-recording of "How Long" became a UK Top 40 hit again in 1996.[6]


  • Paul Carrack (born 22 April 1951, Sheffield, Yorkshire) – keyboards, vocals (1972–1977)
  • Terry "Tex" Comer (born 23 February 1949, Burnley, Lancashire) – bass (1972–1977)
  • Phil Harris (born Philip Harris, 18 July 1948, Muswell Hill, London, died August 2010) – guitar, vocals (1972–1976)
  • Alan "Bam" King (born 18 September 1946, Kentish Town, London) – lead guitar, vocals (1972–1975)
  • Steve Witherington (born 26 December 1953, Enfield, Middlesex) – drums (1972–1974)
  • Fran Byrne (born 17 March 1948, Dublin, Ireland) – drums (1974–1977)
  • Steve Kirby (born 6 February 1953, Shepherds Bush, London, died 8 May 2008) – lead guitars (1975–1977)
  • Jon Woodhead – guitars (1976–1977)



Year Album US CAN Record Label
1974 Five-A-Side 11 16 Anchor Records
1975 Time for Another 153 Anchor Records
1977 No Strings 170 Anchor Records

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Six-A-Side – 1982
  • How Long: The Best of Ace – 1987
  • The Very Best of Ace – 1993
  • The Best of Ace (Varèse) – 2003


Year Title Peak chart positions Record Label B-side Album
1974 "How Long" 3 24 3 20 Anchor Records "Sniffin' About" Five-A-Side
1975 "I Ain't Gonna Stand for This No More" 51 Anchor Records "Rock & Roll Runaway" Time for Another
"Rock & Roll Runaway" 71 Anchor Records "I Ain't Gonna Stand for This No More" (A-Side) Five-A-Side
"No Future in Your Eyes" Anchor Records "I'm a Man" Time for Another
1977 "You're All That I Need" Anchor Records "Crazy World" No Strings
"Found Out the Hard Way" Anchor Records "Why Did You Leave Me"


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 13. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ a b c Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh, Scotland: Mojo Books. p. 95. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  3. ^ "Ace - Five-A-Side (an Ace album)". Retrieved 2016-06-11. 
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 13. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  5. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Biography of Ace". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 95. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]