Ace (band)

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Also known asAce Flash and the Dynamos
OriginSheffield, England
Years active1972–1977
Varèse Sarabande
Past members

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


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

Before the recording of their debut album, Five-A-Side,[3] the former drummer of Bees Make Honey, Fran Byrne, replaced Steve Witherington.[2] The single "How Long" was taken from this record, and was a significant chart success, achieving a top 20 place in the UK Singles Chart,[1] 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. Carrack, the band's keyboardist and chief songwriter, sang lead on "How Long", but was not the band's only vocalist. Follow-up singles were sung by other band members.

Ace eventually moved to the United States, and replaced Phil Harris with Jon Woodhead in June 1976,[4] releasing their third and final album No Strings in January 1977. Unlike earlier Ace LPs, this album featured an emphasis on Carrack's vocals, and the two singles issued from the album both featured Carrack as lead singer. The singles, however, didn't chart and the group disbanded in July 1977, when Carrack, Comer and Byrne all joined Frankie Miller's backing band.[4]

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 best known. His solo re-recording of "How Long" became a UK top 40 hit again in 1996.[5]



Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Record label
1974 Five-A-Side 11 16 Anchor Records
1975 Time for Another 153
1977 No Strings 170
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

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 "Rock & Roll Runaway" 71 "I Ain't Gonna Stand for This No More" (A-side)
"I Ain't Gonna Stand for This No More" "Rock & Roll Runaway" Time for Another
"No Future in Your Eyes" "I'm a Man"
1977 "You're All That I Need" "Crazy World" No Strings
"Found Out the Hard Way" "Why Did You Leave Me"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c 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 11 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Biography of Ace". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 95. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  6. ^ a b c "Ace - Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  7. ^ "ACE - full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 March 2022.

External links[edit]