Ace (Bob Weir album)

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Ace
A painting of a woman seated inside of a horseshoe, superimposed over a red spade from a deck of cards with the word "ACE" written above
Studio album by Bob Weir
Released May 1972 (1972-05)
Recorded January–March 1972
Genre Rock, country, folk
Length 37:45
Label Warner Bros., Grateful Dead
Producer "Everyone involved"
Bob Weir chronology
Ace
(1972)
Kingfish
(1976)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone (mostly positive)[2]

Ace was the first solo album by Grateful Dead rhythm guitarist Bob Weir, released in 1972.

Its origins come from an offer by the Dead's Warner Bros. Records label to have band members cut their own solo records, and it came out the same year as Jerry Garcia's Garcia and Mickey Hart's Rolling Thunder. However, in the case of Ace, Weir's backing band was the Dead itself (minus Ron "Pigpen" McKernan), and all songs except "Walk in the Sunshine" became concert staples of the Dead.

The album is essentially a Grateful Dead recording in everything but name. In fact "Mexicali Blues" later appeared on the Grateful Dead album Skeletons from the Closet, and "One More Saturday Night" was first issued as a European single, in the guise of "Grateful Dead with Bobby Ace", to promote the band's then-imminent Europe '72 tour.[3] Likewise, a live version of "Playing in the Band" had been released the previous year on Grateful Dead, having already been added to the band's repertoire. Dead bassist Phil Lesh explained "One by one we sidled into the studio, saying things like 'Bob, I really like that tune – got a bass player for it yet?' or 'Hey Bob, need some keyboards on that ballad?' Drawn in by the new songs, we eventually assembled the whole band (minus Pig, who was still trying to regain his health) at Wally Heider’s [studio] and finished the album in a burst of enthusiasm. Bob’s songwriting had taken a great leap forward".[4]

Versions of "Greatest Story Ever Told" and "Playing in the Band" also appear on percussionist Mickey Hart's Rolling Thunder, as "The Pump Song" and "The Main Ten", respectively, both of which were also sung by Weir. The album initiated Weir's writing partnership with his old schoolmate from Wyoming, John Barlow, as lyricist.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
  1. "Greatest Story Ever Told" (Bob Weir and Robert Hunter) – 3:43
  2. "Black-Throated Wind" (Weir and John Perry Barlow) – 5:42
  3. "Walk in the Sunshine" (Weir and Barlow) – 3:05
  4. "Playing in the Band" (Weir and Hunter) – 7:38
Side two
  1. "Looks Like Rain" (Weir and Barlow) – 6:12
  2. "Mexicali Blues" (Weir and Barlow) – 3:28
  3. "One More Saturday Night" (Weir) – 4:31
  4. "Cassidy" (Weir and Barlow) – 3:41

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel
  • Ed Bogus – string arrangement on "Looks Like Rain"
  • Snooky Flowers, Luis Gasca and The Space Rangers – horns on "Black-Throated Wind", "Mexicali Blues" and "One More Saturday Night"
  • Donna Jean Godchaux – production; backup vocals on "Greatest Story Ever Told", "Walk in the Sunshine", "Playing in the Band" and "Cassidy"
  • Dave Torbert – bass guitar on "Greatest Story Ever Told"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Planer, Lindsay (2011). "Ace – Bob Weir | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  2. ^ Scoppa, Bud (2011). "Bob Weir: Ace : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". web.archive.org. Archived from the original on July 26, 2008. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ The Grateful Dead: "One More Saturday Night" at Discogs. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  4. ^ Lesh, Phil (2005). Searching for the Sound. Little, Brown & Co., New York, NY. Chapter 15. ISBN 978-0-316-00998-0.