Ace (Bob Weir album)
|Studio album by|
|Studio||Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco; mixed at Alembic Studios, San Francisco|
|Genre||Rock, country, folk|
|Label||Warner Bros., Grateful Dead|
|Bob Weir chronology|
|Christgau's Record Guide||A–|
|Rolling Stone||(mostly positive)|
Recording and releaseEdit
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. 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".
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.
Reviewing in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau wrote: "Weir can be preachy and screechy, but Robert Hunter's homiletics ('Playing in the Band') make up for John Barlow's post-hippie know-nothingisms ('Walk in the Sunshine'), and 'One More Saturday Night' isn't any less a rockabilly epiphany because it strains Bobby's vocal chords—that just adds a note of authenticity. With Barlow redeeming himself on the elegiac pre-hippie fable 'Cassidy' and Keith Godchaux sounding like a cross between Chick Corea and Little Richard, this is the third in a series that began with Workingman's Dead and American Beauty."
All music is composed by Bob Weir.
|1.||"Greatest Story Ever Told"||Bob Weir, Robert Hunter, Mickey Hart||3:43|
|2.||"Black-Throated Wind"||Weir, John Perry Barlow||5:42|
|3.||"Walk in the Sunshine"||Weir, Barlow||3:05|
|4.||"Playing in the Band"||Weir, Hunter, Hart||7:38|
|1.||"Looks Like Rain"||Weir, Barlow||6:12|
|3.||"One More Saturday Night"||Weir||4:31|
- Bob Weir – lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, production
- Jerry Garcia – lead guitar, production; pedal steel guitar on "Looks Like Rain", backup vocals on "Greatest Story Ever Told"
- Keith Godchaux – piano, organ, production
- Bill Kreutzmann – drums, percussion, production
- Phil Lesh – bass guitar, production; backup vocals on "Mexicali Blues"
- 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"
- Planer, Lindsay. "Ace". AllMusic. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
- Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: W". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 22, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
- 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.
- The Grateful Dead: "One More Saturday Night" at Discogs. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
- Lesh, Phil (2005). Searching for the Sound. Little, Brown & Co., New York, NY. Chapter 15. ISBN 978-0-316-00998-0.