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No Strings

Ace

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Album Review

If Time for Another was a tad bit subdued, Ace’s 1977 follow-up remedies that problem by giving the pub rock a big, splashy production suited for the crossover audience “How Long” gave them three years prior. It was a case of too much too late — Ace lost whatever chart momentum they had and the times were beginning to shift, with many of their pub rock peers gravitating toward punk. Ace took the opposite approach: they retooled themselves as a soft rock outfit with a distinctly Southern California bent. No Strings is music made with the charts in mind but it’s livelier and more varied than Time for Another, capitalizing on Paul Carrack’s soulful voice. Carrack is now front and center, so ably navigating the turns from bouncy pop to bright boogie to gossamer ballads that it’s no wonder No Strings sounds in retrospect like a blueprint for his subsequent solo career. Nevertheless, No Strings is firmly a band album, gaining strength from Ace’s group interplay, John Woodhead seamlessly filling the departed Phil Harris’ shoes, but the production is so slick that it glosses over any potential rifts. And that smooth production is a big reason why No Strings is a strong record: it may not have been a hit, but with its soulful shine and easy melodies, it captures ‘70s major-label soft rock at a peak.

Customer Reviews

Regional vice president, protudrer industries

This is a very under-rated album. Paul Carrack is an awesome singer and this is before he made his move to rock stardom. The guitar is incendiary with legandary a 70's feel. Why this did not get air play I'll never know. Listening to this album again makes me feel like I'm at beach house with the Band or on a ranch in the hills north of LA, magical.

Great last album by a great band

First I have to note that my review of their second effort, "Time For Another" was written while I was downloading that album and I confused it for their last effort, which is THIS album. This is the effort that they did after moving to Los Angeles. It was a valiant effort to reach a more commercial success, but the sound here is a bit closer to Phil Spector's "wall of sound", and it didn't fit the band or the audience it was intended to reach. Still, it's a great effort and some songs stand out (I'll let you choose which ones for yourself). After all these years, this is one band I would love to see in concert some day. Hey, the Eagles reunited in 1994 and I saw them again (after seeing them in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1977)...so you never know.

No Strings, Ace
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Customer Ratings