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Album Review

As a "bonus" for re-signing another three-album deal with Warner Brothers Records in the early '70s, members of the Grateful Dead were given the opportunity to cut solo albums. Jerry Garcia (Garcia), Mickey Hart (Rolling Thunder), and Bob Weir (Ace) took advantage of the offer — although it could easily be argued that Weir's disc was in reality the next Grateful Dead album simply featuring the rhythm guitarist's co-compositions and lead vocals throughout. In essence, Ace became the follow-up to the double-live LP Grateful Dead [1971] (aka "Skull and Roses"), which included a live and somewhat non-descript rendition of "Playing in the Band." Ironically, on this studio release the Grateful Dead stretch out during the seven-plus-minute version — which is considered to be one of their most inspired improvisational interactions away from the concert stage. Likewise, practically every track — with the exception of the painfully optimistic "Walk in the Sunshine" — became an integral component of the Grateful Dead's performance repertoire for their remaining 20-plus years as an actively touring band. Much of Ace is flavored with the same country-rock textures that informed the Dead's previous two studio recordings, American Beauty and Workingman's Dead. The addition of keyboardist Keith Godchaux — whose style on this album rivals that of Jerry Lee Lewis — gives songs such as "Greatest Story Ever Told" and "One More Saturday Night" an aggressive bite which is conspicuous in its absence from the Grateful Dead's previous studio outings. On the whole, Ace is thoroughly enjoyable for devout Deadheads as well as less-fanatical enthusiasts. Other standout tracks include the lilting lullaby "Cassidy," Snooky Flowers' driving horn arrangement on "One More Saturday Night," and Garcia's lazy, laid-back pedal steel guitar work on "Looks Like Rain."

Customer Reviews

Best of Bob

This maybe the most overlooked and underappreciated albums of all time. The best songs that Bob Weir would ever sing on a regular basis came from this album. "One More Saturday Night" would be played at some point during every show played on a saturday night & "Playing in the Band" would become one of the bands most welcomed live jam sessions. While almost all of the songs on this album appear on live compilations elsewhere most people have never heard these studio versions. Each songs is a Grateful Dead classic and this is the album that gave birth to the foundational versions of those songs. Now I, like most fans of the Dead, am well aware that the best Dead is live Dead but this is a studio album worth adding to any Grateful Dead collection.

Underated seminal CD from Bobby "Ace" Weir

killer!!!! BUY IT!!!

Outstanding Grateful Dead-ish album

Rolling Stones wrote, "The best studio Dead album that isn't the Dead". Even though it's a Bob Weir solo album, the members of the Dead plays on most of the album. Here you find some of the Dead's greatest hits like Playing in the Band, One More Saturday Night and Cassidy. Oh, and my favorite... Black Throated Wind. If you like live versions better, like many fans, these tracks are concert staples (Dick's Pick #11 has at least half these tracks live and a favorite of mine). But if you want to hear crisp studio versions, Ace delivers.


Born: October 16, 1947 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A founding member of the Grateful Dead, Bob Weir's musical legacy (separate from its cultural implications) will be of an utterly strange rhythm guitar player and songwriter who grew up in one of the most lasting outside bands of the 1960s. Playing with the Dead until their dissolution following the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995, Weir has since made his musical homes in RatDog and the Other Ones. Born in 1947 and adopted by a rich California engineer, Weir's intense, undiagnosed dyslexia gave him...
Full Bio

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Ace, Bob Weir
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  • $7.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Rock & Roll, Arena Rock
  • Released: 1972

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