Personnel: Bob Weir (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Donna Jean Godchaux (vocals); Jerry Garcia (electric guitar, pedal steel guitar); Keith Godchaux (piano); Phil Lesh (bass guitar, background vocals); Dave Torbert (bass guitar); Bill Kreutzmann (drum).
All tracks have been digitally mastered using HDCD technology.
While it's ostensibly a Bob Weir album, the Grateful Dead singer/rhythm guitarist's solo debut is essentially a Dead record without any Jerry Garcia songs. All the members of the Dead back Weir on tunes written with the group's lyricists Robert Hunter and John Barlow. An overwhelming majority of the songs here would become staples of the Dead's live repertoire, and remain some of the finest either Weir or the band has ever produced.
The album opens with a blast, as a modified Buddy Holly feel accompanies biblical lyrics with a futuristic twist on "Greatest Story Ever Told." "Playing in the Band" has an expansive feel and unusual time signature that would make it a reliable vehicle for the Dead's improvisatory excursions. The sad, country-tinged ballad "Looks Like Rain" showcases Weir's often-underrated abilities as a vocalist, while the Chuck Berry-ish "One More Saturday Night" demonstrates his rock & roll roots. The record closes with the gorgeous, lilting "Cassidy," an uplifting tune indicating that the hippie dream was still alive and well in the Dead camp in the early 1970s.
Rolling Stone (No. 969, p.117) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[ACE] is more than Weir's best album--it's one of the best Dead studio albums, featuring a number of the band's true standards..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.152) - "[I]t's a Dead album in all but name....Weir's emergence from behind the formidable and prescient shadow of Jerry Garcia was sealed....Probably the Dead's best ever studio jamming."
Uncut (magazine) (p.74) - "It's main purpose was as an outlet for the songs Weir was writing with John Barlow -- classics such as 'Playing In The Band', 'Cassidy' and 'Looks Like Rain'."
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