|Studio album by Bob Weir|
|Genre||Rock, country, folk|
|Label||Warner Bros., Grateful Dead|
|Bob Weir chronology|
|Rolling Stone||(mostly positive)|
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.