Ace ~ How Long 1974 Disco Purrfection Version

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This is dedicated to YouTuber xstevie, who requested that I remix this one. Thank you! Ace got its start during the swinging 60’s club scene in London as Action with Alan “Bam” King the only constant as they evolved into 60’s Mighty Baby, then Clat Thyger and were soon known as Ace Flash & The Dynamos. When Ace Flash splintered, King took guitarist Phil Harris and then merged with keyboardist Paul Carrack and bassist Terry “Tex” Comer who had just left Warm Dust. This new configuration settled on the name Ace. They hit it big on the pub circuit when they added drummer John Woodhead to the group. They were on the verge of greatness when they were selected to open for Hawkwind and producer John Anthony (Lindisfarne) saw them and offered to produce some sessions for them.

Woodhead left to join the Sutherland Brothers and Quiver, leaving the band without a drummer. His replacement, Fran Byrne stepped up to the plate while Carrack wrote a song about Woodheads departure and dedicated it to him and named it “How Long”. The song entered the chart on March 8, 1975 at #89 and quickly reached #3 on May 31, 1975 and became their sole Top 40 hit. The follow up, “Rock And Roll Runaway” peaked at #71. Ace brought Woodhead back into the band and turfed Byrne out but never again reached the prestige of “How Long” and finally laid the name to rest in 1977. Carrack did some session work, joined Roxy Music, followed by more session work. He joined Squeeze and was the lead vocalist on “Tempted”, then moved on to Carlene Carter’s band. He got his first top 40 hit in 1982 with “I Need You” produced by Nick Lowe, then his first top 10 “Don’t Shed A Tear” came in late 87. He continued having moderate hits with “One Good Reason (#28) in 1988 and then “I Live By The Groove” (#31) in 1989. You may also recognize his voice on several Mike & The Mechanics singles, most notably the #1 smash hit “The Living Years” in 1989. Carrack has played for Roger Waters, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, B.B. King, The Pretenders and The Smiths. He has also had his songs recorded by The Eagles, Diana Ross, Tom Jones and Michael McDonald. He left Mike & The Mechanics in 2004 and has maintained a solo career since. He also was on hand in 2015 to help Eric Clapton celebrate his 70th birthday with a concert at Madison Square Garden. He had a hand in the success of Elton John’s double sided Princess Diana tribute “Candle In The Wind 1997” having played organ on “Something About The Way You Look Tonight”. His latest release was 2016’s “Soul Shadows” which peaked at #25 on the UK survey. Interestingly enough, his solo version of “How Long” peaked at #32 in 1996. He has had about 1 LP release a year since 1980.

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