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Summer Gift Guide


Sand and deliver!

With the temperatures rising and the juke box blowin’ a fuse, the Ace sun seekers have packed away our double-fleece duffle coats and winter wellies for another month and assembled a shiny summer collection to keep the clouds away.

We’ve got bright ‘n’ breezy tees, sunshine pop, sweet 'sol' music, hot rhythm & blues, factor 9 folk, beach boys, beach girls and every other kind of Pet Sounds to help you top up your tune tan while the weather is on our side.

Wouldn’t It Be Nice to add to your Ace collection? God Only Knows we appreciate your interest…

Whether you want to dip your toes in our cool musical pool, or make a splash with the full-on belly flop, there’s plenty of great stuff to keep you groovin’ from now until the rainclouds come back.

You won’t need your sunglasses to see that we’ve got plenty of audio heat for the feet, and a woody full of attractive seasonal T-shirts that will both wow the honeys and impress beach bullies enough for them not to kick sand in your face.

You can be assured that our generous prices won’t ‘Wipe Out’ your bank account. You will still have enough money to ‘Get Around’ in at the pub later on, or our name’s not Brian.

Why bother with sun cream, ice cream or any other kind of cream when you have the cream of the Ace catalogue at your disposal? Surf our selection today and Catch A Wave of sonic sunshine… 

Selected releases

  • Chartbusters USA - Special Sunshine Pop Edition

    It really was no accident that the Sunshine Pop genre arose when it did. Its roots lay in the largely white post rock’n’roll pop era when writing and production teams had firmly established footholds on both coasts of America, and when recording studios were starting to offer more tracks than the hitherto very basic four. Around 1965, a glance at the US charts revealed that harmony vocals were one of the few genres to withstand the British onslaught, and geed by that success record companies were eager to put money behind one of the few areas where indigenous acts could still outdo the Britons.

  • Here Today! The Songs Of Brian Wilson

    It’s hard to believe 12 years have passed since “Pet Projects: The Brian Wilson Productions”, one of the first releases in our much-admired Producers series. Not before time, Wilson now joins such greats as Randy Newman, Laura Nyro, Goffin & King, Dan Penn, Bacharach & David, Jackie DeShannon and Serge Gainsbourg in our high-profile Songwriters series.

  • Pet Projects: The Brian Wilson Productions

    Once he began to receive recognition within the industry as the inspirational force behind the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson sought wider acceptance for his talent and was soon busy producing other acts on the side. He was particularly influenced by Phil Spector who was hitting his stride with studio-contrived mega-hits such as Da Doo Ron Ron and Be My Baby. PET PROJECTS concentrates exclusively on these extra-curricular songs and productions.

  • Sunshine Pop from the Garpax Vaults

    Gary S Paxton likes to delineate his years in 1960s Hollywood as his “BC” period, before the maverick music maker moved to Nashville in 1971, forsook drink and drugs for Jesus Christ and became a giant in the country and gospel fields. But it was within that earlier decade that Paxton sealed his true reputation. Not just as the quirky iconoclast behind ‘Alley-Oop’ and ‘Monster Mash’, but as a multi-faceted singing, playing, writing, arranging, producing and engineering omnivore who could single-handedly create a hit, from the bottom up. 

  • Hey, Beach Girls!

    The influence of California’s Beach Boys permeates “Hey, Beach Girls!” as it did the world of music in 1963. Brian Wilson and his cohorts had not long vacated the Top 3 with ‘Surfin’ USA’ when an opportunist East Coast record company exec with his eye on the latest pop fads dreamed up a plan to grab a piece of the action. Foisting the Surfer Girls moniker on a new teenage duo, he ushered them into the studio to parlay ‘Draggin’ Wagon’ to the very same tune. Meanwhile, over in Paris, France’s top girl group Les Gam’s flipped over the same Beach Boys platter to give ‘Shut Down’ their distinctive yé-yé treatment.

  • It Came from the Beach

    Any collectors who travelled to Southern California looking for rare vinyl anywhere between 1972-2002, will have visited Wenzels Music Town. The store was divided in two halves, with the more interesting stuff through to the left, through a doorway with a velvet rope across it. Permission was needed to pass the rope, and once you were in that room you were were unsupervised, surrounded by four walls racked out with 45s. 

  • Beach Party

    Cliche it may be to say so, but they really don't make 'em like Gary S Paxton anymore.  At least, they don't as far as record men go. Today's A&R representative has it positively cushy by comparison with 60s guys like Gary, who had to spot the trend (or, in some cases, actually start the trend!), then write the songs, find the talent to perform them, hire the musicians, supervise the session, shop the masters and - more often than not - put the tracks out themselves when unanimously turned down by the major labels. And more than most, Paxton was the master of all trades, jack of none where the music business was concerned - he could do all that and more.

  • The Birth of Surf

    When the Beach Boys sang their way into the American Top 20 in 1962 with Surfin' Safari they introduced the nation to a pastime that had become a way of life for many on the Californian coast. But they weren't the only ones celebrating the thrill of riding the waves. With the charts dominated by big studio productions featuring clean-cut smooth-crooning pop stars that they couldn't hope to emulate, aspiring young rock musicians turned to the instrumental to keep the rock’n’roll flame alive. 

  • The Birth of Surf Vol. 2

    “The Birth Of Surf Volume 2” follows the pattern of Vol 1 in taking a slice through the timeline of rock instrumental history leading up to and on through the first surf era. Influential artists such as the Ventures, Wailers and Revels are joined by early examples of the sounds that became surf such as the Scarlets’ ‘Stampede’, the Rockin’ Rebels’ ‘Wild Weekend’ and the Busters on ‘Bust Out’.

  • Rare West Coast Surf Instrumentals

    It's not often that a re-issue label such as Ace can offer 22 hot guitar instrumentals (not to mention a couple of vocal sides) which haven't seen the light of day since they first came out on 45s in the early 60s and we are proud to do so.

  • Toes On The Nose

    The years 1963-65, from which the 32 tracks here are taken, witnessed the explosion of surf music as a major new genre. Several things contributed to the sudden growth of the style, especially in Southern California, its epicentre. 

  • Omaha Bar-B-Q

    This album is one of a surprisingly large number of deeply funky releases that appeared in the late 60s and throughout the 70s by older players - usually associated with either blues or rock'n'roll. On the Modern group of labels alone there were albums by Joe Houston, Johnny Otis and an unreleased gem by Pee Wee Crayton.

  • Hot Barbeque

    A great jazz organist, Brother Jack McDuff's work for Prestige is rightly acknowledged as classic by both the jazz dance fraternity and the mainstream-modem jazz audience alike.

  • Sanctuary/ Suite for Late Summer

    The second in our reissue series of Dion’s original Warner Bros. albums coupled 2 on 1 with bonus tracks. This set finds Dion at his most wistful and mellow. 

  • The Jack Nitzsche Story

    Arrangers are truly the unsung heroes of rock'n'roll. Stanley Applebaum, Riley C Hampton, III, Robert Mersey, Paul Riser, Perry Botkin, Jr, Nick De Caro, Garry Sherman, Harold Battiste, Alan Lorber, Herb Bernstein, Jimmie Haskell, Gene Page, Claus Ogerman, Charles Callelo, Bert Keyes, Belford C Hendricks these consummate orchestrators (and many others like them) deserve anthologising.

  • Soul Limbo

    This classic 1968 Stax album features a band of musicians who were set to become the ultimate soul rhythm section of all time. The highlight of the 'Booker T sound' has to be the interplay between guitar and organ, which is beautifully illustrated on this album, on tracks like "Hang 'Em High" and the evergreen BBC TV Cricket Theme "Soul Limbo". 

  • Splash

    FREDDIE HUBBARD IS one of the most recorded trumpeters in jazz history. He came to prominence in the early 1960s as a favoured sideman on scores of sessions. Setting out on his own at Creed Taylor’s CTI label, he recorded some of the biggest-selling jazz-fusion albums of the early 1970s. 

  • Agua Dulce

    ONE OF THE most successful, most recorded and most influential jazz players of his time, Cal Tjader is these days a largely overlooked figure in the music’s history. Part of the cause of his lack of recognition is present in the reasons he was so successful. Tjader made no great leaps forward harmonically or rhythmically, but instead showed how jazz and Afro-Cuban music could blend together with the vibraphone as the lead instrument, its percussiveness working very well in that musical context.

  • Zombie Heaven

    4CDs. 119 tracks all mastered from original tapes. 42 previously unissued. 68 page book. Many previously unpublished photographs. Memorabilia from the band's archive.

  • Jungle Fire!

    One of the greatest albums by this funky Latin combo. The record differs from some of their earlier Prestige albums in that the tracks are longer, more instrumental, and have a hard fuzzy electric groove.

  • Feel the Heat

    Summers’ debut album “Feel The Heat” was released in 1977. Obviously keen to make the record one that summed up his musical influences, he gathered around him some of the hottest musicians, including fellow Headhunter Paul Jackson, Mark Soskin on keyboards, drummer Alphonse Mouzon and a horn section comprising Roger Glenn, Julian Priester and Hadley Caliman. There was a future jazz star on vocals in the form of 20 year-old Diane Reeves and on the final track a small platoon of percussionists.

  • Downey Records T Shirt

    Look “Boss” and “Feel Aw’ Right” when you tell the world how much you love Northern California’s Home Of the Hits. For (many) more tees, see our merchandise page here: acerecords.co.uk/browse/t-shirts

  • Downey Records Cotton Beach Bag

    For many more designs see our merchandise pages here: acerecords.co.uk/browse/merchandise/bags