After Rick van der Linden left Ekseption, he was about to form his own trio. At first he called it Ace. His first recruitment was drummer Peter de Leeuwe, with whom he played in Ekseption. They started rehearsing together in January 1974. Rick, however, considered de Leeuwe to be lacking in technique, and he had to find another drummer. He came up with the best he could possibly find, Pierre van der Linden (ex-Brainbox, ex-Focus). Pierre was contacted on his birthday and he accepted the offer to work together. To complete his trio, Rick van der Linden also contacted Jaap van Eik (electric and bass guitar, vocals, ex-Cuby and the Blizzards) who joined the band. Soon they started rehearsing material that Rick had written the previous months.

The new band received many contract offers, because of the fame of the band members. In May the signed with Philips, and their new album was due in September. Meanwhile they had found out there was already an English band by the name of Ace, so they changed theirs into Trace.

Rick van der Linden, Pierre van der Linden, Jaap van Eik

In the final weeks of May they recorded material at Soundpush Studios in Blaricum, Holland. Preliminary to the album a single was released, Progress / Tabu. And then in September 1974 their self-titled debut was released. The album was a huge success. It consisted of songs written by Rick van der Linden and of adaptations of classic works of Bach and Grieg.

The band started touring in August 1974 throughout The Netherlands and gained them a considerable following. The album sold 50.000 copies in a few months in The Netherlands alone, and the album was also released in Germany and in the United States (on the Sire label). During a concert at Paradiso Van der Linden had met Miles Copeland, a British gig organizer, who invited Trace to tour in Great Britain as an opening act for the English band Curved Air during the beginning of 1975.

At the end of the tour drummer Pierre van der Linden left the band, he was exhausted of all the touring. Rick van der Linden and Jaap van Eik stayed in London to find a new drummer. They published an ad in an English music magazine and finally they chose Ian Mosley, who would later play in Marillion. Rick van der Linden returned to Focus, where he stayed for a few months to leave them once again. With Mosley the band returned to Rick's summer house in Den Dolder, The Netherlands where they rehearsed new material.

They recorded their second album with the help of violinist Darryl Way (ex-Darryl Way's Wolf, Curved Air). Rick had met him during the tour with Curved Air, since Way was their violinist, but Way had also played with Mosley in the band Wolf. The album was recorded once again at Sounpush studios and the recording took them three weeks. To promote the album Philips released a single featuring Birds / Tabu. This album, Birds, also did very well. Pressings were made all over the world


In the Netherlands they played with Osibisa and Curved Air at a festival near Eindhoven, they toured the European continent with Wishbone Ash in July and August, and they also went to the States for a two month live tour, during October and November. After the tour Rick van der Linden was left alone.

The third album, The White Ladies, released in 1976 was recorded with the help of some Ekseption members. It was more a solo project than a group effort. After it was released Trace split up, and Rick van der Linden reformed Ekseption.

In 1976 Rick and Pierre van der Linden played with Jan Akkerman and Kaz Lux (both ex-Brainbox) on their duo album Eli. And again in 1980 on the album Transparental.

At the end of 2005 Rick van der Linden got seriously ill and on January 28 in 2006 he died of after the complications brain stroke in a hospital in Groningen.

(sources: Oor Popencyclopedie, Nationaal Pop Instituut, Album sleeves, Nederpop)

Jaap van Eik, Ian Mosley, Rick van der Linden (under)