With "How Long," Ace became the only pub rock group to score a massive hit, a song that charted not only in the U.K., but crossed over into the mainstream U.S. market. That kind of success was a pipe dream for Brinsley Schwarz, the undisputed leaders of the movement, but that's because their pop moves came too late and were too retro to really connect with a wide audience. Ace, however, didn't necessarily sound like roots rockers -- at least on "How Long." The single faded in to a laid-back yet insistent, repeated bass line, supported by tinkling high-hats, before it gently eased into the soulful, jazzy chorus. Immediately, this is a catchy, slyly seductive song, but when Paul Carrack starts singing the verse, the whole thing becomes slightly magical. Even this early in his career, Carrack sounds older than his years and he brings real weight to the song that seems to be a lament to the end of a long, failed love affair. But that's not what the song is about. It's about a man who realizes, as he rolls on down the open highway, that he's just spent too damn long playing in a band and that it's time for them to call it a day. Now, that's a pub rock song if there ever was one -- most of the songs were about playing in a band or listening to a band play on a Friday night -- but the great thing is, it never sounds like it. The laid-back vibe, the soulful singing, the great melody all add up to a single that sounds like a soft rock classic of the '70s. And it surely is that. But it is also one of the great pub rock singles, a song that arrived at the end of the pub rock era and certainly summed up what all the bands were feeling, even if they didn't want to admit it to themselves.