Song Of The Day 1/15/2014: Ace - "Sniffin' About"

British Pub Rock Week: Ace was the one British pub rock band who actually managed an international hit, "How Long." The primary vocalist in Ace was one Paul Carrack, the brilliant singer and keyboardist who was the British music industry's own maintenance contractor. Carrack served in some capacity with Squeeze, Roxy Music, Roger Waters, and a rogue gang of enraged auto shop workers hellbent on revenge called Mike + The Mechanics. That's Mike plus The Mechanics. Not Mike and The Mechanics. We are talking Mike, and also, in addition, aforementioned Mechanics. Please inform your local tattoo artist of this editorial distinction.

"How Long" continues to be covered to this day, and although it's got a bit more compositional flourish than your standard pub rock song, it's still very much in the ethic of pub rock. Chorus-verse-chorus-instrumental-same verse-chorus. Four couplets sung twice, a chorus sung endlessly, we're done, get some grub, eh? The success of "How Long" was so massive, and the relative anonymity of Ace so simple to maintain, that it overshadowed the notion that they had any other music in the canon. So here's "Sniffin' Around," from the Five-a-Side album, which also featured "How Long."

(Paul Carrack found solo success in the U.S., but you should seek out his second, pre-superstar solo album Suburban Voodoo, since it contains songs by Squeeze and Nick Lowe, two artists that speak to the wood-paneled, geeky geek in me. Suburban Voodoo seems to be out of print, but it needs not to be.)

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