“How Long” by 1970s British rock group Ace was the band’s highest charting hit, reaching #3 in the U.S. It had a slow, smoky groove like another Brit band hit, the Climax Blues Band’s “Couldn’t Get It Right.” It’s been kept alive not only by frequent airplay, but by a plethora of covers. From soul songster Bobby Womack to country chanteusse Barbara Mandrell to rock royalty Rod Stewart. The song lends itself to a voice that’s rough like sandpaper, yet smooth as satin. All of the notable covers do it justice, but Ace’s version remains ace.
This song is a bonafide stride through the heart of the 70s, cowbell and all. Released in 1976, it hit #3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. According to band member Derek Holt, the song is “about being on the road in America.” It definitely is redolent of wind-in-the-hair, open road, and blasting the eight-track while cruising in a convertible.