These Scots, whose band name comes from the last name of the founding members ( P (Paton) L (Lyall) and T (Tosh), play perfect pop in the Badfinger style. When session guitarist Ian Bairnson joined the band, they gelled. "Magic" was the #5 US hit, released as Pilot toured the UK with Sparks in late 1974. The first single, "Just a Smile", is an even bigger ear worm in my opinion. Maybe I'm a sucker for hand capping.
Alan Parsons produced the album. Bassist David Paton and guitarist Ian Bairnson would join the producer for The Alan Parsons Project. Drummer Stuart Tosh would eventually join 10cc.
"How Long", the blue-eyed soul single written and sung by future Mike and the Mechanics and Squeeze vocalist Paul Carrack, was the big hit for Ace. This is no love song. It's Carrack wondering how long Aces bass player, Terry Comer, had been secretly playing with other bands. You might guess the rest of the album sounds like something Boz Scaggs or Hall and Oates might have released...and you'd be wrong. Most of Five-a-Side is rootsy pub rock.