SMALL FACES – Ultimate Collection

Small Faces-Ultimate

”I want you to know that I love you baby
Want you to know that I care
I’m so happy when you’re round me but I’m
Sad when you’re not there
Sing the song now!”
(Whatcha Gonna Do About It?)

”English rock band from East London, founded in 1965 by Steve Marriott (lead vocals, guitar), Ronnie Lane (bass guitar), Kenny Jones (drums), and Jimmy Winston (keyboards). By 1966 Winston was replaced by keyboardist Ian McLagan.
Initially influenced by American rhythm & blues, the band is remembered as one of the most acclaimed and influential mod groups of the 1960s, with hit songs such as “Itchycoo Park”, “Lazy Sunday”, “All or Nothing”, “Tin Soldier”, and their concept album “Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake”. Eventually they evolved into one of the UK’s most successful psychedelic acts of the late 1960s before disbanding in early 1969 after Marriott’s departure. The three remaining members were joined by guitarist Ron Wood and lead vocalist Rod Stewart, both from the Jeff Beck Group, and the new line-up was renamed to Faces (3). The original Small Faces reunited in 1975 and remained active with further line-up changes until 1978.”

Small Faces24

”Crucially, this is the first compilation to draw on the entire Small Faces back catalogue. It’s all here, from the raw power of their early R’n’B releases, such as ”Watcha Gonna Do About It?” and ”Sha-la-la-la-lee” to their unique brand of late-Sixties Cockney psychedelia, typified by the sing-a-longa hits ”Itchicoo Park” and ”Lazy Sunday”. All fourteen singles are included, along with most of their B-sides, plus a stash of tracks from their albums From the Beginning (1966), Small Faces (1967), the classic Ogdens Nut Gone Flake (1968) and the posthumous round up of hits and misses, The Autumn Stone.

They helped invent what we now think of as the Swinging Sixties, and this double CD tells their story. The first CD, spanning the Decca years, emphasises what great songwriters Marriott and Lane were so early in their career. ”One Night Stand” and ”I Can’t Dance With You” are superior versions of the blue-eyed R’n’B that so many beat groups of the period were producing. The influence of the Small Faces on the pop to come is clear: ”E too D” has Steve Marriott rasping the blues like a young Robert Plant.

The band’s releases on Andrew Loog Oldham’s Immediate label make up the second CD. Here are the classic late-Sixties singles, ”Here Comes the Nice”, ”Tin Soldier”, ”Itchycoo Park” and ”Lazy Sunday” (how ”The Universal” ever made it to seven-inch, though, is a mystery). The epic ”Afterglow (of Your Love)” is, perhaps, Marriott’s strongest vocal performance and ”The Autumn Stone” one of his most tender moments. His tongue is firmly in cheek on the music-hall knees-up ”Happydaystoytown”. Mustn’t grumble, though. ”Green Circles” and ”Up the Wooden Hills To Bedfordshire”, from Small Faces, are classic British psychedelia. ”Get Yourself Together” and ”Talk To You”, the flip to ”Here Comes the Nice”, are sound rockers with terrific hooks. If all you know is ”Itchycoo Park”, bunk off school with this collection. It’s all too beautiful…” [Rob Webb]

Small Faces

There have been many Small Faces collections over the years. I‘ve already posted ”The Decca Anthology” and ”BBC Sessions” but this collection is probably the best Small Faces comp out there as most comprehensive overview of their entire Decca / Immediate years. 50 trax of 60’s mod brilliance. You can hear their echoes in MC5 [”E Too D”] or Led Zep [”You Need Loving”]. All Or Nothing, Dig!!!

small-faces-ultimate-collection-9-cd

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