1. Here Comes The Nice 2. I Can't Make It 3. Itchycoo Park 4. Tin Soldier 5. I Feel Much Better 6. Lazy Sunday 7. Wham Bam Thankyou Man 8. Wide Eyed Girl On The Wall 9. Something I Want To Tell You 10. Things Are Going To Get Better 11. Donkey Rides Penny A Glass 12. Green Circles 13. Tell Me Have You Ever Seen Me 14. Long Agos And Worlds Apart 15. Don't Burst My Bubble 16. I'm Only Dreaming 17. Up The Wooden Hills To Bedfordshire 18. Ogden's Nut Gone Flake
1. Happiness Stan 2. Rollin' Over 3. Hungry Intruder 4. Journey 5. Mad John 6. Happy Days Toy Town 7. Get Yourself Together 8. Universal 9. Red Balloon 10. Eddie's Dreaming 11. Autumn Stone 12. Talk To You 13. All Our Yesterdays 14. Happy Boys Happy 15. My Way Of Giving 16. Rene 17. Just Passing 18. Afterglow (Of Your Love)
Any compilation of the Small Faces is going to have it's work cut out trying to document the best work of the best Mod band. Forget The Who, good band though they were; these boys were the epitome of what Mod stood for, the sharp clothes, the cool, the drugs and most importantly the music.
These themes are constantly apparent throughout their work, for example the overt drug references in The Universal and Here Comes The Nice are hilarious when you think of how they went largely unnoticed in the 60s - when singer Steve Marriott croons "He knows what I want, he's got what I need, he's always there when I need some speed" about his dealer, you can't help but smile. There's what seems like a million brilliant tunes here, most of them Steve Marriott and bassist Ronnie Lane compositions and a few well-chosen covers to boot. Red Balloon and Every Little Bit Hurts are two of the better covers, the latter a soul classic and sung well enough to stop your heart by Marriott, who simply had the best white soul voice of any man before or since. But the covers are footnotes really; when you hear the power of a stomper like Tin Soldier - one of the greatest songs ever written - then you'll know what I mean as it builds to a relentless crescendo with Marriott's voice soaring as he hits the notes with facile ease and Kenney Jones' crashing drums proving that he was every bit as accomplished as his more celebrated contemporary Keith Moon (as a brief aside, isn't it amazing how people equate a rock n' roll lifestyle with talent - Pete Doherty anyone?). Then there's the cock-er-ney music hall pastiche of Happy Days Toy Town and Rene which don't so much give a nod to the band's London roots as run screaming toward then jump on them; Stanley Unwin pops up on these with his inimitable semi-nonsense commentary for an extra surreal feel. You'll think "WTF?" when you hear them, but you 'll also laugh.
You'll be surprised by how many of these you've heard without ever knowing what the songs were actually called; there's the out-and-out rock of Wham Bam Thank You Mam, which sounds hugely familiar even if you haven't heard it before, the folksy tenderness of The Autumn Stone and the Mod anthem Rollin' Over among many others, all of them infused with the soul and nonchalant cool that seemed to come so easily to the Small Faces. In fact, there's only one omission glaring in its absence, the wondrous All Or Nothing, which surely should have been included here at the expense of the Ian MacLagan composition Up The Wooden Hills To Bedfordshire, a song I can only surmise was allowed to be recorded to either stop Ian going in the cream puff or because it sounded a lot better on drugs. Could have been both, I suppose. Regardless, my advice to you is this: buy this, dig it out on a sunny day, get the beers and smoke out, bring your friends round then crank it up enough to make your neighbours stop speaking to you. Sound.
Small Faces were an influential British mod/psychedelic band of the 1960s, led by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane with Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan (who replaced original organist Jimmy Winston). The Small Faces were all genuine East End mods and they ranked second to The Who as Britain’s premier Mod band. They were signed to Decca records initially and enjoyed major success across Europe between 1965 and 1967 with classic singles like “All Or Nothing” and “Sha-La-La-La-Lee” before moving to a new label.
By late 1967, the band had felt constricted financially & creatively by manager Don Arden (father of Sharon Osbourne), and were lured by Rolling Stones’ publicist Andrew Loog Oldham into signing with his new Immediate label. They soon recorded more expansive psychedelic sounding material including hit pop tunes like “Lazy Sunday” which was included with their UK number one classic concept album Ogdens Nut Gone Flake and “Itchycoo Park” which was their only stateside charting single.
The demise of the Small Faces arrived on New Years Eve 1968, when Steve Marriott walked off stage at The Alexandra Palace in London. Marriott felt that despite the success of the group, he was still not being taken seriously as a musician. He went on to achieve major status in the U.S.A with Peter Frampton in Humble Pie. The others continued as the Faces, opting to drop the “Small” after one LP as new recruits Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood towered above their new band mates. Drummer Kenney Jones later joined The Who after the death of their drummer Keith Moon. As years went on, Marriott kept recording various lineups as Humble Pie but became somewhat of a caricature and casualty of rock excess. Tragically, Steve Marriott died in a house fire in 1991 and Ronnie Lane followed him in 1997 after a long battle with Multiple Sclerosis. Keyboardist Ian McLagan has continued to tour and record with his own band as well as with artists like Billy Bragg, The New Barbarians ( a group composed of Ian, Ron Wood, Keith Richards, Stanley Clarke, and Billy Cobham), and The Rolling Stones. According to announcements at the shows on the New Barbarians tour, the proceeds of the live gigs were going to pay Ronnie Lane’s medical expenses associated with Ronnie’s struggle with Multiple Sclerosis.
The Small Faces remain one of British rock’s most important legacy acts, with their membership having links to so many other acts. Amongst the many bands they influenced were The Jam, Ramones, Oasis and X.
The Small Faces - The Essential Collection [Compilation] [2CD] (2005)