Small Faces (1967 Album)
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Small Faces 1967 Album

Small Faces
SmallFaces1967.jpg
Studio album by
Released23 June 1967
RecordedOctober 1966 - April 1967
StudioIBC and Olympic, London
Genre
Length30:24
LabelImmediate
Producer
Small Faces chronology
From the Beginning
(1967)
Small Faces
(1967)
There Are But Four Small Faces
(1968)

Small Faces is the eponymous second studio album by the Small Faces, released through Immediate Records on 23 June 1967. Their first on Immediate, recording of it commenced during their tenure with Decca Records, whom they left in January 1967 after feuds with manager Don Arden. As a result of the switch, Decca and Arden released a compilation album, From the Beginning in early June 1967 in order to sabotage the chart success of Small Faces, something that it managed to do to some extent; From the Beginning reached number 17 in the UK charts. The album shares its name with their 1966 Decca debut album, which has led to some confusion regarding the titles. As a result of this, it gained the name The Debut Immediate Album by several fans.[1]

The album is considered to be the artistic breakthrough for the group's songwriting and compositions, as well as their transition from a mod-influenced band to a psychedelic studio group, which they became seen as during their final months. It was recorded over a period of nine months, during the band's tenure on both Decca and Immediate Records, at two separate studios.[2] It is their first LP to contain solely original compositions. Thirteen of the album's fourteen tracks were either written or co-written by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane, in contrast to the group's 1966 debut, in which only seven of the twelve tracks are credited to the band, with the remaining tracks being written by artists such as Kenny Lynch and Ian Samwell, or being R&B covers that were parts of the group's early repertoire.[3]

The album incorporates a blend of several different genres of music, ranging from baroque pop on tracks such as "Show Me the Way", "Feeling Lonely" and "All Our Yesterdays" to power pop and psychedelia on tracks such as "My Way of Giving" "Get Yourself Together" and "Green Circles"The album also marks the debut for Ian McLagan as a songwriter, who contributed the song "Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire"; it is the first of two compositions for the group credited entirely to him, the second being "Long Agos and Worlds Apart" from Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake. It is also the first studio album by the group where McLagan plays on all tracks, whereas on their debut album both he and Jimmy Winston are credited as keyboardists.[4][a]

The album managed to reach number 12 on the UK charts, and became their only studio album to chart outside the top-10 as both their debut album and Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake reached the top-5. Despite not containing a hit single, it was released in between their smash hits "Here Come the Nice" and "Itchycoo Park" and was highly regarded by other musicians, exerting a strong influence on a number of bands both at home and abroad.[5] The album received mostly positive reviews from critics and fans alike, and has been featured on several best of lists, including Ultimate Classic Rock's list of Top 100 '60s Rock Albums, along with several lists by Mojo magazine.[6] Many fans considers Small Faces to be the group's best album.[7]

Background

Boundary Park incident (1966)

In 1966, the Small Faces managed to chart a top-5 album and four consecutive top-10 singles on the UK Singles Chart, including their number one hit "All or Nothing" which peaked in September 1966.[5][8] The band had now developed a notable fanbase in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe. In a notable incident, fans of the band had, after a performance at the Boundary Park stadium, attempted breaking into the band's vehicle, even climbing on top of it.[9] Of the occurrence, Ian McLagan stated the following:

"The pitch was already soggy and fans started to surround the car in their hundreds. Kids were climbing on the roof. "The ground was pretty soft and the car just wouldn't move. It was right in the middle of the pitch and it just started to go down and down and down. The four of us and the driver were getting the real horrors. The kids' faces were getting mashed up against the windows and I remember seeing one little kid being pushed down and her head disappearing out of sight. We were shouting "Look out for that kid" and then the roof of the car started to bow inward under the sheer weight of the kids on top. We were holding the roof up which was really starting to cave in and there wasn't much air in the car 'cos we couldn't open the windows which really set a panic in."

Leaving Decca and signing to Immediate (1966-1967)

Demand for a new album had increased towards the end of the year, and by late 1966, the Small Faces had slowly started to abandon their rhythm and blues roots, in favor for more psychedelic direction. The Beatles manager Brian Epstein held a party at their residence on 22 Westmoreland Terrace in Pimlico, London, and introduced them to LSD for the first time after serving them spiked orange pieces served on the plate.[10] Most tracks on the album were conceived and written by December 1966 and the earlier parts of 1967 by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane. Ian McLagan wrote his first solo-song for the band, titled "Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire"; This is the sole composition on the album that was not written or co-written by the Marriott/Lane partnership.

During the later parts of 1966, their affiliation with Don Arden and Decca Records had strained, due to several aspects, including the fact that the band received barely any royalties from their records, and that "My Mind's Eye" had been released without consent by the band. After a messy confrontation with Arden who tried to face down the boys' parents by claiming that the whole band were using drugs, they cut their ties with Arden and Decca.[11] They were almost straight away offered a deal with the newly established Immediate label, formed by ex-Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, which they stayed on until their breakup in 1969.[12]

Recording

The majority of Small Faces was recorded at Olympic Studios, Barnes in London with engineer Glyn Johns.

Tracks recorded specifically for a follow up album to their debut commenced by August 1966 when tracks such as "My Mind's Eye", "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, "My Way of Giving", "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?" and "That Man" were taped at IBC Studios, while the band were still signed to Decca Records.[10] Between 5-7 December of that year, the group cut a song entitled "Picaninny", a three-minute instrumental piece featuring Steve Marriott on harmonica. This track is thought to be a backing track, even though it had received mixes in both mono and stereo. Ultimately it was not included on the album, and got its official release on the compilation cassette Small Faces - Big Music: A Compleat Collection in 1984.[13]

In early December, work on "Get Yourself Together" had started. By 13 December 1966 the group cut the backing track of the song "Green Circles" at IBC, further takes of the songs were recorded at Olympic Studios on 10 January 1967, with vocal takes attempted by both Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane during that session. The following day, the group recorded "All Our Yesterdays", "Just Passing" and 11 takes of a track dubbed "Doolally", which was eventually renamed to "Things Are Going to Get Better" after recording take 14, which became the master track. At this point, the master take of "Get Yourself Together" had been completed.[14] By 16 January, "Talk to You" had been recorded.

By February, the group recorded "Become Like You", "Something I Want to Tell You" and "Feeling Lonely". On 28 February, "Eddie's Dreaming" had been recorded. The same day, "Get Yourself Together" and "Green Circles" had been mixed both in stereo and mono, with the definitive version featuring Ronnie Lane on lead vocals.[15] In March, "My Way of Giving" had been rehauled, and "Up The Wooden Hills To Bedfordshire" had been recorded. The remaining tracks were recorded in April, and mixing had been finalized by May.

Release and reception

Release

The album was released in both monaural and stereophonic versions on 23 June 1967 (IMLP 008[16] and IMSP 008,[17] mono and stereo versions respectively) in the United Kingdom, and later, it was released in mainland Europe and Oceania. Even though it was a success, it failed to breach the top 10, peaking at number 12 on the UK Album Chart.[18] This is most likely due to the lack of a hit single accompanying the album.[b] Ultimately, it became the original lineup's only studio effort to fail charting within the top 5 on the UK albums chart, as both their debut and Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake peaked at number 3 and 1 respectively.[19][20]

The tracks recorded in the sessions from August 1966 ended up in assorted ways; "My Mind's Eye" was issued as a single in November 1966, peaking at number 4.[21] The remainder of the tracks ended up on From the Beginning, an album compiled of singles and unreleased material released by Decca on 2 June 1967.[22] Of these tracks, only "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?" and "My Way of Giving" were issued (in their re-recorded versions) on Small Faces. "Talk to You" was released as the B-Side of "Here Come the Nice" on 2 June, it managed to reach number 12 on UK Singles chart.

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic5/5 stars[7]
Classic Rock8/10[23]
Mojo4/5 stars[24]
MusicHound3/5 stars[25]
Rolling Stone Album Guide (1992)3.5/5 stars[25]
Martin C. Strong7/10
Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[25]

The vinyl was well received and reviewed upon its release. In a retrospective review, AllMusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave it 5 out 5 stars, praising the album for its sophisticated songs, and its pop melodies, stating: "there may be some harpsichords but no outright psychedelia -- but it is bright, colorful, and concentrated, its very brevity playing like snappy pop art. No song runs over three minutes and many clock in under two, a direct contrast to the somewhat extended grooves of their 1966 LP, and an aesthetic that lends this an exceptionally modern feel: all the tunes are sharply cut and precisely tailored, with no wasted moments."

The Classic Rock magazine gave it 8/10 stars, while Mojo granted it 4 stars.

Reissues

LP reissues became the standard format for many years, until it finally became available on compact disc in Japan in 1989. Further CD remasters would reach mainland Europe, UK and the United States, where the album had been unavailable since 1967. Tracks from the album has since been included within compilations, most notably in The Darlings of Wapping Wharf Launderette, a 2-CD compilation of their work on Immediate Records, in which all tracks from it were included.[26] Remasters of the album with a blue tint were sold exclusively at various Sainsbury's locations during 2018.[27]

However, the most prevalent and well-known of these reissues is the 2012 Deluxe Edition, which features several previously unreleased tracks, along with various A-sides and B-sides of the group's 1967 singles.[28] On this remaster is the track "Don't Burst My Bubble", recorded in February 1968. Paul Weller cited it as an inspiration for the title track of the Jam's 1982 studio album The Gift.[29]

Musical content

The album is a huge departure from the sound that made up their previous two albums, their eponymous debut and the compilation From the Beginning. Both albums featured many rhythm and blues covers, alongside originals in order to appeal to the mod audience the group amassed.[c] For Small Faces, they wrote more material that could be classified as pop or psychedelia, which by 1967-1969 had reached its peak popularity.[31] Both "All Our Yesterdays" and "Eddie's Dreaming" incorporate brass instruments as focal points, while many other tracks feature the harpsichord played by Ian McLagan. The instrument is most prevalent on "Feeling Lonely" and "Show Me the Way". The album also features influences from folk rock on "Become Like You" and "Get Yourself Together", the latter of which features Marriott on twelve-string acoustic guitar.

It was by achieving this synthesis that Marriott and the band believed they had now met the criteria expected of them. Ronnie Lane's predilection for a softer, pastoral and more psychedelic sound was heavily evident on songs such as "Show Me The Way" and "All Our Yesterdays". It was the first release to feature Lane as a prevalent songwriter.[32]

During the Decca period most of the self-penned stuff was 99% Steve. It wasn't until Immediate that Ronnie became more involved. The first Immediate album is made up of 50% Steve's songs and 50% of Ronnie's. They didn't collaborate as much as people thought. In fact, when they did, they often ended up arguing and fighting.'

The vocal duty on the album is more varied than on their debut album, where Marriott sang ten of the twelve tracks.[d] On the record, Lane assumes lead vocals on four songs, with Marriott singing lead on six. McLagan sings his sole composition "Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire". Marriott and Lane share lead vocals on "Green Circles" and "Become Like You" while the remaining track "Happy Boys Happy" is an instrumental.

In popular culture

The album is a favourite of Paul Weller, who named the album in his 'Top Ten of All-Time' in 1992.[29]The Jam had covered "Get Yourself Together" between 1981-1982.

Donovan (a friend of the Small Faces) recorded "Hurdy Gurdy Man" in 1968, a song that both musically and thematically references "Green Circles."

The track "My Way of Giving" was covered by Rod Stewart for his 1970 album Gasoline Alley backed by, as the personnel credits on the LP reveal, The Faces. The Faces featured former Small Faces Lane, Jones and McLagan, alongside Stewart and Ronnie Wood. Lane, Jones and McLagan are effectively covering their own song, albeit it in a quite different uptempo arrangement.

British singer Chris Farlowe released a cover of "My Way of Giving" as a single in early 1967. His version stayed on the UK Singles Chart for a single week, peaking at number 48.[33]

Track listing

All tracks written by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane unless noted.

Side One
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?" Steve Marriott2:16
2."Something I Want to Tell You" Ronnie Lane2:10
3."Feeling Lonely" Marriott1:35
4."Happy Boys Happy" Instrumental1:36
5."Things Are Going to Get Better" Marriott2:39
6."My Way of Giving" Marriott1:59
7."Green Circles"
  • Marriott
  • Lane
  • Michael O' Sullivan
Lane With Marriott2:46
Total length:15:01
Side Two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
8."Become Like You" Marriott With Lane1:58
9."Get Yourself Together" Marriott2:16
10."All Our Yesterdays" Lane1:53
11."Talk to You" Marriott2:09
12."Show Me the Way" Lane2:08
13."Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire"Ian McLaganMcLagan2:05
14."Eddie's Dreaming"
  • Marriott
  • Lane
  • McLagan
Lane2:54
Total length:15:23

2012 Deluxe edition

The album was completely remastered in 2012 and reissued as compact discs with previously unreleased material, along with various A-sides and B-sides from 1967.

2012 Deluxe Edition CD disc 1 (mono)
No.TitleWriter(s)Original releaseLength
1."(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?" original album2:16
2."Something I Want to Tell You" original album2:10
3."Feeling Lonely" original album1:35
4."Happy Boys Happy" original album1:36
5."Things Are Going to Get Better" original album2:39
6."My Way of Giving" original album1:59
7."Green Circles"
  • Marriott
  • Lane
  • O'Sullivan
original album2:46
8."Become Like You" original album1:58
9."Get Yourself Together" original album2:16
10."All Our Yesterdays" original album1:53
11."Talk to You" original album2:09
12."Show Me the Way" original album2:08
13."Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire"McLaganoriginal album2:05
14."Eddie's Dreaming"
  • Marriott
  • Lane
  • McLagan
original album2:54
15."Here Come the Nice" Single A-side, 19673:06
16."Itchycoo Park" Single A-side, 19672:45
17."I'm Only Dreaming"
  • Marriott
  • Lane
  • McLagan
B-side of 'Itchycoo Park', 19672:21
18."Tin Soldier" Single A-side, 19673:16
19."I Feel Much Better"
  • Marriott
  • Lane
  • McLagan
B-side of 'Tin Soldier', 19673:55
20."(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?" (Alternate mix) previously unreleased2:03
21."Eddie's Dreaming" (Alternate mix)
  • Marriott
  • Lane
  • McLagan
previously unreleased2:41
22."Green Circles" (Take 1: Alternate mix 3)
  • Marriott
  • Lane
  • O'Sullivan
previously unreleased2:35
Total length:53:06
2012 Deluxe Edition CD disc 2 (stereo)
No.TitleWriter(s)Original releaseLength
1."(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?" original album2:16
2."Something I Want to Tell You" original album2:10
3."Feeling Lonely" original album1:35
4."Happy Boys Happy" original album1:36
5."Things Are Going to Get Better" original album2:39
6."My Way of Giving" original album1:59
7."Green Circles"
  • Marriott
  • Lane
  • O'Sullivan
original album2:46
8."Become Like You" original album1:58
9."Get Yourself Together" original album2:16
10."All Our Yesterdays" original album1:53
11."Talk to You" original album2:09
12."Show Me the Way" original album2:08
13."Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire"McLaganoriginal album2:05
14."Eddie's Dreaming"
  • Marriott
  • Lane
  • McLagan
original album2:54
15."Just Passing" B-side of 'I Can't Make It', 19671:13
16."Itchycoo Park" Single A-side, 19672:51
17."Here Come the Nice" Single A-side, 19673:01
18."Don't Burst My Bubble"
  • Marriott
  • Lane
  • McLagan
previously unreleased2:23
19."Things Are Going to Get Better" (Alternate version) previously unreleased2:32
20."I Can't Make It" Single A-side, 19673:06
21."Green Circles" (Alternate take 2)
  • Marriott
  • Lane
  • O'Sullivan
previously unreleased2:42
22."Tin Soldier" Single A-side, 19673:06
23."(If You Think You're) Groovy" (Backing track) previously unreleased3:09
Total length:54:27

Personnel

Small Faces

  • Steve Marriott - lead, harmony, and backing vocals, guitars, piano on "Things Are Going to Get Better" and "Show Me the Way"
  • Ronnie Lane - lead, harmony, and backing vocals, bass guitar
  • Kenney Jones - drums, percussion
  • Ian McLagan - lead, harmony, and backing vocals, keyboards, bass guitar on "Show Me the Way", guitar and bass guitar on "Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire"

Additional personnel

Chart positions

Chart Year Peak
position
UK Albums Chart 1967 12[18]
Australian (Kent Music Report)[34] 1970 25

See also

References and note

Notes

  1. ^ About half of their debut album was recorded with Winston in June-September 1965, with the remaining tracks being recorded after McLagan joined the band in November 1965.
  2. ^ In the 1960s it was common procedure to include a recent hit single on studio albums, like Small Faces did with "Sha-La-La-La-Lee" on their debut album, and "Lazy Sunday" on Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake; both albums managed to chart within the top 5 on the UK Albums chart.
  3. ^ The mod scene was largely attracted to rhythm and blues and soul, with the Who and Small Faces being the largest bands directed towards the subculture in 1965 and 1966.[30]
  4. ^ With the exception of "Shake" which is sung by Lane, and "Own Up Time" which is an instrumental.

References

  1. ^ "Small Faces". www.thesmallfaces.com. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ "Small Faces". www.thesmallfaces.com. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "Small Faces Story Part 2- Room for Ravers". www.makingtime.co.uk. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ Hewitt, Paolo; Hellier, John (2004). Steve Marriott: All Too Beautiful... Helter Skelter. p. 111. ISBN 1-900924-44-7.
  5. ^ a b Ltd, Not Panicking. "h2g2 - The Small Faces - the Band - Edited Entry". h2g2.com. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ March 19, Ultimate Classic Rock StaffPublished:; 2015. "Top 100 '60s Rock Albums". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2020.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Review: Small Faces (Immediate) - The Small Faces". Allmusic. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "all or nothing | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ "Small Faces Story Part 11 - Room for Ravers". www.makingtime.co.uk. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Small Faces Story Part 10 - Room for Ravers". www.makingtime.co.uk. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ Muise (2002). Gallagher, Marriott, Derringer & Trower: their lives and music. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-634-02956-1.
  12. ^ "Small Faces | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ "Small Faces - Big Music: A Compleat Collection". Discogs. Retrieved 2019.
  14. ^ Caiger, Rob; Flood, Tosh. "Recording log". www.45worlds.com. Retrieved 2019.
  15. ^ Caiger, Rob; Flood, Tosh. "Track-By-Track". www.45worlds.com. Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ "Small Faces - Small Faces - mono version". Discogs. Retrieved 2019.
  17. ^ "Small Faces - Small Faces - stereo version". Discogs. Retrieved 2019.
  18. ^ a b Hewitt, Paulo; Hellier, John. Steve Marriott - All Too Beautiful... Helter Skelter. p. 149. ISBN 1-900924-44-7.
  19. ^ "small faces | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2019.
  20. ^ "ogden's nut gone flake | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2019.
  21. ^ "my mind's eye | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2019.
  22. ^ Hewitt, Paolo (2004). Steve Marriott: All Too Beautiful... Helter Skelter Publishing. p. 153. ISBN 1-900924-44-7.
  23. ^ Martin, Gavin (October 2014). Small Faces: Reissues. Classic Rock. p. 101.
  24. ^ Wilson, Lois (October 2014). Small Faces There Are But Four Small Faces. Mojo. p. 105.
  25. ^ a b c "Small Faces - Album Reviews 11". Acclaimedpeople. Retrieved 2019.
  26. ^ Erlewine, Thomas. "The Darlings of Wapping Wharf Launderette - Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019.
  27. ^ "Sainsbury's offers exclusive Small Faces coloured vinyl". Modculture. 1 June 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  28. ^ "Small Faces First Immediate Album Deluxe Edition- Room for Ravers". www.makingtime.co.uk. Retrieved 2019.
  29. ^ a b Hellier, John (26 May 1999). "The darlings of wapping wharf launderette - the small faces fanzine - paul weller interview". www.wappingwharf.com. Retrieved 2019.
  30. ^ Unterberger, R., "Mod", in V. Bogdanov, C. Woodstra and S. T. Erlewine, All Music Guide to Rock: the Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul, 3rd. ed. (Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books, 2002), ISBN 0-87930-653-X, pp. 1321-22.
  31. ^ V. Bogdanov, C. Woodstra and S. T. Erlewine, All Music Guide to Rock: the Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop and Soul (Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books, 3rd edn., 2002), ISBN 0-87930-653-X, pp. 1322-23.
  32. ^ Hewitt, Paolo; Hellier, John (2004). Steve Marriott: All Too Beautiful... Helter Skelter Publishing. p. 151. ISBN 1-900924-44-7.
  33. ^ "my way of giving in | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2019.
  34. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 278. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.

Further reading

External links


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