Small Faces (Immediate)
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Small Faces Immediate

Small Faces is the eponymous second studio album by the Small Faces, released in 1967. The album was their first for Immediate Records after leaving Decca. It peaked at number 12 in the UK Album Chart.[1] In America, the album was issued with an alternative track order as There Are But Four Small Faces. The band's debut album, released on Decca in 1966, is also entitled Small Faces.

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 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.

Despite not breaching the top ten in the UK, it still became a success and was highly regarded by other musicians and would exert a strong influence on a number of bands both at home and abroad.[4] It has been considered by many to be the group's best album.[5]

Background

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.[6] 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.[7] 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.

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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12]

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.[13] 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 February 28, "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.[14] In March, "My Way of Giving" had been rehauled, and "Up The Wooden Hills To Bedfordshire" had been recorded. The remaining track 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 June 23, 1967 (IMLP 008[15] and IMSP 008[16], 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.[1] This is most likely due to the lack of a hit single accompanying the album.[a] Ultimately, it became the group'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.[17][18]

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 of 1966, peaking at number 4.[19] The remainder of the tracks ended up on From the Beginning, an album compiled of singles and unreleased material released by Decca on the 2nd of June 1967. Of these tracks, only "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me?" and "My Way Of Giving" were issued 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[5]
Classic Rock8/10[20]
Mojo4/5 stars[21]
MusicHound3/5 stars[22]
Rolling Stone Album Guide (1992)3.5/5 stars[23]
Martin C. Strong7/10
Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[24]

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.

Reisusses

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.[25] Remasters of the album with a blue tint were sold exclusively at various Sainsbury's locations during 2018.[26]

However, the most prevailent 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.[27] 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.[28]

In popular culture

The album is a favourite of Small Faces obsessive Paul Weller, who named the album in his 'Top Ten of All-Time' in 1992.[28]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 artist Rod Stewart for his 1970 album Gasoline Alley. Rod was at the time in the lineup of The Faces that featured former members of the Small Faces.

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.[29]

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.

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[30] 1967 12

See also

References and note

Notes
  1. ^ In the 1960's 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.
References
  1. ^ a b Hewitt, Paulo; Hellier, John. Steve Marriott - All Too Beautiful... Helter Skelter. p. 149. ISBN 1-900924-44-7.
  2. ^ "Small Faces - The general facts". Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "Small Faces Story Part 2". Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ ""The Small Faces - the Band". BBC Online". Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Review: Small Faces (Immediate) - The Small Faces". Allmusic. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ "Small Faces Chart History". Retrieved 2019.
  7. ^ "Small Faces Story Part 11". Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ "Small Faces Story Part 10". Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ Muise (2002). Gallagher, Marriott, Derringer & Trower: their lives and music. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 91. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ "The Small Faces Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ "Small Faces Story Part 10".
  12. ^ "Small Faces - Picanniny". Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ "Small Faces - Get Yourself together". Retrieved 2019.
  14. ^ "Small Faces - (Track information)". Retrieved 2019.
  15. ^ "Small Faces - Mono Version catalogue number". Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ "Small Faces - stero version catalogue number". Retrieved 2019.
  17. ^ "Small Faces - Small Faces - Chart position". Official Charts. Retrieved 2019.
  18. ^ "Small Faces - Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake - Chart Position". Official Charts. Retrieved 2019.
  19. ^ "Small Faces - My Mind's Eye - Chart Position, UK Singles chart". Retrieved 2019.
  20. ^ Martin, Gavin (October 2014). "Small Faces: Reissues". Classic Rock. p. 101. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  21. ^ Wilson, Lois (October 2014). "Small Faces There Are But Four Small Faces". Mojo. p. 105. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  22. ^ "Small Faces - Album Reviews 11". Acclaimedpeople. Retrieved 2019.
  23. ^ "Small Faces - Album Reviews 11". Acclaimedpeople. Retrieved 2019.
  24. ^ "Small Faces - Album Reviews 11". Acclaimedpeople. Retrieved 2019.
  25. ^ Erlewine, Thomas. "The Darlings of Wapping Wharf Launderette - Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019.
  26. ^ "Sainsbury's offers exclusive Small Faces coloured vinyl". Modculture. 1 June 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  27. ^ "Small Faces First Immediate Album Deluxe Edition- Room for Ravers". www.makingtime.co.uk. Retrieved 2019.
  28. ^ a b "Paul Weller Interview". Retrieved 2019.
  29. ^ "My Way of Giving -- chart position". UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2019.
  30. ^ Hewitt, Paulo. Steve Marriott - All Too Beautiful... Helter Skelter. p. 149. ISBN 1-900924-44-7.

Further reading

External links


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