Music Monday – The Small Faces

By / April 7, 2014 / News

Small-faces-smSmall faces is well-known in the UK for being a band with a sound well before it’s time, all while keeping up with the sounds of the time. Their music even rivaled The Who and The Rolling Stones. In the States, they remained relatively obscure. Which seems odd, but it may have had something to do with the first producer these lads had. The key element to their success, is the way they played, and how the sound was brought about by the way they never told each other how to play. Basically avoiding the whole ‘It should sound like this!’ argument.  The lyrics and music were written, and as they played, it just came together as a cohesive melody from the Four young musicians as a raw talent.

The innovative band formed in 1965, and put out its first album called “Small Faces” in 1966, it was well received by music critics.. They continued to produce a few more albums up to 1969. Until Steve Marriott walked offstage during a New Year’s Eve show in 69..

From the ashes of the Small Faces rose The Faces. Surviving members Lane, Jones and McLagan were joined by singer Rod Stewart and guitarist Ron Wood, who were similarly unemployed after leaving the Jeff Beck Group. The group had a strong rowdy Five years of debauchery and tours. In the end The Faces didn’t so much disband as they fell apart at the seams as various members left to pursue other musical options. Ronnie Lane quit in the spring of 1973 (he was replaced by Tetsu Yamauchi). Ronnie formed Slim Chance as a vehicle for his songs and vocals. Rod Stewart had been alternating Faces and solo albums but ultimately he paid greater attention to his solo career, which was generating more sales and acclaim. Ron Wood joined the Rolling Stones after being drafted as an interim member in the wake of Mick Taylor’s departure. Kenney Jones joined the Who in 1979 as the late Keith Moon’s replacement.   The Faces played their last show in November 1975 and the split was soon made official. However, that was not quite the end of the story.

Remarkably Steve Marriott, having walked out in 1969, re-formed Small Faces in 1976 and was joined by two other original members. Keyboardist Ian McLagan and drummer Kenney Jones. (Bassist Rick Wills subbed for Ronnie Lane.) The reunited Small Faces released two more albums, Playmates and 78 in the Shade, before disbanding for good in 1978. There’s quite a bit of information on the bands life cycle though the years. To the point that the remaining members wrote a massive limited book on. “Faces, 1969-75“. It’s quite pricy, so if you can spare the cash…

The most notable and recent update to the band’s music, is a renewed interest from a younger generation of music listeners in 2012. This interest stirred from thousands who listened to Small Faces for the first time in the GTA V introductory trailer.  The track is on Los Santos Rock Radio in GTA V.

Rockstar Games used the title track from their 1968 Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake album. The track was fitting, and perceived as a new band. The track had a gritty old sound with somewhat of a new cali (California) Music sound to it. Even after this trailer, and the release of the game. A new generation of listeners still think this music is from a new band. That alone pays testament to the music that quietly remained in the background over the years as the band members went their different ways and time moved on, or sadly members passed away. Kenny Jones is still one of the most active remaining members, and Ian McLagan is still at it too. Rod Stewart also recently released a new album of music  “Tonight’s The Night: Live 1976-1998”

Years later Kenny Jones One of the two remaining original members was awarded the Ivor Novello Outstanding Contribution to British Music “Lifetime Achievement” award in 1996. I located a post on the award being sold in an auction, on Jul, 3rd 2013 and it’s not clear why. considering in 2007 during a BBC interview for the award he stated this : “To honor the Small Faces after all these years is a terrific achievement. I only wish that Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane and the late Don Arden were here to enjoy this moment with me”.. Clearly a mystery we’ve yet to find or hear an answer about. Five years later, in 2012 the Band Mates received the honor of induction into the Music Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio USA. Quiet a far-reaching influence to have made it to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame far beyond their home land in the UK.

For the Small Faces, its been a long road with many changes for all of the remaining band members, with a well deserved induction. Within that same window of time, Kenny set forth to bring out a master collection of their music. Though the years, copies of copies of copies of the music, You get the idea. Started to provide a downward spiral in audio quality. With all of their hard work, the music has been restored and re-mastered. With a clean rich sound that brings new life to their fantastic music journey. Check out some alternative tracks from the Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake, check out an interview with Kenny Jones with the re-master series. . and maybe you’ll understand how some innovative music can last for decades, and become a fresh sound for a new generation. There’s much to learn about from this band, so for now take in some of the other tracks, and the induction video from 2012 into the Music Hall of Fame.


Small Faces
On Friday, April 13, 2012, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan of the Small Faces/Faces and Ronnie Wood of the Faces — all 2012 Hall of Fame inductees — appeared at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Library and Archives to reminisce about life as the Faces and sign copies of the Genesis Publications’ book Faces: 1969-75.

Studio Albums

Small Faces (1966)
From The Beginning (1967)
Small Faces (1967)
Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake (1968)
The Autumn Stone(1969)
Playmates (1977)
78 in the Shade (1978)

Band BIO

Kenney Jones (drums; born September 16, 1948), Ronnie Lane (bass, vocals; born April 1, 1946, died June 4, 1997), Ian McLagan (keyboards; born May 12, 1945), Steve Marriott (vocals, guitar; born January 30, 1947, died April 20, 1991), Rod Stewart (vocals; born January 10, 1945), Ron Wood (guitar, vocals; born June 1,1947) The Small Faces’ career is unique in rock and roll, occurring in two stages that saw a partial realignment in personnel and pronounced shift in style. They began as the Small Faces, a band of mod rockers who embraced soul and psychedelia in the latter half of the Sixties. Then they became the Faces, a rollicking band of pub-rockers who barnstormed their way through the first half of the Seventies. The change occurred in 1969, when singer/guitarist Steve Marriott (who’d left to form Humble Pie) was replaced by two new members, vocalist Rod Stewart and guitarist Ron Wood. Now a quintet, the group shortened its name to the Faces. – Read the rest at:

Small Faces “Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake”

Music available from Google Play
Originally Released May 24, 1968

There was no shortage of good psychedelic albums emerging from England in 1967-1968, but Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake is special even within their ranks. The Small Faces had already shown a surprising adaptability to psychedelia with the single “Itchycoo Park” and much of their other 1967 output, but Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake pretty much ripped the envelope. British bands had an unusual approach to psychedelia from the get-go, often preferring to assume different musical “personae” on their albums, either feigning actual “roles” in the context of a variety show (as on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album), or simply as storytellers in the manner of the Pretty Things on S.F. Sorrow, or actor/performers as on the Who’s Tommy. The Small Faces tried a little bit of all of these approaches on Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake, but they never softened their sound. Side one’s material, in particular, would not have been out of place on any other Small Faces release — “Afterglow (Of Your Love)” and “Rene” both have a pounding beat from Kenney Jones, and Ian McLagan’s surging organ drives the former while his economical piano accompaniment embellishes the latter; and Steve Marriott’s crunching guitar highlights “Song of a Baker.” Marriott’s singing has him assuming two distinct “roles,” neither unfamiliar — the Cockney upstart on “Rene” and “Lazy Sunday,” and the diminutive soul shouter on “Afterglow (Of Your Love)” and “Song of a Baker.” Some of side two’s production is more elaborate, with overdubbed harps and light orchestration here and there, and an array of more ambitious songs, all linked by a narration by comic dialect expert Stanley Unwin, about a character called “Happiness Stan.” The core of the sound, however, is found in the pounding “Rollin’ Over,” which became a highlight of the group’s stage act during its final days — the song seems lean and mean with a mix in which Ronnie Lane’s bass is louder than the overdubbed horns. Even “Mad John,” which derives from folk influences, has a refreshingly muscular sound on its acoustic instruments. Overall, this was the ballsiest-sounding piece of full-length psychedelia to come out of England, and it rode the number one spot on the U.K. charts for six weeks in 1968, though not without some controversy surrounding advertisements by Immediate Records that parodied The Lord’s Prayer. Still, Ogden’s was the group’s crowning achievement — it had even been Marriott’s hope to do a stage presentation of Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake, though a television special might’ve been more in order. [Universal’s triple-disc deluxe edition of Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake contains both the mono and stereo mixes of the album on separate CDs, then adds a bonus disc of 14 previously unreleased mixes and alternate takes. Many of these are stereo mixes intended for the U.S. market, some are early session mixes, and a few are instrumental backing tracks; all are curiosities that are worthwhile for dedicated fans.]Bruce Eder, Rovi – As written in Google Play store for Small Faces

Check out Small Faces, The Faces and associated members
Sound Cloud:
Twitter: @The_Small_Faces – No Tweets! 🙁
Ian McLagan:
Ronnie Wood:
Rod Stewart:
**Information collected from various sources, including videos. All respective rights belong to the bands/artists/and publisher. Zero content is owned or managed by

**Wikipedia provides a detailed breakdown of the bands member changes and albums and history. [Small Faces]

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Chicago Enigma

Rockstar Games Fan since GTA2 .. Following, playing and participating more actively in the community since 2008/09.

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