The Small Faces:
the greatest unknown band in the world
Being a child of the 60’s, Itchycoo Park was one of my favorite songs. But that was the only song of the Small Faces that got played on the radio. One would think they were a one hit wonder, but that’s not true. I’d rank them just behind the greatest groups of the British Invasion (Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Zeppelin, and The Who), although the Small Faces never invaded America.
The Small Faces only lasted about 4 years, but left a respectable body of work. Their lead singer/guitarist Steve Marriott would go on to found Humble Pie with Peter Frampton in 1969. The Small Faces morphed into Faces with Rod Stewart taking over lead vocals and Ron Wood playing lead guitar. No one seems to remember Steve Marriott these days, but I think he was one of the greatest singers and guitarists in Rock & Roll.
Kenney Jones went on to play drums for The Who after Faces disbanded. Ian McLagan, the keyboardist/pianist, has played for a lot of bands. Some of his recent work with James McMurtry is among my favorite.
Their bassist Ronnie Lane died at 51 from MS. Steve Marriott died in a house fire at 44. But both left a lot of beauty behind.
Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake is their attempt at matching Sgt. Pepper. The extras on this CD include most of their early hits. Reserve it here.
Small Faces: All or Nothing is a great documentary on them. Unlike a lot of bands of this era, there is a lot of video footage of them. And most of it is of high quality. Their story is nice too. The short interview with Ronnie Lane, that is included in the extras, makes me smile and cry at the same time. “It’s all too beautiful!” Reserve it here.