Friday, August 21, 2009

Small Faces

8-21-09 Small Faces – “Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake”

Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan and Kenny Jones.

My entire Small Faces collection is this one CD, and an LP variant of it. I definitely remember seeing this LP, with it’s distinctive round cover 40+ years ago. What a nightmare that must’ve been for the clerks of hippie record stores trying to file this LP without damaging it! And I just know that – once opened – the British ones would actually tear!

This is also one of those albums that came in every format of the day: Cassette, 8-track, 4-track, reel-to-reel; mono and stereo LP. Add to that the ‘modern’ formats of LP re-issue, CD, CD in a tin can, and kami sleeve CD from Japan (pictured).

Alas, I used to have a lovely British LP of this, but I sold it in the 80’s for some truly memorable cash. In the 90’s, I got a square cover Canadian re-issue LP of it, and that has contented me along with a British CD (on Castle) that came in a metal tin, with beer mats (i.e. coasters).

The Small Faces are probably best remembered for their eternal AM radio hit “Itchycoo Park”, which isn’t on this album – y’know, “It’s all too beautiful…it’s all too beautiful…” I consider Rod Stewart & The Faces to be a virtually different group (and I like them too). While this LP was being made, Rodney was a member of The Jeff Beck Group.

Never particularly collected The Small Faces, just always liked “Ogdens”. I do a lot of British 60’s, mind you. The single from “Ogdens” was “Lazy Sunday” b/w “Rollin’ Over” (Immediate IM-064), both tracks found on “Ogdens”. When the BBC started doing their “Sounds of the 60’s” shows in the 90’s, it was great to finally get to see what this band looked like, all dressed up and on a BBC stage!

The big revelation here was “Happiness Stan”, the side-long happy romp through Mr. Uniwin’s imagination, with a Small Faces soundtrack. Dear old Stanley Unwin – the British guy who could talk a load of twaddle, in a very amusing manner. I have his LP “Rotatey Diskeys with Unwin” (on Pye Records; I have both an original issue and an 80’s re-issue of this LP!). I even made a “Happiness Stan II” using this LP, cutting apart one of the bits (the one about hi-fi stereos) and interspersing new music, in the style of the original “Happiness Stan”.

Steve Mariott passed away, Ronnie Lane worked extensively with Pete Townshend, Ian McLagan still works with the Bump Band and Kenny Jones eventually joined The Who on drums, when young Keith Moon departed.

So, in 2009 – I can listen to 1968’s silliest amusement, K2HD Coding JVC Japan CD, in a replicated mini-LP cover, re-mastered in 2000, and re-printed in 2006. Once upon a time in a land of…

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