Tuesday, December 13, 2011
THE FACES - A BEGINNER'S GUIDE
It's too bad that Rod hasn't participated in their recent reunion shows: guitarist Ronnie Wood (already a Hall of Famer as a member of The Rolling Stones), drummer Kenny Jones (who is a former member of The Who, but wasn't inducted with them) and keyboardist Ian McLagan have been doing concerts with Glen Matlock of The Sex Pistols on bass, and Mick Hucknall of Simply Red singing. (Original bassist/singer Ronnie Lane passed away in 1997.)
The Faces are being inducted along with their precursors, The Small Faces, which featured Jones, McLagan and Lane along with the late singer/guitarist Steve Marriott. Honestly, I'm not that familiar with The Small Faces, if anyone would like to contribute something about them to my blog, please let me know in the comments. My understanding is that their best album is 1968's Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake. But I love The Faces, and here's my primer:
The Compilation: The Best Of Faces: Good Boys... When They're Asleep. It's got their one big hit, "Stay With Me," but some other great performances: their cover of Bob Dylan's "Wicked Messenger," "Sweet Lady Mary," "Had Me A Real Good Time," and "Ooh La La" (sung by Ronnie Lane).
The Classic Album: 1971's A Nod Is As Good As A Wink... To A Dead Horse. It's just a blast. It has some of Rod's best vocal performances ever (including the aforementioned "Stay With Me") and yet Ronnie Lane's "Last Orders Please" is still a highlight.
The Box Set: Five Guys Walk Into A Bar... is a hell of a lot of fun. It has almost everything you'd want, including lots of great covers (part of the magic of Rod and Ronnie Wood is that they know when to write a song, and when to do someone else's). John Lennon's "Jealous Guy," Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed," The Temptations' "(I Know) I'm Losing You" as well as the band's take on solo tunes by Rod ("Maggie May") and Ronnie Wood ("I Can Feel The Fire").