The Small Faces: the forgotten band of the '60s, which was the main rival of The Who and the Kinks

    Today our article is about the history of The Small Faces. How was the formation of brit-pop in the 60s and how did the band's story end? Read on.

    The Small Faces: Creation History, Success and Disintegration

    New wave bands of the early and mid-'60s often underwent different changes throughout their career. Along with creating completely new sounds, the bands faced low royalties, creative disagreements, and other mishaps that eventually led to collapse their career. The same fate befell the brit-pop band The Small Faces.

    The article will talk about the history of the group, their musical successes and popularity among young people, as well as the disintegration and subsequent reunions.

    Beginning of the journey and belief in a brighter future

    The Small Faces. 1966
    The Small Faces. 1966

    The founders of The Small Faces Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott met when Lane came to buy a bass guitar in one of the music stores where the future lead singer of The Faces worked. Afterwards, the guys met to listen to records together and reflect on the formation of the band, and later their acquaintances were invited to join the band they had formed Kenny Jones and Jimmy Winston.

    The name of the newly formed quartet had a connection to the by members: the «face» was called trendy people, leaders of the «fashionistas» youth movement to which the group was directly involved ; «small» was included in the name because of its connection with appearance of the participants: they were all of short stature.

    The Small Faces. 60-е
    The Small Faces. 60-е

    The first performances of The Small Faces were in pubs and clubs. Most of their repertoire was covers to well-known rhythm and blues compositions, but occasionally songs written by Marriott and Lane were sung. Their debut a concert in a Sheffield pub was not a success, and the depressed musicians went to another bar with an offer of is free to play for the visitors. The musical style of the guys so impressed the listeners that they demanded a continuation. At the same time, the band found its manager Don Ardenwho signed for The Small Faces with Decca Records.

    The success and reputation of the leaders of the mod movement

    The Small Faces in 1967
    The Small Faces in 1967

    «Whatcha Gonna Do About It» became first the band's single, which reached the top 20 in the British charts immediately after its release. The band failed to repeat the success with their next track «I’ve Got Mine», as it was performed by The Faces in the movie «Dateline Diamonds», which never made it to the screens in time. This affected sales and auditions, although critics praised the composition.

    Winston later left the group and was replaced by Ian McLagan. With him, the band released «Sha-La-La-La-Lee», which reached the top charts, and then in 1966 released debut «Small Faces» album, which received good reviews. The group's popularity was fueled by appearances on famous TV shows, and by the time their fifth single «All or Nothing» was released, the band was already extremely popular in their homeland. Arden, who led the guys to success, was soon fired as manager for not paying the band royalties.

    Popularity beyond England brought the band a second record, named after the band, which was released by Andrew Oldham's Immediate label. Later a big hit was the 1967 single «Itchycoo Park» which reached number three on the music chart in Britain. It was the first single to use flanking - playing the same master tapes at different tempos at the same time.

    Finally, the band achieves success in the U.S. with their first album, released in 1968 under a different name – «There Are But Four Small Faces». Some changes were made to the track list of the record. This was followed by the release of the successful single «Lazy Sunday»the song was released by the recording studio without the musicians' approval. In spite of this, the song reached number two in the British charts.

    The success of The Small Faces also caught up with the third record выапрол «Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake»it stayed at the top of the charts for six weeks. Critics have defined this album as a classic for the band. The band was experiencing difficulties with performing songs from this album at concerts: the musicians wrote technically complex compositions that could be repeated outside the studio impossible

    What led to the breakup?

    Faces in the mid-70s
    Faces in the mid-70s

    Relationships within the group by the end of the '60s began to heat up. The musicians were constantly arguing about the style and direction of songs, about authorship, and about the contribution of each member to the development of the group. Vocalist Steve Marriott eventually became zoom in their importance and take a position leaderhe did not take into account the opinion of his colleagues. The musician officially left the band on the eve of the new year 1969, leaving the stage during one of the concerts with the words: «I've had enough!».

    The stigma of being a pop group was weighing on him, as well as absence the aspirations of his comrades in the development of music. «The Autumn Stone» became last The band's album; it included a rare live recording of the band and tracks intended for the fourth album.

    From 1970 to 1975 the group existed with new The members were guitarist Ronnie Wood and vocalist Rod Stewart. At the same time it was decided to change the name of the band to Facesdespite the insistence of the label management and the desire to continue the success of the band under the old name. The Faces existed not for longRonnie Lane dropped out in '73, and Wood and Stewart left in '75, after which the band was fully dissolved.

    Attempts to revive The Small Faces were made in 1975, when their hit "Itchycoo Park" again hit the top charts. However, the band failed to create something different: Lane refused to cooperate immediately after the first quarrel between the musicians, but the other members decided to continue without it. Guitarist Rick Wills, who had joined the band, was present on two new albums, «Playmates» and «78 in the Shade». A new breakup of The Small Faces occurred in 1978, as their fresh recordings were failed in every way.

    Influence and Legacy

    The Small Faces in the early years
    The Small Faces in the early years

    On a par with The Rolling Stones, The Who, and The Kinks, The Small Faces were big influence on subsequent hard rock stars. Steve Marriott's vocals became example for Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plante and Paul Weller, frontman of The Jam.

    Ronnie Lane contributed his contribution not only in the work of The Small Faces, but also in the work of famous virtuoso guitarists. Since leaving the band, Leane has been involved in the recording of tracks Pete Townsend and Eric Clapton.

    Ronnie Lane
    Ronnie Lane

    Keyboardist Ian McLagan recorded for a long time as session musician. At different periods he collaborated with The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne and others.

    Ex-Faces drummer Kenny Jones joined the The Who and spent almost ten years with the band. In spite of this he also participated in the recordings of various musiciansRod Stewart, Paul McCartney and Chuck Berry.

    Kenny Jones in the 00's
    Kenny Jones in the 00's

    Much of the work of the '60s collective has been taken over by British bands. Ocean Colour Scene and Led Zeppelin. Also the style of The Small Faces has had a tremendous influence on British pop music, most notably on britpop of the mid-90s. Oasis, Blur, and Pulp followed in their footsteps.


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