Jeff Beck Group and the Small Faces, becoming one of the premier bands of the 1970s. Drunken shenanigans and fiery stage performances by Ian McLagan, Ronnie Wood, Kenney Jones, Ronnie Lane and Rod Stewart would come to epitomize the decadent and manic rock of the early decade. In the studio, the Faces’ impressive catalog is likewise strewn with amazing moments, songs that hail from both their own discography as well as that of Stewart’s solo catalog, in which the band appears often. Today in the 'rock room' I am flipping through the band's LP's, ROIO's, boots, and singles while queuing up some of my favorites and rediscovering some of their greatest yet sometimes unnoticed deep cuts.
Often overshadowed by Rod Stewart’s immense popularity and talent, the Faces were blessed with three other members more than able to compose their own amazing music. Often these songs involve the superior songwriting abilities and melodic sensibilities of bassist Ronnie Lane, as his tracks often made up the backbone and deep emotional content of the group’s catalog.
Beyond the usual familiar tunes including but not limited to, 'I’m Losing You,' and 'Stay With Me' there remains a wealth of powerful and underrepresented songs tucked away on b-sides and in the forgotten grooves of LP flip sides. Because the Faces’ four studio albums ran concurrent with Stewart’s solo releases, the band’s album tracks often fell through the cracks unrecognized. Below I compiled for you the best of the rest of the Faces as listed by the 'rock room', songs that can stand with anything in their impressive catalog, but are for some reason often overlooked:
'Real Wheel Skid' (b-side to 'Had A Real Good Time' 1970): There has to be at least on instrumental represented here, due to the fact the band released quite an array of them throughout their career. Songs like “Pineapple and the Monkey,” “Oh Lord I’m Browned Off” and “Fly in the Ointment” are all wordless musical vehicles for the band. “Rear Wheel Skid” is one of the most accomplished of the bunch, opening with a gritty Lane bass riff and containing a funky and virtuous Kenney Jones drum display that has been sampled by other artists a number of times for their own compositions. The song is credited to all of the members of the group minus Stewart, with each of them lending stellar contributions. Ronnie Wood spreads a glassy layer of slippery slide guitar across the top of the jumpy groove and we are left with a squeal around corners version of one of Faces finest instrumental excursions.
While there are a numerous amount of songs that can be labeled with the moniker of 'deep cut' for the Faces, these aforementioned tracks are songs that I love but I also feel can be classified as classics; cuts that can be placed with the very best of that their discography offers. The group was blessed with the composing abilities of three prolific artists in Lane, Wood and Stewart and the Faces’ music reflected the diverse observations and beliefs of each of these principals. For a short musical time, the wealth of material being created by the band, in addition to the popularity of the group, overwhelmed and obscured some of their most beautiful music. It's rediscovery is cause for celebration and gives the 'rock room' one additional reason to raise a glass to the band.