Monday, 1 May 2017

The Small Faces/Faces/Humble Pie: Non-Album Recordings 1965-1990




Non-Album Recordings Part #1: 1960 (Steve Marriott)

We start in the last place - unless you're a massive fan - you'd think to be starting a book on a bunch of Mod Gods. Steve Marriott was all of thirteen and the perfect choice for the cockney Artful Dodger in the 1960 West End production cast recording of composer (and sometime Moody Blues sleevenote-writer) Lionel Bart's hit musical 'Oliver!' The part was a good one for aspiring singers: The Monkees' Davy Jones was effectively his replacement on the Broadway version in 1964. By then Marriott was a hungry seventeen year old rock fan with his own band; here though he's just a sweet and charming young lad who already has bucketloads of charisma and a cheeky charm that will stand him in good stead in years to come. Though pre-pubescent and with a much higher pitches voice, it's still clearly Marriott, with the 'grunt' of many Humble Pie records already there, especially when Marriott revs up the gears. The casting wasn't Steve's idea at all: he was sent to the auditions out of the blue by his dad, who figured that the hyperactive lad who loved dressing up might enjoy it and stay out the house across the summer! Marriott though took to it like a, well, a fish to a raincoat to quote a future composition and was soon bringing the houses daahn in London. And in Abbey Road, where this cast album was made a couple of years before The Beatles made it famous. Ian Carmichael headed the cast as Fagan and Joyce Blair played Nancy, both of whom are outshone by the younger cast - especially Marriott. Sadly the show was never filmed, but at least this cast recording exists and features Marriott on three songs: a spirited 'Lazy Sunday' style  [ 1] 'Consider Yourself' where his cockney swagger can be heard the most, [2] 'Be Back Soon' which thunders along like 'Donkey Rides A Penny A Glass' and [3] 'I'd Do Anything', an early attempt at the intense romance of 'Tin Soldier'. More plod than mod maybe, but you can tell the lad will go far. Find it on: the West End cast recording of 'Oliver!' (1960), with 'Consider Yourself' also appearing on 'Tin Soldier - The Steve Marriott Anthology' (2006)

Non-Album Recordings Part #2: 1963 (Steve Marriott)

And he does! Steve returned to the music business three years later as the most gravel-voiced teenager on the block and at sixteen was already being talked about as the next big thing - locally at least. Marriott had by now quit acting - much to the horror of his parents, who'd realised how much he could earn - and had turned songwriter. Given that the Decca studios were nearby he went down there one day to sell his songs, but Decca were at first more interested in his voice and persuaded him to sing a pretty ordinary Kenny Lynch number [4] 'Give Her My Regards'. Marriott seems to have realised that this cutesy teenage strop pop about a boyfriend wishing an old love well (which comes over as sarcasm in Marriott's voice it has to be said) wasn't really his thing, but wasn't going to give up a chance to make a record. With its Buddy Holly hiccups and the received pronunciation he was made to use, Steve sounds less like himself than on 'Oliver!' before his voice broke and the single is hopelessly out of synch with a pop market that's just cottoned onto Merseybeat. Still this cheery single deserved to do better than simply fade from view, crushing Marriott's hopes at being a solo star. In an intriguing precursor to the main story, Kenny Lynch will be back to haunt Marriott's career later... Find it on: 'The Small Faces: Decca Anthology' (1996), 'Tin Soldier - The Steve Marriott Anthology' (2006) and the memorably named 'I Need Your Love Like A Fish Needs A Raincoat' - The Steve Marriott Anthology' (2013)

Steve's own B-side [ 5] 'Imaginary Love' is much more original, though sung with the same inauthentic refined tones and the Buddy Holly-isms as the A side. A list of reasons Steve loves his girl ('She's as gentle as a dove - guess she must have come from heaven above!') this track already has the intensity with which he'll attack later romances if not quite the power yet. There's an interesting twist too that this perfect girl seems to exist only in his head because Steve can't find her in real life, settling instead for an 'imaginary love'. Considering that Marriott is all of sixteen, this is pretty good stuff. An alternate, longer version exists on the 'Fish' anthology which has Marriott singing a demo in his more 'natural' tones to his own guitar.  Find it on: 'The Small Faces: Decca Anthology' (1996) and 'I Need Your Love Like A Fish Needs A Raincoat' - The Steve Marriott Anthology' (2013)

Non-Album Recordings Part #3: 1964 (Steve Marriott)
Marriott was never one for accepting the answer 'no' and simply tried again to achieve the vision he had in his head. Stardom mark two was meant to come in the shape of a rock and roll band 'The Moments', who were a bit like The Small Faces with a similar organ sound and R and B roots, but less adventurous musically (going by this single at least) and Marriott lacked a foil on the level of Ronnie Lane. The A side was what surely must have been the world's first ever Kinks Kover, with a slightly timid version of [  ] 'You Really Got Me' released in September 1964, a mere five weeks after The Kinks' own version (which was enjoying it's last week at number one when this version came out). Though Marriott attacks the song with his customary confidence, he lacks the inviting eccentricity of Ray Davies' vocal and his guitar stabs are not yet a match for Dave Davies' razor-bladed amplified yelp.  In another sign of things to come, it's the organ that holds this song back from letting go with a sound too old-fashioned to make much impact by 1964 standards (however well played it is). Decca really should have paid attention to The Kinks' story and not their songs; that band only broke through at the third time of asking by being allowed to do what they wanted to, after first recording a Beatles cover and a smoothed-around-the-edges copycat original; here The Moments suffer a similar problem and miss the 'moment' by a decade or so. Marriott was instantly 'dropped' by the rest of the band after the single flopped, the others figuring that at sixteen Marriott is 'too young' to be a front-man. Boy are they in for a surprise the following year... Find it on: 'I Need Your Love Like A Fish Needs A Raincoat' - The Steve Marriott Anthology' (2013)

B-side [  ] 'Money Money' is another actually pretty eerie song choice in retrospect. Here Marriott is a young hopeful whose still dreaming of making it big but made to sing an older man's song about never making any money and being sick of it. Marriott will be writing far better songs on the same theme himself in the Humble Pie years after a whole series of financial fiascos, but there's no faulting his delivery or the backing band who've got into the groove of this one far more. Find it on: 'Tin Soldier - The Steve Marriott Anthology' (2006) and 'I Need Your Love Like A Fish Needs A Raincoat' - The Steve Marriott Anthology' (2013)

As well as the single, two additional songs were recorded by The Moments which were only released over forty years later, first on a special edition EP and then on a compilation. [  ] 'Good Morning Blues' aka 'Blue Morning' doesn't have a lot to do with Marriott who doesn't sing and seems to have simply slashed away at the Chuck Berry riffs on his guitar behind keyboard player Allen Ellett (who sounds not unlike his Small Faces 'replacement' Jimmy Winston). A simple R and B Ledbelly cover, you can see why this got left in the vaults but not bad really considering the band were all still teenagers.  Find it on: 'I Need Your Love Like A Fish Needs A Raincoat' - The Steve Marriott Anthology' (2013)

[  ] 'You'll Never Get Away From Me' does feature Marriott singing, but very much in the deeper growl of his partner. A comedy song about obsession, this is a good fit for the two sides of Marriott's character (intensity and cheeky comedy) and marks his second and final return to the world of musicals as the song originally appeared in Stephen Sondheim's musical 'Gypsy'. The track is given such a brutal Chuck Berry style makeover here, though, that it fits the vibe and venom of the moving rock scene really well at this time. This one should have come out with the others! Find it on: 'I Need Your Love Like A Fish Needs A Raincoat' - The Steve Marriott Anthology' (2013)

Sometime around here Marriott and a band named The Moonlights also recorded a shaky instrumental demo of Ray Charles' [  ] 'What'd I Say?' Not as full on as some versions around (The Searchers' little known version is a cracker!), this is more a rehearsal take 'feeling' out where the groove lies and may well be the only recording in the rest of the book where you can say that Marriott is giving anything less than his all. Find it on: 'I Need Your Love Like A Fish Needs A Raincoat' - The Steve Marriott Anthology' (2013)

Marriott certainly recorded his own song [  ] 'Give Her All She's Got' around now, shortly after being kicked out of The Moments, but the band sounds quite different to the timid Moonlighters too (it could be the mysterious 'Checkpoints',  who are mentioned in biographies but aren't thought to have made any recordings). Marriott, perhaps seething from being thought 'too young', turns in a gravelly voice that even his old keyboardist couldn't compete with and howls and yells his way out of trouble on this simple R and B style number. It sounds like the sort of thing Jimmy Winston will go on to in his solo career in future years and doesn't really suit Marriott, though he sings the song with gusto anyway. Find it on: 'I Need Your Love Like A Fish Needs A Raincoat' - The Steve Marriott Anthology' (2013)
Non-Album Recordings Part #4: 1965

Ah now - now it all comes together. Marriott has been forced temporarily to give up his musical career but still held on to the thought that if he kept in touch with musicians he could somehow charm their way into their band so, back in the days when work was plentiful, blagged his way into working for an instruments shop, The J60 Music Bar. Marriott didn't do much work by his own account, just strummed his guitar and tuned a few others, but even though his hiring probably wasn't a gamble that paid off for the firm it certainly did for Marriott himself. One of his customers was Ronnie Lane, whose band The Outcasts Marriott had already seen and admired playing at a local club. Without much else to do the pair jammed and discovered that they had a special chemistry. As chance would have it The Outlaws (also comprising drummer Kenney Jones and an unknown other) were missing a guitarist. By the time Marriott opened his mouth to sing along, he'd become their lead vocalist too and brought his pal Jimmy Winston into the band too. It took the band precisely six weeks to hire a manager in Don Arden (maybe the band should have checked some other people out first in the light of how hard they'll be worked from now on) and only another handful more to get a record contract back on Decca once again.
We've already covered debut single 'What'cha Gonna Do 'Bout It?' on our review of The Small Faces' debut. However the rather less intense B-side [  ] 'Whatsa Matter Baby?' didn't make the record and has become something of a Small Faces rarity in the modern CD era. The song doesn't seem to have much in common with the band's other material, even their other R and B covers, this being a Clyde Otis song that has a touch of bossa nova about it. Marriott can't get comfortable on the vocal front, going from spoken word to full on shouting without really finding anything that really connects, while Ronnie and Jimmy chant awkward falsetto 'la la la las' behind him. Still, even if this isn't the greatest thing The Small Faces ever did, it still deserves to be better known. Find it on: 'The Decca Anthology' (1996)

One of only two songs exclusively played for the BBC on a radio session, [  ] 'Jump Back' is a groovy little R and B number with some great guitar playing and Jimmy Winston on rare lead vocals. The song was a hit for many singers including Rufus Thomas and was around a long time before The Small Faces, though the Marriott estate were no doubt pleased to get some erroneous royalties after the BBC set credited the track to him by mistake! Though barely 100 seconds long and featuring the band's most 'obscure' singer, this couldn't be any band but The Small Faces: Marriott's angular guitar sideswipes, an early use of nonsense backing vocals ('Showaddy mama!' is pretty close to what the band will reprise on 'Wham Bam Thank You Man'), a riff the band will re-use less convincingly on 'Sha-La-La-La-Lee' and sudden stop-start rhythms positively nailed by an on-form Kenney Jones. This track really should have been re-recorded for the band's debut LP the following year. Find it on: The BBC Sessions (2000)

The second Small Faces single [  ] 'I've Got Mine', has an interesting place in Small Faces history. Commercially it was a huge flop, missing the charts entirely after the top 20 placement of 'What'cha Gonna Do 'Bout It?' and Decca was reluctant to let the band write their own material for the singles again, lumbering them with 'Sha-La-La-La-Lee'. In many ways this is an unlucky song, passed over by almost every compilation since due to its non-hit status. However it's luck is not all its own doing. Decca had planned nearly a whole film 'Dateline Diamonds', over the band's cameo appearance on stage singing this track in the middle of a plot about international diamond smuggling using rock bands as cover. The cameo was recorded and the film released (it's out on DVD in fact) but only after a horrifically long delay that meant this song was nearly a year old and well out of fashion by the time it arrived; in their wisdom Decca hadn't bothered doing any other publicity because, well, its a film innit? In the era of 'A Hard Day's Night' what more do you need to do? Even without that this song might have struggled in the charts in 1965: it's a bit early yet for a lyric that borders on gibberish, with Marriott writing a letter in reply to one from a girl breaking up with him and hoping that 'you'll get yours' in a come-uppance sense as well as a Royal mail delivery one. The song's endless relentless pounding is also quite tiring, with an awfully long adrenalin rush until you get to the simple pay-off of the chorus - the opposite way round to most classically written pop songs. Sometimes, though, things are the better for not being like classically written pop songs and - artistically at least - The Small Faces considered this song quite a triumph, heavier and more cutting edge than anything their peers were up to at the time. They also liked the song's main riff enough to recycle it, in instrumental form, as the title track of 'Ogden's. Much better than its reputation suggests, this would have made a great album track though releasing it as a single was probably a mistake. Oddly this track doesn't appear on the debut album released the following year, although both the band's first A side and this single's B-side 'It's Too Late' both do. Find it on: 'The Ultimate Collection' (2003) and the deluxe edition of the Decca album 'The Small Faces' (1966)

Holland-Dozier-Holland's [21] 'Baby Don't You Do It', best known from Marvin Gaye's cover, was a popular 1960s number, especially among the harder-edged rock bands. A pleading song that throws everything it can at a lover to make sure she stays with the narrator despite some unspecified wrong, it lead to some great raps down the years as bands like The Who invented all sorts of threats and messages of guilt. The Small Faces' version isn't quite as inventive, featuring Jimmy Winston on his last lead vocal for the band and it's easily his best, although his gravel-voiced seriousness is rather spoilt by the falsetto 'don't do it!'s from Steve and Ronnie behind. He'll be gone by the next year and third single 'Sha La La La Lee!Marriott clearly liked the song though, whatever he did to it here, re-recording it (and, characteristically, slowing it right down) for the Humble Pie album 'On To Victory'. 'Find The Small Faces version on: 'From The Beginning' (1967), which on the CD  also includes a 'different version' from a French EP which sounds more like just a muddier mix of the same version.

Non-Album Recordings Part #5: 1966

The B-side of third single, the demented 'Sha La La Lee' (which re-appeared on the debut album) is [  ] 'Grow Your Own', very much a soundalike of the sort of thing that had appeared on the debut album. Frenetic, manic R and B led by Mac's groovy organ it's not better or worse than any other instrumental The Small Faces made in 1966, though a little disappointing when compared to their other inventive flipsides. The band have clearly been listening to a little too much 'Green Onions', which is what they mean by the title of course, if anyone asked (though the3 hip drug-taking Faces fans knew better...) Find it on: the deluxe edition of Decca's 'The Small Faces' (1966)

The band's fourth single, [15]  Hey Girl is one of the band’s earliest efforts at song-writing and a worthy second attempt at the All Or Nothing formula before the band got third time lucky though the band always saw it as something of a compromise to a more 'commercial' sound to avoid making another 'Sha La La Lee'. The song always sounded much better live than it ever did on record (there’s a German Beatclub show from 1966 that often does the rounds where Marriott is getting so into the song I swear he levitates during his guitar solo), with Lane’s call and response vocals the perfect foil to Marriott’s uncontrolled shouts. Here it all sounds a little too tidy and polite, but it's also good fun with surely no girl able to resist the good cop/bad cop routine from the two singers and the pretty daring guitar solo for its day which comes in a blaze of wild fury and lust rather than anything sophisticated.  Find it on: any decent Decca Small Faces best-of, starting with 'From The Beginning' (1967) and 'The Autumn Stone' (1969)

The B-side [16] 'Almost Grown' is another of those intriguing Small Faces B-sides that seem to have rather slipped through the net, strangely missed out on the 'From The Beginning' compilation. One of Mac's first starring moments with the band, it's a storming organ-based near-instrumental that doesn't quite let rip as much as some others on the debut album or match the thoughtful of the 'Ogden's title track. The Small Faces turn in a groovy group performance, with Marriott's scratchy lead working well against Mac's fatter organ sound while Jones' drums and Ronnie's bass lock the band well into shape. Only the brief and rather odd vocal from Marriott ('I love you, you love me, here we go, 1-2-3!') does remind you that The Small Faces are still merely nineteen years old, by and large, almost grown indeed. Find it on: 'The Decca Anthology' (1996)

Until now The Small Faces had shown they had the right look, the right talent and the right sounds for the period. All they needed was the right song - and just at the right time Marriott and Lane came up with [17] All Or Nothing. Far more sombre than any previous Faces release - and a surprise to many of the band's fans at the time - this is arguably the first time the 'real' band sound comes to the fore, away from the early R and B and especially the cheeky chappy pop. Marriott puts forward his career-long philosophy that either he will be fully committed to something or leave it completely alone, something he'll prove many times as band line-ups come and go (this will be the only Small Faces song played at Marriott's funeral, apparently at his request). He wrote it about his complicated love life at the time, though, caught in the middle between two relationships having recently been dumped by his girlfriend Sue Oliver - and having already caught the eye of his future first wife Jenny Rylance (who has since claimed the song was written in celebration at her dumping Rod Stewart, of all people, in order to go out with Marriott! You couldn't make this stuff up - see a couple hundred pages later in this book for Rod The Mod's revenge by taking over Marriott's old band...) However the beauty of 'All Or Nothing' is that it's vague enough to appeal to all sorts of people in all sorts of situations, while still being plainly heartfelt enough through the passionate performance to sound 'real'. Marriott uses a calmer, softer voice for the first time and proves that he's more than just a 'shouter', while the rest of the band adopt to this new slower sound well, which if anything sounds louder with everyone playing so thoughtfully. It's a trick that will become one of Marriott's favourites, with Humble Pie later slowing down every rock and roll classic they can think of in order to get a similar effect and works particularly well here, with the unexpected push into the last verse when Marriott finally lets loose quite breath-taking. To be honest The Small faces got a little bit lucky with their only chart-topper: they chose about the one month, September 1966, when there were no major releases by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who or The Hollies out for record-buyers to fall in love with. Even so, you sense this song might have beaten all of them anyway, with its mixture of ear-catching simplicity and complex emotional difficulties. Easily the peak of the band's years at Decca. Find it on: If you have a Decca compilation and this song isn't on it, take it back at once! Start with 'From The Beginning' (1967) or 'The Autumn Stone' (1969) if you're stuck

Every bit as classic though far more unloved is B-side [18] 'Understanding', which must represent one of the strongest AAA single pairings of them all. Again this song uses every Small Face signature - Marriott's roar, guitar riffs so strong they feel physical, sarcastic backing vocals, Kenney's drums moving everything along and Mac's organ keeping things smooth - while simultaneously being deeper and more heartfelt than anything the band had done till now. Forget the 'la la la' ing: this is no mere pop song but a plea to be taken seriously in a relationship, as Marriott commits his absolute everything with a series of glorious 'ha!'s and a final signature cry of 'come on children!' and hands to his girl the greatest gift any love can give: understanding, whatever happens, whatever may be, however things out Marriott will be there 'and there's no more I can do'. You can tell he means it and so do the band, with a glorious group performance that's amongst their toughest and their best. Why this was never a single and why it only appears on compilations so rarely (it isn't on 'From The Beginning' or 'The Autumn Stone'!) is a mystery I don't 'understand' at all. Find it on: 'Tin Soldier - The Steve Marriott Anthology' (2005)

Recorded for the first Decca album but considered a cover too far, Del Shannon's [19] 'Runaway' really should have made the record, as oddball as it would have sounded at the time. The Faces' typically inventive cover opens with a cod-operatic beginning from Marriott that sounds oddly convincing before he calms down and delivers one of his all time greatest vocals. Marriott's guitar is a force to be reckoned with too, slicing its way through the sound behind him, though one of Mac's earliest organ solos doesn't share quite the same swing and commitment. Back in 1966 putting this retro 1950s cover complete with Hammond Organ part on the shelf was probably a good thing, but releasing it as the killer opener to the oddities compilation 'From The Beginning' - in 1967 when older oddball styles were in vogue - was an even better one. Find it on: 'From The Beginning' (1967)

Alas  'Mercy Mercy' songwriter Don Covay's [20] 'Take This Hurt Off Me' probably shouldn't have made it off the shelf in 1967, never mind in 1966. Marriott has fun adopting the 1964 soul song to his own ends, remembering to change the narrator's name from 'Don' to 'Steve', and the band rock with their usual ferociousness, but there's something about this track that's slightly unconvincing, from Ronnie's childish backing vocals to the song's peculiar chorus (which just suddenly ends, leaving the band desperately vamping every time until the verse cuts in again). The Small Faces were coming up with their own superior material at this time. Find it on: 'From The Beginning' (1967)

The 'Small Faces' album was already rather overloaded with clumsy R and B instrumentals as The Small Faces played around with becoming another Booker T and the MGs. [22] 'Plum Nellie' was one that didn't make the album, a track that sounds even more like 'Green Onions' than 'Own Up Time' and 'E Too D'. Interestingly only Steve and Ronnie get credit even though Mac and Kenney do most of the work, suggesting either that the Marriott/Lane partnership had already been decided on early or that the song built up from the pair of singers working out the jam themselves first. Marriott's shredded aggressive guitar makes him sound more like Pete Townshend on this track, but there's less invention than The Who would have given the track, simply from being The Who. Find it on: 'From The Beginning' (1967)

Another very popular 1960s track was Smokey Robinson's [23] 'You've Really Got A Hold On Me', which gets a whole new makeover in The Small Faces' hands. Marriott sings slow, holding back behind the usual notes for extra tension, while the main melody is performed not by a Miracles-style backing band of singers but Mac's impressive organ and piano. Few versions of this song have ever sounded quite so claustrophobic either, with one of the all-time great Marriott yells at 1:30, guitar stabs and some gloriously thick and heavy drumming from Kenney. 'It just goes to show ya that ya really got a hold on me! You got my heart - if you leave I'll fall apart! Please Please Please! I just want to tell ya, I just want to show ya!' ad libs Marriott, adding a whole new verse and utterly reinventing the song to his own distinctive style. One of the band's better covers, which deserved a place on the first album far more than the instrumentals ever did. Find it on: 'From The Beginning' (1967)

A sneaky crib from a Christmas Carol ('Ding Dong Merrily On High') [24] 'My Mind's Eye' was released as the band's sixth single which tends to get overlooked coming so soon after 'All Or Nothing' A curiously bass-heavy recording is back to the band's frenetic early days rather than the more controlled recordings of this era and never really comes off despite some nice moments. This is especially true of  Ronnie's increasingly socially aware lyrics, most likely inspired by the band's growing drug use (which might be where the 'tune' comes from too, LSD perhaps opening doors to 'memories' of singing this children-orientated Christmas Carol at school or church services): 'Everybody I know says I've changed, laughing behind their hands - I think they're strange', not to mention the title (which touches on the idea of an 'inner' consciousness with a 'third eye' that exists in the middle of the forehead, common to books from the far East). Overall, though, this is something of a backwards step and it's no surprise it was something of a flop; for once even Marriott's vocal sounds 'false', aiming for his usual cheery self on lyrics about worry and going your own way. Find it on: most Decca compilations starting with 'From The Beginning' (1967), though not surprisingly 'The Autumn Stone' (1969)

I've always preferred the more original B-side [25] 'I Can't Dance With You', which is quite unlike anything any band ever did, never mind The Small Faces. The song's odd angular riff keeps the song hopping throughout while one of Lane's odder lyrics compares dancing to a relationship, both sides trying to work out where the other is going so they don't step on their toes. It all odds up to a cacophony of noise as Marriott hollers his way through a song that isn't giving him as much to bounce off, effectively shouting to himself across the relatively empty track, until joined in unison by Ronnie on the simple single line 'I can't dance with you!' chorus. Usually you know that Marriott's narrators are going to get what they want eventually, whether by cheeking, pleading or pleasing other characters into submission, but this one is up against a brick wall and that frustration spills into a most extraordinary outburst of noise and violence. This is probably another early song about his tempestuous early relationship with first wife Jenny, perhaps seen through Ronnie's eyes. Less listenable than the A-side, but utterly more convincing and something of a breakthrough artistically, this flipside deserves to be better known too. Find it on: 'Tin Soldier - The Steve Marriott Anthology' (2005)

The bluesy band jam [29] 'Picaninny'was recorded during the first sessions for what became the first Immediate LP in February 1967, though fans have understandably roped it in with the similar band instrumentals that surround it from 1968 on 'The Autumn Stone'. The most pure soul thing the band ever recorded, there doesn't seem any intention to add any lyrics to this track, though the band spent a lot of time on it for a jam with the band members overdubbing all sorts of solos over the basic frame of guitar bass and drums. Back in the 1960s the word 'picaninny' was just about acceptable as a team of endearment for an African-American youngster, which then spread to be an African-American word for anything 'tiny', the South African equivalent of the Scottish 'wee'. My theory on the joke, then, is that this is the Small Faces showing their R and B roots with a name from black culture that means 'small' (an alternative theory put out by fans is that it's the track is 'small' ie unfinished). Clever in 1967 (or more likely 1969 when this track first got a proper name), though I wouldn't go using the phrase today if I were you. Find it on: 'The Autumn Stone' urtHu

Non-Album Recordings Part #5A: 1966 (Jimmy Winston)
While The Small Faces mark two were progressing nicely from 'Sha La La La Lee' to 'My Mind's Eye', their old keyboard player was trying out his own luck as a front-man before giving the music business up to become an actor (that's him as a guerrilla who ended up killing his future self thanks to the actions of his even further future self sent back to the past which was the viewer's present in the 1972 Dr Who story 'Day Of The Daleks', whose plot is even more complicated than it sounds). Oddly, Winston chose for his first release a Kenny Lynch song that The Small Faces had already recorded with Steve on lead [  ] 'Sorry She's Mine' - and good as Jimmy is, his only chance was in becoming his own vocalist rather than a second-rate Marriott. The recording is all over the place, full of guttural shouting and without the charm of the band's original, while it's hardly the best cover the band came up with even in their short time together. An interesting comparison for fans to make then, but not really convincing in its own right. Find it on: 'The Small Faces Decca Anthology' (1996)
Much more convincing is the sparky B-side, an original named [  ] 'It's Not What You Do (But The Way That You Do It), a most convincing bit of R and B that's right on the 1966 cusp of past rawness and future psychedelia. Winston's band, The Reflections, have much more to do on this track and have clearly been studying The Small Faces' records, with a very early Marriott-style guitar track, exploding with energy and wild fury. Winston has a strong lead vocal too as he describes a slinky, sexy girl who gets him going even doing the most mundane things. The lyrics wouldn't win any awards and are very 1960s ('You know you're loving turns me on real strong!') but then it was very much the 1960s when this was recorded and all the better for it. If this had been the A-side, Winston might have had a much more prominent musical career. Find it on: 'The Small Faces Decca Anthology' (1996)


Non-Album Recordings Part #6: 1967

When The Small Faces left Decca with a number of songs unfinished, they were horrified that their old label intended to release unfinished things that the band were only messing around with and didn't intend to seriously release. [28] 'Patterns' was the song that horrified the band the most, a simple R and B number with crazy psychedelic effects and some uneasy harmonies from Ronnie and Steve. The pair keep seeing patterns everywhere on this uptempo LSD-inspired song which sounds more like The Lovin' Spoonful than The Small Faces. Released, bizarrely, as a post-band leaving A side with 'E Too D' on the flip, this silly bit of unfinished nonsense predictably became the band's poorest selling single of their original run. Now that's a pattern I saw coming... Find it on: the deluxe edition of the Decca 'Small Faces' (1966)

My candidate for the greatest Decca recording is the murky [43] 'Yesterday Today and Tomorrow', which finally makes good use of the more distorted sounds of the Decca recording techniques just at the time when the band are preparing to leave. This isn't so much a 'song' as the same rolling chords played over and over, while a cornucopia of psychedelic sounds all mesh together behind into one delightful ball of noise. Ronnie takes the lead on this song, singing his own increasingly psychedelically aware lyrics that play around with the idea of growing older and the different approaches of life as one gets closer to death: 'When the children play they're so far away, they have no need for sorrow, but when they're old and grey they hide their minds away, living for the dark of tomorrow!' The result is a song that sounds downright peculiar but which really fits this song's delightful mish-mash of ideas and which does a good job of sounding like a 'bad trip', tailing off mid-note as if it's creators are still in the moment before being hammered home by a final Kenney Jones drum lick. Find it on: 'From The Beginning' (1967)

[44] 'That Man' - the band's final recording for Decca - is similar, another Ronnie Lane song that sounds weird and reads weirder: there's a mirror that 'can tell me any lies', a mysterious man 'with the weary look - a living book' who still can't be 'read' by Lane's tripping narrator. This song isn't quite as wonderfully raw as 'Yesterday Today and Tomorrow' but has it's moments, especially the unexpected country jig fade-out from a twin pair of Steve Marriott guitars, prompting many 'yee-hahs' from the group. Find it on: 'From The Beginning' (1967)

The first song The Small Faces released on Immediate, meanwhile, is [52] I Can’t Make It, one of the band’s toughest rockers. Another typical plea of desperation from a master of the artform, Marriott promises that an old wound is 'healing' and that things are going to get better - they have to, he doesn't have any choice without his loved one. It’s a great frenetic album track and makes for the great introduction to all sorts of Immediate compilations, but a rather odd choice as a single (it was, in fact, one of their biggest flops with a UK chart peak of just #26) Still, Marriott’s vocal is as strong as ever and the rush of energy going into each chorus is pretty jaw-dropping. The 'Here Come The Nice' box set of 2014 contains an even better version of the song, an 'acoustic remix' that takes out most of the 'noise' - the heavy drums, the bass, the thundering piano - and restyles this song as a more Motown style number. You learn from listening to this version just how great Marriott is as a vocalist: his sudden unexpected cry of 'So take me before my desire gets old!' might just be the greatest in a run of truly great vocal moments. Find it on: 'The Darlings Of Whapping Wharf Laundrette' (2000) among others.

[53] 'Just Passing', meanwhile, is a short but sweet B-side from the earlier end of the Immediate spectrum, with some interesting psychedelic effects masking an intriguing sleepwalking tune and an offhand performance that suggests the band don’t quite see the same qualities in it that I do. This song is another of those Small Faces tracks with a confused history, having been released by both Decca and Immediate, undergoing several re-mixes and changes in writing credits (some credit occasional collaborator Ronnie O’Sullivan) along the way. Which all seems a bit of a fuss about nothing considering this song doesn’t quite reach the two minute mark and barely gets going, despite its lingering promise. Opening with a music hall style count in from Marriott, lead vocalist Ronnie quickly gets the giggles on a seemingly deliberately over-written lyric involving winging birds, white ceilings, minds growing old, being rejected hated and accepted by peers, wise men wrangling with 'angles and meanings'. It's fragmented surreal modern poetry probably made a lot of sense when Ronnie was high, but not much the morning after, delivered with just the right balance of 'this meant something once' earnestness and self-deprecating laughter. Charming. Find it on: 'The Darlings Of Whapping Wharf Laundrette' (2000) among others.

The second single The Small Faces released on Immediate was the drug name-dropping [45] 'Here Comes The Nice, which represents everything the band could get away with in the hip young environment of Andrew Loog Oldham's label which they couldn't on Decca. Though a comparative flop at #12 (the lowest charting Small Faces single since 'I've Got Mine' two years earlier), this is a song that has become a lot more popular since, especially given that more people know what it's really about. It's the summer of love collector’s favourite, mixing as it does a great pop tune and as many drug references as it can get away with (plus many it can’t!) Back in early 1967 you had to be really hip to know that 'nice' meant 'drug-addled hippie' and 'speed' meant 'amphetamine tablets' or that this song was effectively a love song to a drug dealer. The song even shares a slightly artificially upbeat, shiny sound (thanks to multiple vocal overdubs and effects - if that organ hasn't been 'Beatled' and put through a rotating Leslie speaker cabinet to sound 'woollier' I'd be more surprised than the first time The Spice Girls got a #1 record...) that makes it sound like a sort of artificial drug high. Amazingly to modern ears, nobody in power noticed and everyone assumed it was more Small Faces gibberish, with this radio somehow getting past the watchful eye of the censors in 1967 (the same censors in the same year who wouldn't let Jefferson Airplane use the word 'trips' but let them get away with a hookah-smoking caterpillar and the line 'feed your head' in their song 'White Rabbit'!) It probably helped that Steve and Ronnie cooked up a cover story for awkward questions, telling people they got the name from music hall comedian Lord Buckley's 'Here Come The Nazz', changing the line to be, well, 'nicer'. Just for those who had guessed at what was going on there's even a gloriously psychedelic ending where the song disappears down a big hole full of Pink Floydesque music concrete and psychedelic sound effects (albeit three months before that band have released anything yet), the epitome of a post-drug comedown. There's probably more drug references lurking in there still that I'm too well brought up to know...Find it on: Any 'nice' Immediate compilation

The first B-side of 1967 is the retro [46] 'Talk To You', a final glorious blast of R and B with Marriott putting on his best intense vocal on a Marriott/Lane original that starts serious and full of the band's usual pleading  (is it another early 'Jenny' song? Or Marriott's interim relationship with model Chrissie Shrimpton?) before getting...weird. The narrator reveals slowly that he's not talking to his girl at all but a security guard on a doorway whose trying to keep him out! It turns out Marriott's narrator's girlfriend is a star (which suggests Chrissie is more likely the object of his affections) and he's so unknown he's mistaken for an autograph hunter. 'It's gone too far' he grimaces, 'It looks like I'm losing you!' Marriott, typically, won't take no for an answer and keeps stabbing away at the verse long after the song seems to have reached a natural end, pausing for his breath only long enough for Ronnie's backing vocals to interject now and again. Find it on: 'The Darlings Of Whapping Wharf Laundrette' (2000)

Second Immediate single [47] Itchycoo Park will put you in a joyous psychedelic mood, despite the characters in the song getting their inspiration from something as simple as feeding the ducks in the park and going one better than 'Nice' by sneaking the word 'high' past the censors for good measure (though with more of a struggle this time..) This typically Small Faces local spin on the blossoming psychedelic world is perhaps their most successful tightrope act between their two sides of tragedy and comedy. Ronnie Lane's glorious set of lyrics is all about transformation, inspired by a leaflet describing Oxford that mentioned it's 'dreaming spires'. Having never been to Oxford, Ronnie 'dreamt' up an imaginary Eden-style park instead where everything was as perfect as the summer of love could be and yet simultaneously very English and olde worlde too, full of ducks and mice that 'groove about' in the sunshine. Despite the 'posh' Oxford language, though, Ronnie's lyric points out the absurdity of thinking that any one place can deliver important life lessons only for the privileged; he 'knows' about life from nothing more than enjoying nature in a small reclaimed scrub land park filled with stinging nettles. Legend has it the 'Itchycoo' name came from Ronnie and Steve's shared memories of stinging nettles in every park they'd ever played in and remembered local slang for the stinging vines, though they didn't have a specific place for the park in mind (the story that it was a real name for a bit of wasteground that was very 'high' up was  Though partly a parody, in true Faces style, this is heartfelt too and has something to say on 'behalf' of The Small faces' own generation.  The song's greatest lyric and one of the best of this book comes from the narrator trying to entice his partner away to experience it with him because, like all the best psychedelic experiences, it will teach you more about life just by being there and experiencing it than anything you can be 'taught' ('You can miss out school - why go to learn the words of fools?', a sudden insight negating centuries of institutionalised wisdom in a throwaway line; perfect). Marriott's music is every bit as groovy, though, playing vcat and mouse with the listener all the way through, building to a clever climax with the 'call-and-answers before the chorus and exploding into glorious colour on the chorus itself. The band stop there either, with one of the most psychedelic production jobs seen in pop music at the time. Glyn Johns, who engineered most of the band's Immediate recordings, learnt the art of 'flanging' while working on 'Revolver' with The Beatles - that spacey effect that's most clearly heard on the drums created through playing back two identical copies of the master-tape slightly out of synch with each other and recording the effect. Different enough to be ear-catching and ground-breaking, without being weird enough to be scary, it's another classic ingredient in a perfect pop melting pot. It’s all too beautiful in fact. The band's only real hit in the States, for good reason, though despite being arguably the band's best known song in Britain it only peaked at #3, behind 'All Or Nothing' and level with 'Sha-La-La-La-Lee!' Find it on: Seriously, you have enough interest in  reading this website and you don't already own quadruple versions of 'Itchycoo Park'? Really?

Itchycoo's B-side [48] 'I'm Only Dreaming' is a pretty song largely by Steve that starts off soft and quiet but ends up a typical Marriott screamer. Once again the band are obsessed by 'dreaming' - no doubt the result of taking copious amounts of LSD as many psychedelic songs follow the same idea, but if so the drug has worn off by the end, a panicked Marriott screaming 'what good does dreaming do when you're lonely?' The song effortlessly slides from one state to the other in a nicely dream-like haze, while the lyrics are unusually sad and weary for the usually ebullient Small Faces. Marriott looks into his partner's eyes and sees that they're tired and there's only a tiny spark of life left - but that's enough for him he declares in the song's happiest moment. Was Marriott talking about a romantic partner or looking in the eyes of Ronnie Lane after an uncomfortable two years on the road? Either way, 'I'm Only Dreaming' is a much under-rated B-side, surprisingly missed out from the catch-all compilation 'The Autumn Stone'. Find it on: 'The Darlings Of Whapping Wharf Laundrette' (2000) and a handful of others 

The Small Faces singles have been getting better and better across the year as the band work out just what they stand for and what they should be saying . The best track of all, though, is [49] Tin Soldier: fans all praise it highly but it sold poorly compared to other Small Faces singles of their ‘classic period’ despite being released slap bang in the middle of it and the song still isn’t as widely known as it should be. A classy song in pretty much every respect, from its muted ear-catching opening to it’s double-time drum-lick, to the lyrics about hard-won victories and desperation to ‘jump into your fire’, to Marriott’s acceleration of power during every verse, everything about this song works. The loudest, most honest, claustrophobic powerhouse of a song this loudest, most honest and most claustrophobically powerful band ever made, their ensemble playing is so scarily together they sound like a band possessed. The ending of the song, when everything has been brought to a chilling climax (tired of waiting for his love to be returned, the song’s narrator asks for love ‘before mine fades away’, before making the line ‘all I want to do is sit with you’ sound like one of the most erotically charged lines in history) and the band suddenly teeter to a stop, leaving Jones to sound like he has kicked his drum-kit over in desperation. This ending is nothing short of one of the best 30-second moments on this list. Fragile yet powerful, with Marriott singing even more from the heart than normal in a plea for commitment from his then-girlfriend soon-to-be-wife Jenny and getting more histrionic with every twist of this classic song’s structure, Tin Soldier also adds yet another element to the Faces’ great sound (soul meets rock meets Motown) and remains one of my favourite deep-but-catchy singles of all time, the epitome of what a 45rpm single should be. Find it on: every decent Immediate compilation

[50] 'I Feel Much Better' is one of the Small Faces' greatest ever and most under-rated flipsides, to go with one of their greatest and most under-rated A-sides. A storming pop song with a sensitive lyric about escapism and a catchy 'doo wah shawaddy waddy' chorus intoned by a squeaky Steve and Ronnie artificially sped-up, it's one of The Small Faces' most charming psychedelic moments. Usually Small Faces songs to this point have tended to be either sad and wise before their time or poppy and charming - this is an early example of the band trying to unite the two. As ever, a Small Faces B-side seems to point at the 'true' mood within the band much more than the audience-pleasing A-sides or album tracks to and in this case it's good news, the band returning to full health after a troubled period leaving Decca and joining Immediate (where their first much-hyped single was a flop). The lyrics - surely by Ronnie - sound resigned yet patient for the success that eludes them: 'These things won't come in a day, these things are coming to stay, there's really not much to say - I feel much better!' The band won't have to wait long - 'Ogden's Nut Gone Flake' is just round the corner...Find it on: 'The Darlings Of Whapping Wharf Laundrette' (2000) and lots of others

[51] 'Don't Burst My Bubble' is a driving Mariott/Lane song recorded in this period but left unreleased till long after the band had split (it really should have ended up on the 'Autumn Stone' compilation). The band presumably left the song behind because they felt they'd 'out-grown' it: this is a song that would have gone done well in the band's harder-edged Decca years (although this being an 'Immediate' song it's recorded in much better sound and really jumps out the speakers at you), a gutsy cry of defiance that features a terrific Steve Marriott snarl from both his voice and his guitar. Ronnie's lyrics are great too: 'Be careful of that ball-pointed man, he'll take your money' is surely a reference to the band's financial troubles, while stardom is clearly losing its lustre too ('There's kids outside my door, I don't know what they're waiting for - so forget it, because if I let them in I know the troubled I'd be in - I'd soon regret it!') The rest of the band are on good form too, with an instrumental 'break' where half everyone but the rhythm sections disappears, Mac's organ rumbles with a fiery eruption and Marriott sings along to his guitar solo! Messy, but exciting all the same. Find it on: 'The Darlings Of Whapping Wharf Laundrette' (2000) and lots of others

Non-Album Recordings Part #6A: 1967 (Jimmy Winston)

Jimmy Winston, meanwhile, is having one last roll of the dice. His first single having missed the charts he's got a crazy new style, a crazy named backing band and a [  ] 'Real Crazy Apartment'. Exactly what an R and B singer from 1964 would have sounded like given all the psychedelic 1967 creative toys on offer without the 'progression' interim, it's a heavy sounding song with a real R and B groove behind it, but loads of effects too including some high-as-a-kite backing vocalists. 'Take it easy...but in a nice way!' speaks Winston creepily while his band 'Winston's Fumbs' play hard and funky. You can see how we got to here (its not that too far away from 'Come On Children!') but hearing a song with this much of a mixture of old and new sounds must have blown people's minds in 1967. It's pretty mind-blowing fifty years later to be honest, with an intensity and claustrophobia few songs had in the summer of love. Much loved by psychedelia collectors, this unknown flop single's had a bit of a revival in the past twenty years and a good job too- it remains Winston's peak as singer, inventor and originator. What a shame this single's disappointing performance persuaded Decca not to let him release anymore after this. Your best bet for finding this track is the superlative second box set of psychedelic rarities 'Nuggets II', the 'British Empire' volume. It's yet to appear on any Small Faces-related discs. (2001)

It took me a long long looooong time to track down B-side [  ] 'Snow White', which still remains as rare as a dispassionate Marriott vocal or a Lane track about greed. Noisier than expected, this B-side proves that the psychedelia of the A-side was no accident, with a quirky love song that keeps speeding up and slowing down. Winston spends most of the song staring at a poster ('or is it a mirror?') falling in love before despising the woman in it for being smug while going a bit, well, dopey as it happens. It's not as memorable as the A-side and won't settle down long enough to be tuneful, but there are some good ideas in here and Winston's softer, gentler vocal proves how great a singer he can be when he isn't trying to out-shout Marriott. Find it on: Ha ha ha good luck tracking this one down! 

Non-Album Recordings Part #7: 1968

 [66] 'Kamikhazi' is a an unfinished song that was recorded during the Ogden's sessions. An upbeat organ-led original with a nervy, restless rhythm it sounds at one with 'Picaninny' and 'Colibosher' but more obviously a backing track that's waiting to have vocals added rather than an instrumental from the start. The fact that this is the seventh take rather suggests that it was an already-formed piece rather than a 'Picaninny' style jam. What those words are those has been rather lost in time though sadly - the song title is a typical Small Faces combination of deep thoughts and working class humour, being a play on words for 'suicidal rescue mission' and 'toilet' (perhaps it's just as well this track doesn't have any lyrics!...) Ronnie gets a rare 'My Generation' style bass solo in the middle that's unique for The Small Faces and sounds like it belongs to a completely different song! Find it on: 'Ogden's Nut Gone Flake' (Deluxe Edition) (2012)

[67] 'Bun In The Oven' - the other name from the 'Ogden's deluxe set you might not recognise - is simply an early and rather messy version of 'Rollin' Over', given an early working title thatlike many Small Faces working titles doesn't make a lot of sense. Lyrically the song is already complete and the music structure isn't too far off.  Find it on: 'Ogden's Nut Gone Flake' (Deluxe Edition) (2012)

[68] The Universal is a charming oddity with its homemade roughness and salvation army accompaniment, but it’s a song that somehow isn’t quite as good as the sum of its parts. Marriott’s whimsical delivery is charming, his lyrics pre-date much of his Humble Pie work with their half-bitter, half-mocking complaints of being skint all the time and the band gamely play along to Marriott’s demo recorded in the open air of his garden and full of microphone pops and drop-outs and whistling birds flying overhead that should be irritating but isn’t. The finished version has much to recommend it – but the song is ultimately a failed experiment that never quite suited the band or the pop market of the day and the salvation army backing sounds rather painfully grafted on as a last-minute compromise when Immediate wouldn’t release the single with just Steve, a guitar and bird-song playing. It’s no surprise, then, that the single flopped (albeit its #16 placing is 10 better than I Can Make It’s chart peak a year or so earlier), but it is a surprise that Marriott so took this song’s failure to heart and declared himself unable to write any more ‘Small Faces’ songs: its slightly peculiar novelty air was exactly the sort of thing he was trying to shake off at the time and the B-sides Wham Bam Thank Your Man and Donkey Rides A Penny A Glass recorded at about the same period represent far more of the ‘real’ Marriott. Interestingly, its Ronnie Lane who will go on to ape this style on his solo records, characteristically doing things properly and thoroughly by just using acoustic instruments and having all the musicians play outside together. Lane’s early solo records— especially The Poacher and Anymore For Anymore— are far more effortlessly successful than anything Marriott can do with this song, even though he tries his hardest to make the thing work. Find it on: most Immediate compilations starting with 'The Autumn Stone' (1969)

Even The Kinks wouldn't have dared writing a music hall song as wonderfully anachronistic as [69] 'Donkey Rides, A Penny A Glass', a song so English it probably has the Union Jack stamped through the middle. A fun, driving B-side full of nonsense lyrics that seem to be about a trip to the fairground but, perhaps under the influence of LSD again, sound somewhat fractured and bitty (even the title sounds a mess). With lines praising fishcakes, caravans, bangers and mash and snowflakes, this song must have confused the hell out of the Small Faces' foreign audience and may well have been written by a homesick band wanting to get home from a disastrous American tour. However the song is still largely upbeat: 'Any make you wish could true come' the band incoherently surmise before the line that could be the band's signature tune: 'I like things, I do my best, I eat sleep and laugh and cry just like the rest, what comes of me is meant to be - so I'll just groove along quite naturally!' A charming song, with tension heightened thanks to some outrageously loud cymbal playing by Kenney Jones (no wonder The Who hired him to replace close friend Keith Moon!) and a fittingly garbled mellotron solo, 'Donkey Rides A Penny A Glass' is another candidate for best ever Small Faces B-side. A charming alternate mix of this song - one that's almost 'Unplugged' except for the drums - appeared on the 'Immediate' box set and is even more charming, with an extended fade where Marriott yells through his new motto a couple of extra times with his serious face on and then fades off in a peal of giggles. That tells you all you need to know about the band's split personality! Find it on: most Immediate compilations but oddly enough not 'The Autumn Stone' - start with 'The Darlings Of Whapping Wharf Laundrette' (2000) instead.

[70a] 'Wham Bam Thank You Man' is Steve Marriott waking up one day with a heavy hard rocking sound in his head (the start of what will become Humble Pie) and the rest of the band not quite being able to keep up. Very much a 1968 style rocker (compare with 'revolution' and 'Street Fighting Man' to name but two), this is a heavy sounding song where all the 'light' has been sucked away to leave just the 'darkness' and a relentless piano riff that just keeps on coming. The lyrics, yelled by Steve in the upper right hand corner of the mix as if trapped in a tiny box, are very much secondary to the overall 'sound' but are actually highly interesting and show an increasing political awareness that's never really heard again: 'Well our lives are run by ego freaks, walking to the rules, who keep you in your pigeon-holes and fasten you there till you step out of line!' The title - a variation of the music hall/pantomime expression 'Wham Bam Thank You Mam' - isn't used anywhere in the song but is typically Small Faces-style cheeky (rather than Humble Pie earnest), although the lyrics themselves aren't that different from the more laidback and interesting demo (released as 'Me, You and Us Too' on the excellent 'Darlings Of Whapping Wharf Laundrette' compilation). The future has arrived - and only one of the band sounds ready for it; in retrospect this song is a parting of the ways and Marriott's realisation that from now on the rest of the band won't be able to move on with him. Recorded in the interim period between Ogden's and 'Autumn Stone' (and first released as the B-side to the post-album single 'Afterglow'), this is a band in transition. Find it on: again most Immediate compilations with 'Whapping Wharf Laundrette' (20002) a good starting point.

An early version of [70a] 'Wham Bam Thank You Man' also exists, with a working title of [ 70b] 'You Me and Us Too'. Less intense but still pretty loud by Small Faces standards, the main differences are the lyrics and the way they're delivered, with Steve and Ronnie rather than Steve double-tracked offering a softer, less aggressive approach. The lyrics are less about a long cool woman with a strong of girls on each arm and are a more abstract take on love: 'Love me till you cry and burn and I'll give you me in return!' The lyric then moves on to be a generational war-cry as the 1960s comes to an end and hippies become of age: 'There's nothing in their book of rules that we can't do - me, you and us too'. Featuring the last Marriott 'hah!'s, Kenney's crashing relentless drums,  Marriott-Lane interplay and the last moment of Small Faces reaching to their audience in unity, it's the end of an era. It speaks volumes that Marriott replaced what sounds a typical set of Lane lyrics with one that sounds distinctly more Humble Pie-ish and which he probably wrote himself (although the publishing 'rule' about Marriott-Lane getting credited for everything still applies to both tracks. If anything this version is even better than 'Wham Bam' despite having less 'wham bams' in it! Find it on: 'The Darlings Of Whapping Wharf Laundrette'; (20002) where it makes for a rousing closer to an era and the 'Here Comes The Nice' box set (2014).

Following 'Ogden's as an album was always going to be hard, but things weren't helped by the band's frustration that once again they'd been pegged as a 'comedy' band after 'Lazy Sunday', however much money both single and album made them or the relative lack of failure of all the singles that had come after Ogden's - the flop status of 'The Universal' particularly hurting Marriott's confidence. Marriott and Lane were agreed that things had to change - what they couldn't decide on was what. 'The Universal' sounds in retrospect like Steve trying out his friend's favoured introvert acoustic style and trying to prove to him that it 'didn't work' so they'd be better off recorded his preferred choice of harder-edged blue-eyed soul. The sessions for what should have been the fourth Small Faces album veer bounce back and forth between the two styles, though the band only got perhaps a quarter of the way to finishing it. Initially the album was given a working title of '1862', a rather bland choice of date for a title as nothing of any real significance seemed to happen (well apart from the first railway opening in New Zealand, a few American Civil war battles - but neither the beginning or the end bits - and the publication of 'Alice In Wonderland', but The Small Faces don't seem the sort to base a concept album round trains, foreign battles or white rabbits somehow, though a Small Faces take on a 'Here Come The Nice' style hookah smoking caterpillar would have been fun!) By the time the album arrives it will have been re-named 'The Autumn Stone' after its most 'finished' track and The Small Faces story will be all over bar the shouting, compilations and disappointing reunion albums.

 [71] The Autumn Stone itself is probably the last Small Faces classic, a delightful acoustic track that heads down the Universal road in more ways than one but sports a less personal lyric (probably by Ronnie) and a much more heartfelt, poignant vocal from Marriott. The best ballad the group ever did – although there are surprisingly few of them sprinkled across their four official albums – Steve proves that he really can sing with the best of them on this track with a finesse and focus he doesn't usually get a chance to prove. The acoustic arrangement is pretty unique in the band’s back catalogue too, even featuring a flute solo to enhance the mellow mood of the track. The song may be yet another take on the band’s struggling fortunes (it’s hard not to read lines like ‘I’m looking for an open door’ and ‘yesterday is dead’ as being on this theme, given that Marriott’s about to walk away from the group in just two months or so’s time), while the title alone hints at something coming to an end. If so, then this song is also a delightful lyrical tip of the hat from lyricist Lane to composer Marriott, saying how lost he was before meeting his songwriting partner and how even though the road ahead looks bleak, he still has his fond memories of all the times that went by so quickly and Marriott's drive and vision ('I was nowhere, till you changed my mind...then you were somewhere, only what you were, it's true'). A rocking ending, in which the band go electric four minutes in, can’t disguise the song’s beauty or the care with which it was made. The Faces were never a nostalgic band in the way that the Kinks and the Beach Boys were, but Autumn Stone - with its suitably autumnal feeling of decay and change – also seems like something of a farewell bow to the band’s fans and pretty much the 60s as a whole. Of course, the band probably didn’t realise this song would only ever be released posthumously and may not have realised that they would break up so quickly and so bitterly, but if ever a track found a band waving goodbye to themselves it is this one. Annoyingly, Autumn Stone is so good and such a fresh development on the band’s old sound that it makes you pine for the album that Autumn Stone could have been, showing off how talented and rounded a group the Small Faces were when they decided to call it a day. Find it on: 'The Autumn Stone' itself (1969)

[72] Collibosher is the next of the 1882 album’s five unfinished songs, a backing track that sounds mighty fine even in it’s half-baked state thanks to its jazzy horn arrangement and some fine organ playing from Ian McLagan. Kenny Jones is also at his best here, tying the whole disparate band of musicians together on another track that proves how many musical muscles the band had to flex in this period. Goodness knows where the band would have fitted the lyrics (if indeed this song did have lyrics ready at the time it was recorded) as the song’s complex sequences jump around all over the place. Look out for a longer edit of this song complete with a full ending that’s been doing the rounds on a few compilations in recent years, a take that sounds much better to these ears. Oh and before you ask – I don’t have a clue what a collibosher is - unlike 'Picaninny', it seems to be a made-up word! Find it on: 'The Autumn Stone' itself (1969)
[73] Red Balloon does have lyrics meanwhile, being a murky blues version of a Tim Hardin song that would have seen the Small Faces reverting to their Decca past in the manner of the Beatles and Stones albums of the period if they had ever intended to release it. The song is a fine performance that strays into Stones territory with an impassioned Marriott vocal and some striking guitar playing, especially the electric solo which seems to come from another world in the otherwise acoustic arrangement. Interestingly Marriott, a singer who always wore his heart on his sleeve throughout his career, is pretty convincing in character here as a ladykiller lothario who suddenly falls in love properly for the first time when he spots the girl of his dreams behind a red balloon and is debating whether to give up his wayward ways in the name of stability (even though the narrator hasn’t actually got round to introducing himself to the girl in question yet!) The song then ends up much like one of those late-period obsessive Beatles song John Lennon wrote about Yoko, with wave after wave of instrumental tension taking over the second part of the song and putting into music how deeply attached the narrator has suddenly become, unable to move on and think about anything else. Find it on: 'The Autumn Stone' itself (1969)

[74] Call It Something Nice is Ronnie Lane’s turn to shine as he trades lines with Marriott on an edgy, paranoid song that sounds like another of Ronnie’s parting messages to his old friend. Trying to make up and save the band, without backing down from his position or sacrificing his pride at the same time, this seems like a pretty fair assessment of where the bassist’s head was at the time. Lane’s bass playing is also pretty extraordinary on this song, a typically chunky rhythmic rise and fall that makes the rest of the band step into line, despite the chaotic mix that seems to spurt the song out in several different directions at once. With both Lane and Marriott on vocals pleading for the other to ‘look for the good’ in each other and a sudden minor key shift for the doubly wailed line ‘don’t lean on me ‘cause I might let you down’, its clear that the two of them are facing separate ways at a crossroads in their life. Both singers pull this track off well, with Lane’s more reserved but still pretty emotional vocals giving way to Marriott’s cathartic wail. Another song that shows how brightly the Faces were being lit up during this period and—annoyingly—how in tune the two main partners were with each other by the band’s demise. Find it on: 'The Autumn Stone' itself (1969)

Ronnie’s unique bass picking style is also heard at its best on the last unfinished track, [75] Wide Eyed Girl On The Wall (what would the lyrics to this weird title have sounded like?!?), driving the song forward in place of Marriott’s more usual guitar. Wide Eyed is effectively a slower-paced version of Colllibosher, featuring another lovely brass arrangement and a last promising performance that could have really been special if it had been finished. Outtakes, released on the 'Here Come The Nice' box set, suggest a band having fun, switching ideas and trying to alter the arrangement as time wears on. 'We can do a better one than that!' yells Steve about halfway through take two of the song, though it's been pretty rocking up till then and only the past few seconds have started to fall apart. Find it on: 'The Autumn Stone' itself (1969)

Not released till way way after the event, [76] 'Take My Time' is another unfinished unfocussed bluesy jam that sounds as if Marriott was trying to push the band ever further into the vision he had for Humble Pie. The band sound a little unsure of themselves here, without the usual Small Faces light and shade and while Mac's central organ riff is another good 'un the song gets stuck there without much opportunity for taking the track any further. Find it on: 'The Darlings Of Whapping Wharf Laundrette' (2000)

Similarly [77] 'The Pig Trotters' was reworked by Marriott for the Humble Pie track 'Wrist Job', a track credited to Marriott alone suggesting that it's his song really despite the band credit here. The 'final' version will be a slow passionate heartfelt gospel blues about the pain of 'living on your own' - here it just sounds like one of Mac's usual quirky organ instrumentals, with his customary sound by far the prominent one here. This is one of the more finished sounding 1968 instrumentals, though without the words it's a bit of a repetitive one. Find it on: 'The Darlings Of Whapping Wharf Laundrette' (2000)

There isn't much sci-fi about [78] 'War Of The Worlds' except the HG Wellsian title (and I know what you're thinking, but that book was published in 1897 not 1882, so the album probably wasn't the Jeff Wayne prog rock concept album a decade early!) Instead it's another riff-based grooving instrumental, better than most from the period perhaps but again not really going anywhere. This song was never re-used by any member of the band and does sound more like a band jam that got rehearsed and tweaked into something, in comparison to some of the other songs that definitely had lyrics planned at some point. Find it on: 'The Darlings Of Whapping Wharf Laundrette' (2000)

Though The Small Faces never recorded a studio take of Tim Hardin's emotional love plea [79] 'If I Were A Carpenter', it would surely have been a shoe-in for their next album given how well the song had been going down on The Small Faces' final 'doomed' tour of 1968. A recording of the band going hard at it survives and though it's messy and nearly unlistenable, both through audience screams and Marriott's single-line howl of guitar noise throughout, Marriott's conviction shines through on a track very much in the tradition of his own songs of heartfelt pleading such as 'Tin Soldier'. Most fans in the audience are surely ready to marry Marriott and have his 'baby' right then and there, such is the commitment of his performance. Unlike the other live songs, this one sounds slightly 'dressed up', with two Marriotts singing together at one stage and Mac doing double duty on piano and organ (which would have been possible at the show itself, but difficult). Were the band considering using this song after all or did Immediate provide the band just enough incentive to get them to help 'fix' the tracks for release a year later? Find it on: 'The Autumn Stone' (1969) and the 'Here Comes The Nice' box set (2014)

Two versions exist of Edd Cobb's [80] 'Every Little Bit Hurts', another very Marriott song choice that suggests he was in charge of the sessions that week and also premiered on the 1968 tour. Marriott gives his all via two very different performances: the live take (the first to be released) is noisy, hyperactive and gritty as Marriott slows the song down and stops it all together at one point to appeal to the crowd 'Don't it make you feeeeeel...?' as if he's Janis Joplin or Otis Redding; the studio take is a measured, note-perfect take as Marriott grows in desperation and longing verse by verse as he tries over and over to move a lover who must have the emotions of a brick given all the tricks Marriott tries to pull off here. In both versions Mac shines like never before, utterly convincing as a gospel pianist and organ player and right there with his partner with his moving, sensitive playing. With the studio take considered by some to be the last song The Small Faces ever recorded (at least until 1977 and then without Ronnie - dates are vague by the way), it's a fine way to go out, with the emotional directness that's been there in the band's music since 'What'cha Gonna Do 'Bout It?' there to the fore once again. Classy. Why the live rather than studio version made it out on 'The Autumn Stone' I'll never know...Find it on: The live version - 'The Autumn Stone' (1969) and 'Here Come The Nice' (2014); The studio version - 'The Darlings Of Whapping Wharf Laundrette' (2000) and 'Tin Soldier - The Steve Marriott Anthology' (2006)

Non-Album Recordings Part #7A: 1968 (PP Arnold)

That's it for the band, then, but there's one more curio - released in January 1968 in between  'Tin Soldier' and 'Lazy Sunday' - to report. The Small Faces were eager proponents of record label Immediate's aims to release material by young bright artists without necessarily the worry of whether their work will sell. In time this philosophy will come a cropper (about the same time The Beatles' record label Apple takes a tumble), but at the time it was a good match for a band desperate to have a 'wilder', more 'daring' reputation. The Small Faces were particularly pleased to be on the same label as a young blues singer named P P Arnold, about to break big with her cover of the Cat Stevens song 'The First Cut Is The Deepest' (and due to appear again in our books as Roger Waters' 'go-to-girl' when he wants a dose of extra soul on his solo albums). The Small Faces both wrote and played on her song '(If You Think You're) Groovy' (we haven't given it a 'number' because it's not strictly a 'Small Faces' release), which isn't quite up to their highest standards (you can see why they gave this song away) but is still something of a minor 'lost classic'. The opening is very much in P P Arnold's usual vein (a slower delicate piece that slowly expands into a full-throated screamer), although the rest of the band rather steal her thunder: Ronnie's bass is everywhere, Kenney Jones is at his loudest (the mix placing him above everyone else) and Steve is the one your ear catches with his 'oohs' and counter-vocals. Only the lyrics let this song down, rhyming 'groovy' and 'move me' and going down from there. Still, it's a track well worth hearing by curious fans who haven't got as many Small Faces songs to collect as those by many other 1960s groups and a welcome addition to many latter-day Small Faces releases. Find it on: 'PP Arnold: The First Lady Of Immediate' (1968) and The Small Faces' own 'The Darlings Of Whapping Wharf Laundrette' (2000) and 'Here Come The Nice' box set (2014)


Non-Album Recordings Part #8: 1968 (Humble Pie)

Humble Pie's singles career started with a bang! They must have been feeling pretty pleased with themselves when their first release, the non-album single [  ] 'Natural Born Bugie' (re-titled 'Natural Born Woman' and treated to an inferior muddy mix on later compilations) hit as high as #4 in the UK charts - higher than any Small Faces single since 'Lazy Sunday'. Exactly the sort of funky strutting harder-edged good time rock and roll song Marriott had been wanting to make with The Small Faces at the end, it must have buoyed his confidence a lot. In actual fact though it's new collaborator Peter Frampton who shines most, both with his typically tidy and virtuoso guitar solo (performed while Marriott holds down a typically funky rhythm) and his vocals which even out-gruff Marriott's. Steve will get his own back before too long (see the B-side!) but the battles for band power seem to start as early as this song. You can tell, though, that Marriott still 'misses' Ronnie, especially in the lyric department as though this song about a natural born woman millionaire is a fun one-night stand, it doesn't have the same depth as The Small Faces. Released to a blaze of publicity, no other Humble Pie single will again get the same treatment - and no Humble Pie single ever released after this one (and there's a lot of them - fourteen in total) will ever make the UK charts. Find it on: as a bonus track on the CD release of 'As Safe As Yesterday Is'  (1969) and 'Natural Born Bugie - The Immediate Anthology' (2008)

B-side [  ] 'Wrist Job' is a remodelling of unreleased Small Faces instrumental 'The Pig Trotters' minus the pigs but plus the dark and gloomy mood, despite the frivolous (and very Humble Pie!) title. Marriott's back to pining for Jenny again, just as on 'Tin Soldier' and many others. She's gone away - temporarily Marriott hopes - and suddenly he's struck by how empty his life is without her. Cue one of Pie's greatest songs which a is a far better testament to their abilities than the better known A-side. Marriott himself plays the swirling gospel organ part which would once have been Mac's as he works himself up into a frenzy of panic as he realises 'there's nothing for me' and he files away what this over-arching emptiness felt like for the next time he has an argument and threatens to walk. Marriott spent his career long 'looking' for someone, whether musically or in his private life and really seemed to hate spending time alone. This is surely his most explicit song on the subject though and a Marriott tour de force despite the strong backing from Pie and a passing group of gospel backing singers. Shades of things to come, but only very rarely anywhere close to being this good. Find it on: as a bonus track on the CD release of 'As Safe As Yesterday Is'  (1969) and 'Natural Born Bugie - The Immediate Anthology' (2008)

Non-Album Recordings Part #9A: 1970 (Humble Pie)
After the surprise flop of second single and album track, the Marriott cowboy tale 'The Sad Bag Of Shakey Jake', the third Humble Pie was another standalone single. Though you might think from the title refers to depression, [  ] 'Big Black Dog' is actually a literal dog - a talking dog in fact, though slightly better behaved than our AAA mascots Max and Bingo. Marriott gets asked to 'do what he's told', which is a red rag to a bull even when up against a black dog, but the pair to a compromise of both 'letting' the other off. Marriott takes the first verse and Frampton the second on this co-written song about underhand dealings and mutual benefit. A rather odd song in truth, which despite its solid criss-crossing guitar riff, never quite bursts into the excitement you long for. The B-side was a preview of 'Strange Days', from the forthcoming album 'Rock On!'  Find it on: 'Hot 'n' Nasty - The Humble Pie Anthology' (1994) and 'Tin Soldier - The Steve Marriott Anthology' (2005)

Non-Album Recordings Part #9B: 1970 (The Faces)
The B-side to 'Had Me A Real Good Time' - as featured on the forthcoming album 'Long Player' - is [  ] 'Rear Wheel Skid Marks', another of those annoying band written instrumentals that clog up quite a few of their records. This is one is harder edges than most though with an unusually aggressive sound that makes it the Faces song most like 'Humble Pie' and thus in the direction Marriott wanted to take The Faces. Wood takes the lead for a very Marriott style crunching guitar solo, but without anything else happening this instrumental soon skids off the road completely. Another of those Faces instrumentals more fun to play than to play back. Find it on: 'Early Singles' (2015) 

Non-Album Recordings Part #10: 1971 (The Faces)
We've already covered the excellent live take of Paul McCartney's [  ] 'Maybe I'm Amazed' which appeared on 'Long Player' earlier in the year. The studio take released as a single is both better and worse: better in the sense that you can actually hear what's going on and for the fact that the band clearly know how the song goes. However this song lacks the atmosphere of the earlier cut and neither Ronnie nor Rod sings the track as well. Macca's original sterling guitar solo is also replaced by some piano vamping which seems odd, especially as Woody so cleverly aped the original on 'Long Player'. This is still one of the Faces' best cover songs - it's too good a song to not to be in anyone's hands (and a track suspiciously Marriott like in its desperate yearning) - but this arrangement needs to calm down a bit. Find it on: 'Stray Singles and B Sides' (2015), part of the 'You Can Make Me Dance Sing Or Anything' box set of albums

[  ] 'Oh Lord, I'm Browned Off' is yet another of those interminable Faces instrumentals only if anything not as interesting as the others. Wood's acerbic guitar and Mac's spiky organ have a conversation, but neither leaves the other room to 'speak', while Ronnie Lane - of the creative geniuses of his age - gets stuck playing a generic blues riff on the bass. Released as the flipside to the studio take of 'Maybe I'm Amazed' and oh lord, yes it did brown me off. Find it on: 'Stray Singles and B Sides' (2015), part of the 'You Can Make Me Dance Sing Or Anything' box set of albums  

Non-Album Recordings Part #11: 1971 (The Faces)
The B-side of 'Cindy Incidentally' is - wait for it - a group written instrumental. At least this time around though [  ] 'Skewiff (Mend The Fuse)' has an interesting angular slide guitar riff at its heart and is a song that sounds as if it was always intended as an instrumental rather than a backing track the band couldn't be bothered to finish. I haven't quite been through them all to check, but this is at least a rare example of The Faces using the more paranoid and melancholy minor key rather than their more usual open-hearted major keys and it's a particularly strong song for Ronnie Wood who provides at least three chilling guitar parts: the usual, a slide and a grungy grunting part that provides most of the tension. watch out for a false ending that drags this song from a natural break at 4:00 to a full 5:15 running time. Find it on: 'Stray Singles and B Sides' (2015), part of the 'You Can Make Me Dance Sing Or Anything' box set of albums 

Non-Album Recordings Part #13: 1973 (The Faces)
Following the release of 'Ooh La La' The Faces were never all free long enough to make another album, although they soldiered on with a bunch of singles with new bass player Tetsu Yamauchi replacing Ronnie Lane. [  ] 'Pool Hall Richard' doesn't sound as if there's been any difference at all - a rocky Rod and Ronnie W collaboration about a typical pool shark who impresses the narrator. It's no 'Pool Hall Wizard' though and if you've heard any Faces songs but not this one (it isn't that well known, missing the charts) you can probably guess exactly how it goes. Find it on: 'Stray Singles and B-Sides' (2015)

The B-side [  ] 'I Wish It Would Rain' by The Temptations is far superior, despite being a live recording. Rod's better at these slightly blurry-edged ballads and most of the backing track is handed over to Mac to play, which are two good moves right there. Rod's narrator, unusually, is the loser in a relationship and longs for it to rain outside to fit his bluesy mood. Ronnie Wood also fits in a lengthy guitar solo that's one of his better ones in the years before the Rolling Stones make him lose all inspiration. Introduced as a song getting it's 'first public airing', it's one of the band's better and more suitable covers and it's a shame the band only discovered it so close to the 'end' they rarely performed it at all. Find it on: 'Stray Singles and B-Sides' (2015)

Non-Album Recordings Part #14: 1974 (The Faces)

If you're the kind of fan who counts parenthesis and punctuation as an official part of a song title (and let's face it who doesn't, right?!?!?close bracket) then the memorably titled final Faces single [  ] 'You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything (Even Take The Dog For A Walk, Mend A Fuse, Fold Away The Ironing Board Or Any Other Domestic Shortcomings)' is still the official record holder for the longest title of any song to make the charts (#12 in the UK). Not that this final song has a lot else to recommend it really as it's more generic Faces fluff, seriously in need of Ronnie Lane's ideas to make it interesting. Credited to all the remaining band (and thus the only track the band did co-credited to new bass player Testsu Yamauchi), it sounds much the same as usual as Rod starts pleading with a girl to take him back across a cheery but familiar sounding tune (this melody must have been used in some Temptations/Foundations/Four Tops song surely?) At least though, unlike some other Faces songs, this one comes in the form of an apology and a promise to do better - even if it comes after a long list of things the narrator has done wrong. Sadly none of the title in brackets is mentioned in the song, as it might have been rather fun to have Rod spending a verse discussing the important points of ironing shirts or accidentally setting his hair alight when he gets the fuse wrong (at least, for those of us who've had to suffer the Rod Stewart American Songbook...)Find it on: 'Stray Singles and B Sides' (2015), part of the 'You Can Make Me Dance Sing Or Anything' box set of albums

The B-side - and therefore the last ever song released by The Faces barring outtakes - is the heartfelt Rod and Woody collaboration [  ] 'As Long As You Tell Him'. Fittingly it's a ballad, something The Faces did rather better than rock songs at the end of their time, and there's a nice reflective bittersweet glow about it that makes it a fair farewell as Rod simultaneously pours his heart out soul-singer style to an ex-partner whose taken up with a new bloke and sarcastically reminding her 'I've overcome worse problems than you'. Ronnie Wood provides a very George Harrisonesque slide guitar part (recorded at around the same time he played one for real with the ex-Beatle on his solo track 'Far East Man'), but it's Mac's churchy organ that's this song's heart and soul. Find it on: 'Stray Singles and B Sides' (2015), part of the 'You Can Make Me Dance Sing Or Anything' box set of albums

Released a year after the band broke up, band jam [  ] 'Dishevelment Blues' appeared on a flexidisc given out free with the NME in 1975. The band are clearly messing around rather than doing anything serious, with Rod 'apologising' for messing things up and cheerleading the band through a set of boring blues changes before shouting gibberish. It's amazing the rubbish they used to give out with magazines for people who'd paid good money isn't it? This would have been best kept for the archive shelf really, although those who are as drunk as the band might get some enjoyment out of it. 'Do it again? What did he say?' ad libs Mac at the end. Dear God no, I'm not sitting through that again - I think I'd rather listen to The Spice Girls... Find it on: 'Stray Singles and B-Sides' (2015)

Non-Album Recordings Part #15: 1990

The one thing none of the Small Faces or their breakaway groups or solo albums had ever done was release a political song, till here at the end of Thatcher's deranged spiteful reign as UK ice queen. This seems odd in retrospect: it's not as if The Small Faces weren't outspoken in their interviews (especially when they were trying to make the world think of them as something more than teen pop idols) and given the financial destitution they all suffered at one time or another they each had a reason to feel aggrieved about the powers that be at some stage. The moment when Marriott had enough comes right at the end of the milk snatcher Thatcher's reign of terror and relates to the 'poll tax' (technically the 'community charge' - but nobody called it by that name, because it's even sillier) introduced that year: an ill-conceived attempt to tax every adult on the electoral register a set amount, regardless of circumstances or goods bought (so, naturally, several people left the electoral register overnight: these people aren't really very bright sometimes are they?) This led to such rioting and protesting on the street (not unlike the moments David Cameron got caught with some 'pigs trotters' and gave seven different stories about his family's Panama tax accounts in the more modern UK era) that even Thatcher's cabinet had to think twice and ditched it, to be replaced by the lesser of the two evils 'council tax' (which doesn't care about your circumstances much either but at least is slightly more proportional to the area you live in). The poll tax is generally agreed as the moment when Thathcer fell from power, making a song like [  ] 'Poll Tax Blues' potentially one of the most important songs in this book, except that a still sheepish Marriott hid his identity under the name 'The Policats' (though there wasn't much point given no one else sounded like Marriott, even this late on in his career) and few people ever heard the record, never mind bought it. They probably couldn't afford it what with the poll tax and all. A slightly clumsy sped-up blues (a nice reversion of the usual Humble Pie formula), it's a scrappy song that doesn't give many reasons for complaining and just does a lot of moaning really, but it's so unusual to hear Marriott recording a song like this that the political edge alone makes it interesting. That and the fact that this song ended up becoming the very last song released Marriott released in his own lifetime, his suspicion of record companies and being taken for a ride making this also the first release in many a long year too. In case you were wondering, the B side on 7" vinyl was an identical version of the same track - I'd have loved to have heard a more thoughtful and whimsical Ronnie Lane take on the same subject on the flipside like the days of old! Find it on: 'Tin Soldier - The Steve Marriott Anthology' (2006)

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