Guide to British Music of the 1960s

September 2003

Book Review

Nice One by Dave Clark, Detlef Mittmann and Klaus Witt

Available for ?1 from:

GHSC Publishing
80 Silvester Road
East Dulwich
London SE22 9PF

This work brings together all the picture sleeves for Small Faces vinyl releases around the world. It is an incredibly detailed work that list single and album releases in each country with pictures of the sleeves and record labels as well as details on the release. The research is not confirmed to the Small Faces' official recording but also includes the myriad of "rip-off" albums where the band received no royalties whatsoever.

My first instinct was to look to see if any releases were missed based on those ones I own but I would consider to be rare. They were included and, on looking at the UK New World release, Small Faces from 1972, the "mystery" about this album is revealed. One of the questions that has arisen from time to time is about the nature of the track that masquerades as What's a Matter Baby. Both Mac and Ronnie Lane have been asked about the song that begins with "looking of pictures of yellow, red and green" but they were unable to help. According to Nice One this is a track by Adam, Mike and Tim, a trio from Liverpool and is called Little Pictures. The track has appeared on several of these "unofficial" Small Faces releases and highlights just what a shabby job many of them were. The latter fact is also highlighted by some instances of singles covers, e.g. Hey Girl, showing the earlier Jimmy Winston line-up of the band when he had left well before the release of the track. A couple of album releases mix tracks from both the Decca and Immediate eras of the group although the first time that this was achieved, legally, was with the 2003 of the Ultimate Collection.

Nice One highlights one of the crucial aspects of the Small Faces. Quite simply they were the coolest band around and the sharpest dressers. Although the same band photos are recycled across many album and single covers, the group's sense of style comes through. However, there are a few sleeves where the cover design can only be described as "dodgy", the Swiss release I've Got Mine, for example, that shows a couple dancing the twist!!

This is a fascinating book and an easy read, either as a reference work or for mere entertainment. The authors are working on an equivalent for Steve Marriott releases.

ISBN: 0-9545812-0-2

First published 2003 by GHSC Publishing

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