Guide to British Music of the 1960s

October 2005

DVD Review

The Small Faces Under Review

This new DVD is a documentary of the Small Faces career from R&B-loving Mods through the "flower-power" years to the era of heavier rock. It is a mix of live and promotional film footage as well as interviews with those who have been close to the band.

The Small Faces had a brief chart career where they moved from teen-stars to protagonists of leading-edge rock music. During this time, they produced a string of classic hit singles, including the number 1 All or Nothing, and three great albums. The last of the LP releases was Ogden's Nut Gone Flake. This was an unusual record with the second side taken up by the story of Happiness Stan which was narrated by Stanley Unwin.

The documentary is presented in chronological order with most of the singles represented by promotional film footage or, in some cases, genuine live footage or some taken from television appearances. While none of this is new, much of it has not been available on DVD before. It is a pity that there are some appearances that are available but have not been released on DVD, video or CD-ROM format such as the Morecombe & Wise show or the whole of the Colour Me Pop Show where Ogden's was played in its entirety. This will have to wait for another day. Nevertheless, the clips that have been chosen work well to illustrate the songs. The best live clip, in my opinion, is of the legendary Booker T & the MGs playing Green Onions. Superb stuff!

The interviews are with those who were closer to the band although no recent interviews with members of the band itself or their families. Steve Marriott biographers John Hellier and Paulo Hewitt are featured prominently as are journalists Nigel Williamson, Keith Altham and Chris Welch. Dave Clark, co-author of Nice One also makes a number of appearances.

This is a comprehensive look at the career of one of Britain's most influential and still-loved bands that will be equally at home in the collections of Small Faces die-hards as well as those who like the music but knew little about what lies behind the music. Young fans will be particularly interested, having not been able to be there first time round to witness the excitement generated by the East End's own Fab Four.

The DVD is completed with an illustrated discography and an extremely difficult "Hardest Small Faces Quiz in the World Ever."

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