Just for a Moment - Music 1973-1997
Release Date: 17 May 2019
Making Time Review May 2019:
Ronnie Lane played in two great bands, the
Small Faces and the Faces, before deciding to give up the rock & roll
lifestyle for a gentler country life, producing music that was closer to
country folk than the soul and near-psychedelia of the Small Faces or the
pub rock of the Faces. This included moving to a farmhouse in the Welsh
hills where Slim Chance would rehearse and record. Regular visits to the
local pub would even end up with Lane worse for wear and jamming on stage
with visiting friends such as Eric Clapton. What was clear was that Ronnie
had made his name, written some great songs and proved himself. It was now
time to get away from the pressures of the music business, the rock & roll
lifestyle and two "overbearing" singers.
Living more of a gypsy lifestyle he created
the Passing Show. This was intended as a multimedia experience with music
and circus acts performed in a tent and touring the country. This was
artistically ambitious and a commercial disaster. Later Lane moved to the
US, initially Austin Texas and then Colorado. He continued to write and perform
despite developing MS. He died in Colorado in 1997.
This six-CD collection collects much of
Ronnie Lane's work since the Faces including all four regular albums,
live and demo tracks, songs from the collaboration with Pete Townshend Rough Mix as well as Slim
Chance. There are reworked Faces tracks such as Ooh La La,
Glad & Sorry and
You're So Rude but only one Small Faces track, a live version of
Nothing. This is a wonderful overview of Ronnie's post Faces output that
covers the whole period and with well-known tracks mixed in with
lesser-known pieces and alternative versions. There are also later tracks
from Ronnie's time in the US.
After leaving the Faces, Ronnie Lane's music
took a completely different tack. Although the influences are clear, they
are varied but they end up helping to create a cohesive Ronnie Lane sound.
This is a mix of folk and country with a bit of rock & roll getting in there
too. He remained a prolific writer with a number of albums under his name or
Slim Chance. He also collaborated with Pete Townshend on Rough Mix
and with former Faces bandmate Ronnie Wood on Mahoney's Last Stand.
Tracks from both of these are available in this set.
As a solo artist Lane only had the one major
hit single with How Come and there are several versions of this here.
The Poacher is a classic track that would have been a massive
hit but only reached 36 due to unusual circumstances preventing it rising
higher. Likewise the excellent Rough Mix with Townshend was less
successful. Despite being critically acclaimed it was not promoted by the
record company at the time.
Lane was a prolific writer (and drinker) on
his farm in Wales and, apart from Slim Chance, regular visitor would
include Eric Clapton who co-wrote some of the songs on Lane's second album
for example the excellent Barcelona. The quiet of the countryside was
great for writing and playing this new type of music with the
state-of-the-art Lane's Mobile Studio capturing the output for posterity.
Sessions frequently finished in the local pub where Lane, Clapton and others
would jam in the corner. Eric Clapton even wrote Wonderful Tonight
for Patti while staying on the farm.
Disc five is particularly interesting as it
includes a complete Rockpalast concert from 1980. The show was a
regular live concert broadcast on German WDR television. This live
appearance shows that Ronnie Lane was still a hot live act. Songs played
include the wonderful Flags & Banners and Kuschty Rye
alongside the Faces favourite You're So Rude.
The final disc of the set covers Lane's time
in the US, mostly in Austin where he was living at the time but also with
tracks from a brief Japanese trip. We had continued to play until his MS
prevented him from doing so. Faces tracks surfacing here include
You're So Rude, Ooh La La, Debris and Glad & Sorry.
However, Rough Mix is also revisited here with Annie and
Nowhere to Run. However, the only Small Faces track here is
All or Nothing from a John Peel session of 1976. This is despite the
plethora of fine material he wrote at the time.
Even though he had moved away from the public
eye. Lane had continued to produce wonderful, soulful music although it was
very different from his previous band outings. The regard in which he was
held as a writer, performer and as a person is evident from the
collaborations with Clapton, Townshend, Wood and others.
Comprehensive sleeve notes focus on Ronnie
the musician, the songwriter, the collaborator and split the post 1973 period
into three distinct parts. Writers are Paolo Hewitt, Kris Needs and Kent
Benjamin covering Ronnie’s Austin years, whilst The Who’s Pete Townshend
contributes a foreword on his former best friend and collaborator
The six discs housed in a hard-back book with outer slipcase. The
package also includes a book of Ronnie’s lyrics and an A2 fold out poster.
This is pretty much a broad and near complete
overview of Ronnie Lane's work after the Faces. There are also many
tracks that have not been released previously and this makes the whole
package a worthwhile addition to any music collection.