Home | Small Faces Story | Tour of London | Discography | Features | Members | Books | Links | A-Z | Contact

What's New

There Are But Four Small Faces

There Are But Four Small Faces

Immediate / Charly

Released: 10 November 2014

 

Track Listing: 

Disc One (Stereo)

  • Itchycoo Park
  • Talk To You
  • Up The Wooden Hills To Bedfordshire
  • My Way of Giving
  • I'm Only Dreaming
  • I Feel Much Better
  • Tin Soldier
  • Get Yourself Together
  • Show Me The Way
  • Here Come The Nice
  • Green Circles
  • (Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me

Extra Bonus Tracks

  • Eddie's Dreaming (Take 4, Mix 1)
  • Get Yourself Together (Early mix)
  • Show Me The Way (Take 5)
  • (Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me (Alternate take)

Disc Two (Mono Promotional DJ version)

  • Itchycoo Park
  • Talk To You
  • Up The Wooden Hills To Bedfordshire
  • My Way of Giving
  • I'm Only Dreaming
  • I Feel Much Better
  • Tin Soldier
  • Get Yourself Together
  • Show Me The Way
  • Here Come The Nice
  • Green Circles
  • (Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me

Mono Bonus Tracks

  • Tin Soldier (TV backing track)
  • Here Come The Nice (USA version)
  • Green Circles (Take 1, alternate mix 2)
 
Making Time Review:

There are But Four Small Faces is effectively the US version of the Small Faces' first Immediate album that has been released in March 1968. The major difference between the two albums is the the US version contains singles and b-sides while the UK version only included Talk to You the b-side of Here Come the Nice. This UK deluxe release takes advantage of the recent remastering of the Small Faces Immediate catalogue to produce a stunning-sounding album that showcases these classic tracks at their best and really does benefit from being played loud. There are two versions of the album, one in stereo and the second disc has a mono version intended for US DJs. The set is excellently completed with a booklet containing details of the album with interviews and more. This is a great read in itself.

Small Faces fans will not need convincing of the quality of this album. Those who are investigating for the band for the first time, and there are still many, will discover why the Small Faces are rated as one of the UK's best band, why Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane rank alongside Lennon/McCartney and Jagger/Richards as great 1960s songwriting partnerships and hear some classic singles.

When the Small Faces left Don Arden's management and Decca Records they signed with Andrew Loog Oldham and Tony Calder's fledgling Immediate Records. To some extent they became the house band backing many other artists with Marriott and Lane's songwriting and production skills also benefiting other acts. Immediate Records promised the band the freedom they craved with almost unlimited studio time, mostly at Olympic Studios. The Beatles has become a studio band by this time and musicians were looking to enjoy the freedom that had previously been denied to them. There is no doubt that while the Small Faces had produced some tremendous tracks while with Decca, the switch to Immediate really opened the band up with almost unlimited studio time and the freedom to exploit it.

Itchycoo Park is a familiar start as possibly the best-known track for UK and US audiences. Released during the "summer of love" the track links the psychedelic mood of the times with the East End of Small Faces London. The-side I'm Only Dreaming is an enduring track with its inclusion on the album helping to ensure that the track reaches a wider audience that it surely deserves. B-sides are not always throwaway tracks and I'm Only Dreaming is a perfect example of the Small Faces at their best. While Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane wrote the majority of Small Faces original songs, Ian McLagan chips in with Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire.  

The next single on the album is the phenomenal Tin Soldier. This would have convinced anybody who still doubted that the Small Faces' creativity was flourishing in the studio. Although Tin Soldier was a single and not on an album in the UK it did show a heavier direction which the Small Faces, later Humble Pie and rock music in general would take. Years later, Tin Soldier stands out as the Small Faces at their absolute peak, a great Steve Marriott song, perfect arrangement and every member of the band playing their hearts out. Add to this the soulful backing vocals of Immediate artist PP Arnold and who have one of the greatest rock songs ever recorded. Again, the b-side I Feel Much Better is a highly creative track and not just a throwaway to fill the space.

The other single on the album was the first launched in the US although without troubling the chart compilers. Here Come the Nice is a great example of Marriott at his cheeky best making numerous drug references and getting away with it. The US version of the single is included on disc 2. Again, the b-side Talk To You is included and it is a great track with soulful vocals from Marriott.

Get Yourself Together is another favourite although one the Small Faces never played live. A great version is available from The Jam and when Weller asked Mac about it, the keyboard player could not recall the track. Many of the tracks were played in the studio and never played again. Get Yourself Together later became a staple of Ian McLagan's live act. One of Mac's major moments on the album is on the Ronnie Lane track Show Me The Way with its barque instrumentation. The freedom of Olympic Studios allowed Mac to use the harpsichord he found there, quite a departure from the more usual Booker T Jones style he played with the Small Faces. At the time, Lane was looking for spiritual enlightenment and this tracks marks the start of his search. Lane also features on Green Circles, probably one of the band's more "psychedelic" tracks. A curio on side two which also appeared on The Immediate Years boxed set is a version of Green Circles with Steve Marriott on lead vocals. Judge for yourself which is the better version.

The main album finishes with (Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me, the opening track of the UK Small Faces album. This is a much under-rated and under-played track that certainly justifies its inclusion. The US album excludes some of the tracks from the UK release although Eddies Dreaming is included as an extra track. Presumably these were seen as less appropriate for a US audience especially Marriott's "Cockney" introduction to "Ronald Leafy Lane".

In summary, nothing especially new here but without doubt the inclusion of three classic singles and their b-sides makes this pop and rock perfection.

March 2015

Privacy policy

Making Time 1995-2015