The Small Faces

The Small Faces were one of those British groups that just never could break America. Some say it was their manager Don Arden who would not budget for touring America but they could have been just a little too British for America…

They were indeed small… all of them were between 5’4 and 5’6″…

They had one of the best if not the best lead singer of that time in Steve Marriott. The guy had a huge voice. They had a talented lineup of Steve Marriott (Guitar and Lead Vocals), Ronnie Lane (Bass), Kenney Jones (drums) and Ian McLagan (Keyboards)… Ian replaced Jimmy Winston.

They were a mod group that was together from 1965 to the beginning of 1969 when Steve left to form Humble Pie.

The had some very good singles like All or Nothing, Itchycoo Park, Lazy Sunday, Tin Soldier, Sha-La-La-La-Lee and more.

The Small Faces also recorded a critically acclaimed concept psychedelic album in 1968 called Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake with their new record company Immediate Records. They never followed it up and only performed it once live in its entirety on a television show called Colour Me Pop. It spent 6 weeks at number one on the UK Album Charts.

Steve Marriott wanted to do heavier and more sophisticated music and quit at a 1968 New Years Eve gig to join Peter Frampton in Humble Pie.

When Mick Taylor quit the Rolling Stones in 1974 it left a big hole in their sound…  According to Ronnie Wood, Steve Marriott was Keith Richards first choice to replace Taylor…Mick Jagger vetoed the idea. Steve was a great guitar player and writer. It would have been interesting but he could not have sung lead. There is no singer that could take Mick’s place in the Rolling Stones.

The Small Faces were not finished. They replaced Marriott with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood and became the Faces. The Small Faces did reunite in the mid-70s with Ronnie Lane on bass again but he quit and was replaced.

Marriott and Lane did most of the writing. Their songs were clever and catchy. I was a very young in the sixties and don’t actually remember them but Itchycoo Park puts me there. This band should have been bigger than what they were… With the right record label, manager and push, they might have broken through.

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

11 thoughts on “The Small Faces”

  1. Here is a tough question to think about- what is the greatest band to never ‘make it”- as far as getting big–that should have been huge? My Mount Rushmore of Groups That Should Have Been Huge- Big Star, The Velvet Underground, The Ramones and a tie for the 4th slot- The Replacements and Husker Du.

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    1. You named my number one group… Big Star… I agree with your picks. Now you know I will be thinking of this the rest of the day. You know I want to say the Kinks so bad but…they did make it…just not as big as I think they should have been… Like I said I will think about this one.

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      1. The Kinks were the first group that crossed my mind but yes -while they should have been bigger they were pretty big. In a way I think The Ramones and VU did make it as far as getting their due as big influences but I doubt either group has had an album sell a million copies over the years no matter how much acclaim their catalog has gotten.

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      2. You know a band just came to me. You may not agree but Cheap Trick should have been bigger than what they were… they toured like dogs… But like the Kinks they did sell some albums…like Live at Budokan.

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      3. I got into Cheap Trick when the Budakan album came out and bought up all their albums- I really liked them a lot until the mid-80’s. .. You are right they were touring like mad- they did sell some albums- have some hits but I don’t know why they weren’t bigger- I agree they should have been…. Back in the early 80’s my sister who was like 13-14 at the time wanted to go see them. I was busy with something or other and couldn’t take her– so my mom took her. After the concert my mom said “I thought they sounded a lot better the second time they came out after they changed their clothes…my mom is like the Yogi Berra of the family. I wish I had kept track of all the things she has said over the years.

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      4. Still enjoy those old albums of theirs- I think the last one I bought was Dream Police.. or maybe the one after that. Did you ever see them in concert? I think I went to a baseball game that night- which is why I missed it. I never have seen them.

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      5. I saw them only once at Opryland in the park. It was a special event and they only played for one hour. They rocked but it must have been a strict time schedule because at the end he started into Daytripper and had to stop and apologize. They put on a really good show…that was in 1984.

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