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.