Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"Small Faces : All Or Nothing 1965-1968"...

In many respects I am a Mod at heart. I say that as someone who is not British, and due to the year I was born I was kept from participating in the original Mod years and had to settle for the Mod Revival. (In 1965, I was a year old.) My appearance was a bit more androgynous than most mods. Think a fusion of male and female mod style, and that was me...I was known to wear the occasional thin tie (but in a feminine way). *grin* Lets just say that I was one of the more eccentric alumni of Georgia Southern College in the early 1980's.

I was in the throes of entering the world of the Mod prior to becoming a college DJ, but being in that music laden environment sealed the deal. "WVGS - Your Progressive Alternative" was what our station ID's said. We didn't have a format, and we all adhered to that religiously. You could tune in at any given point during airtime and hear anything. I had listened to them in the couple of years leading up to college, but it was during that time that I became a died in the wool fan of "The Jam". Fitting since Weller, Foxton, and Buckler, were the poster boys of the Mod Revival. During that time I also developed a love for the music of another band I had heard, but had never really 'heard'. That band was the "Small Faces".

(The Small Faces, from left to right: Steve Marriott, Ian McLagen,
Kenney Jones, and Ronnie Lane)

(This performance of 'Whatcha Gonna Do about It' is on the DVD, but without all of the fanzine-esque garbage around it.)

The impact of the Small Faces on the original Mod movement was huge. In many respects they are credited with influencing the Mod style of the time. There are also numerous musicians who name them as an influence, Paul Weller of "The Jam" being one. If ever a band could make me want to be a teenager and time travel back to a certain time or place, they would be the one.

I recently ordered, "The Small Faces: All Or Nothing 1965-1968", and it is well worth the money ($19.99 US from Amazon.com). Not only does it have 27 complete performances, it has quite a bit of archival footage. Included are interviews with surviving members, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagen, and archival interviews with Ronnie Lane and the late great Steve Marriott. (How obvious is it that I am a Marriott fan?)

All of their hits are included on this disc, and the interviews do shed some light on the bands ups and downs (fame without the fortune due to money grubbing management). There is an interview with their first manager from the time of their first recordings..."I only exploit those who want to be exploited". (Bastard...)

To this day "The Jam" and the "Small Faces" are two of my top three favorite bands (the other being "The Chameleons UK"). I am just glad to have their recordings. Actually watching the DVD was kind of bittersweet. Listening to those pipes, that voice that Marriott had...well, it makes one sad to think what might have been had he not died in that house fire in '91. He is arguably the best white soul singer ever, and I wish he were still here delivering the goods. But as I said, I am just glad to have the recordings of him with the "Small Faces", and his venture after, "Humble Pie".

As for this DVD of the "British Invasion" series, I can't recommend this installment enough. If you are a fan of the "Small Faces" or ever were (are) a mod in any way, shape, or form, this DVD is a must for your collection.

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