Aside from the Beatles, the Small Faces may well have been the finest band of the 1960s—at least in the eyes of many fellow musicians. Barely scraping the charts in the States, their influence has been massive in the U.K., especially on notables such as The Jam, Blur, and Oasis. Noel Gallagher, for one, rightly rates “Tin Soldier” as one of the greatest singles of all time. The band’s irresistible blend of British pop and American R&B and Steve Marriott’s fiery, soulful vocals have been copped by bands too countless to name. But let me just say, Led Zeppelin, particularly on “Whole Lotta Love,” nicked the Small Faces sound (especially Marriott’s style) lock, stock, and barrel.
Far more than the cute Mods that the press painted them, the band also boasted one of pop’s greatest-ever songwriting teams, Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott. Classics such as the aforementioned “Tin Soldier,” “Song of a Baker,” “All or Nothing,” and “Itchycoo Park” are only a few of the stellar moments from a brilliant catalogue penned by this team. As The BBC Sessions proves, the band’s performance chops were top of the line as well. Focused primarily on their earlier incarnation as a R&B/pop band (before psychedelia took hold on the seminal Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake), the collection sports incendiary versions of Small Faces classics and is a treasure for every rock ‘n’ roll fan in the land.
// Notes from the Road
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