The Small Faces

The BBC Sessions

by Sarah Zupko


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.

cover art

The Small Faces

The BBC Sessions

(Fuel 2000)

The BBC Sessions


We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.

//Mixed media

Call for Music Writers... Hip-Hop, Soul, Electronic, Rock, Indie, Americana, Jazz, World and More

// Announcements

"PopMatters is looking for smart music writers. We're looking for talented writers with deep genre knowledge of music and its present and…

READ the article