Small Faces - The Decca Years 1965-1967

by Kevin Orton Rating:10 Release Date:2015-10-09

This five-disc box set marks the 50th anniversary of Small Faces debut release, covering everything they cut at Decca in an 18 month period, before they jumped ship to Andrew Loog Oldham’s Immediate label. Small Faces were the quintessential 60s Mod band. Yet alongside  contemporaries like The Who and The Kinks, they tend to be a touch too taken for granted, if you ask me. This box can change that. 

Small Face classics like 'What’Cha Gonna Do About It', 'Sha La La La Lee', and 'All or Nothing' can be found here, along with rare alternative mixes. Their fabulous version of 'Runaway' is included along with countless steller but lesser known singles.

For my money, 'E Too D' is essential. Lines like, “Sometimes I look inside me and I don’t like what I see” show the same gift for lyrical introspection that Ray Davies excelled at.  Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is a gorgeous foray into of Psychedelia. There is simply not a bad cut. In addition there are a total of 5 interviews with Steve Marriot.

Remastered from the original analog tapes unearthed from the Decca and BBC vaults, drummer Kenny Jones has done an amazing job of overseeing the project. Ronny, Ian and Steve have never sounded so good on cd before. What is also striking is how powerful a singer Steve Marriot truly was.  He may have been slight in terms of physical stature, but vocally he could belt it out with the giants. In terms of frontman, he was the best of his era. Had more charisma than Daltry and more versitility than Jagger. A voice not so much imitative but the real deal, coming from deep in the gut. And have to say, one can really hear Marriot's huge influence on Rod Stewart.

 Without a doubt this package is aimed toward the die-hard fans, but can serve as a great introduction to a band that has influenced everyone from their contemporaries to The Jam, Blur and Oasis. A glorious box of pure dynamite.

 

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