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Post subject: Small Faces Part 2- The Immediate Recordings (1967-1969)  PostPosted: Apr 22, 2009 - 09:32 PM
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In early 1967, the Small Faces signed with Immediate Records and were given unlimited creative freedom (and studio time as well). Over the next two years they produced two extraordinary lpís and a half dozen classic singles. They also found themselves writing, producing and playing on other peopleís records, most notably P.P. Arnold, Billy Nicholls and Johnny Hallyday. The material from this period has been recycled on countless compilations over the years. For this posting, Iím sticking to the original UK Immediate singles and lpís through 1969.

Unlike the Decca material, all of the UK Immediate singles received a reciprocal release in the US.

The Singles:

1. Here Come The Nice / Talk To You (Immediate IM 050; 6/67) Ė Absolutely one of the most irresistible and catchy drug songs ever. The b-side would also be included on their first lp for Immediate.

2. Itchycoo Park / Iím Only Dreaming (Immediate IM 057; 8/67) Ė The only track by Small Faces to break the American Top 10 and still making occasional appearances on a classic rock radio station near you. Another fantastic single by the band that was given its psychedelic feel by the then-revolutionary use of phasing. Producer Glyn Johns often gets credited with the discovery of this technique, but he freely admits it was developed by his Assistant Engineer, George Chkiantz.

3. Tin Soldier / I Feel Much Better (Immediate IM 062; 12/67) Ė A tremendous A-Side that Marriott would revisit many years later with Humble Pie. This track was originally written for P.P. Arnold, but after seeing her reaction (she was apparently blown away by it), the band decided to keep it for themselves. The B-side is a splendid piece of sunshine pop that sounds unmistakably like 1967.

4. Lazy Sunday / Rolliní Over (Immediate IM 064; 4/68) Ė Two tracks from the Ogdens Nut Gone Flake lp. More on that later.

5. The Universal / Donkey Rides, A Penny, A Glass (Immediate IM 069; 6/68) Ė A track mostly recorded in Steve Marriottís garden that signaled the beginning of the end for Small Faces. A real departure from their previous efforts, the record sold poorly. The B-Side is a leftover from Ogdenís.

6. Afterglow (Of Your Love) / Wham Bam Thank You Mam (Immediate IM 077; 3/69) Ė The last single to be released by the original Small Faces. The A-Side is an alternate version of the track from Ogdenís while the B-Side sounds more than a little bit like Marriottís next venture, Humble Pie. Early versions of the UK single contain an alternate mix of the B-Side with Marriottís vocals mixed more prominently.

Rather than attempt to post pix of all the Immediate singles (which didnít turn out very well), I elected to use a few cool picture sleeves instead. First, sleeves for Tin Soldier from Spain & US.

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Last edited by fromphilly1247 on Apr 22, 2009 - 10:42 PM; edited 3 times in total
 
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fromphilly1247Offline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Apr 22, 2009 - 09:38 PM
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Next, a French sleeve for "The Universal" and a German "Afterglow"

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fromphilly1247Offline
Post subject: Small Faces Part 2- The Immediate Recordings (1967-1969)  PostPosted: Apr 22, 2009 - 09:44 PM
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The LPís:

Small Faces (Immediate IMLP 008 (Mono) / IMSP 008 (Stereo); 6/67)

The Small Faces first lp for Immediate (and proper second studio lp) is a treasure trove of beautifully crafted pop songs (for which Iím a total sucker). Itís also a hell of a lot of fun. While Marriott & Lane have truly developed and matured as songwriters by this point, they never lose their distinct brand of humor. In interviews conducted during this period, Marriott often expressed concern about the serious turn that pop music was taking. While their sense of humor would always be a Small Faces trademark, Marriott later found it to be detrimental as well. My only complaint with this album is its length. While the album contains 14 tracks, it clocks in at barely 30 minutes. Small gripe, though, given the quality of material contained in the grooves.

Pictured below are an original UK mono pressing on the lilac Immediate label and an original German stereo pressing on Columbia (SMC 74 292). The sound quality of the Columbia lp is superb Ė seriously thick vinyl and not a trace of surface noise, just pure music. For analog junkies, it serves as a reminder as to why vinyl will always be the superior recorded medium.

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Post subject:   PostPosted: Apr 22, 2009 - 09:53 PM
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back cover & label

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Post subject:   PostPosted: Apr 22, 2009 - 09:54 PM
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German Stereo pressing

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Post subject:   PostPosted: Apr 22, 2009 - 10:02 PM
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Ogdenís Nut Gone Flake (Immediate IMLP 012 (Mono) / IMSP 012 (Stereo); 5/68)

The final lp by the original Small Faces and what is considered by many to be their crowning achievement. Iíd be hard pressed to argue that point. Itís a truly magnificent record. Often branded a concept album, that label really only applies to the second side - the saga of Happiness Stan. The first side, while not focused around a central theme, contains some of their best work and one can only ponder what these guys would have achieved if they hadnít called it a day so soon after its release. This is one of those albums thatís been analyzed to death over the last 40 years and itís not my intention to rehash any of that here. However, I will say that this is an essential album for any fan of 60ís rock. Itís also the only Small Faces lp to receive a reciprocal release in the US, although it barely dented the charts. In the UK, it spent several weeks in the #1 position.

Unfortunately, this album also proved to be the bandís undoing. The technology of the time prevented them from doing the complete piece live, which disappointed them all. Marriott didnít think they could top it and he had also grown tired of the ďpop bandĒ label as well as the legions of screaming girls in attendance at every performance. Listening to a live Small Faces performance is a lot like listening to a Beatles performance in that you can barely hear the band for all the screaming. Marriott also lacked confidence in his abilities as a guitarist. Around this time, he became friends with Peter Frampton who had recently departed his band, The Herd. Marriott suggested bringing Frampton in as part of the band but the rest of the group would have none of it. The Small Faces final recording sessions (three tracks recorded with French pop singer Johnny Hallyday) actually feature Frampton. One of the tracks recorded by Hallyday for that lp, ďRegarde Pour Moi (What You Will)Ē, later turned up as the closer to Humble Pieís first lp.

Pictured below is an original UK stereo pressing on the lilac Immediate label. A mono copy of this lp is the one gaping hole in my SF collection.

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Last edited by fromphilly1247 on Apr 22, 2009 - 10:36 PM; edited 1 time in total
 
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Post subject:   PostPosted: Apr 22, 2009 - 10:17 PM
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The Autumn Stone (Immediate IMAL 01/02; 3/69)

A 2 lp set which contained 5 previously unreleased tracks, 3 live tracks and a mixture of previously released material from both the Immediate & Decca periods. The title track, recorded just prior to their breakup, is worth the price of admission alone. A thoughtful, reflective ballad by Marriott which displays just how much heíd matured in just a few short years, the track serves as a fitting epitaph to an outstanding band that never received even a fraction of the praise they so richly deserved.

Pictured is the original UK issue on the pink Immediate label.

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Post subject:   PostPosted: Apr 22, 2009 - 10:20 PM
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label

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Post subject:   PostPosted: Apr 22, 2009 - 10:21 PM
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This is meant to be more of a fanís appreciation than a comprehensive discography. Dozens of additional tracks have appeared since the bandís demise on a multitude of compilations. If youíre interested in investigating the band further, Record Collector did a fantastic piece in the late 90ís which dissects the outtakes, alternates, etc. While it contains several errors, particularly regarding the French Decca EPís, it remains an invaluable resource for Small Faces completists. Sorry, I donít have the issue handy as it still hasnít been unpacked from the last move. I hope to find it shortly and will post the issue number here when I do.

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Post subject: Re: Small Faces Part 2- The Immediate Recordings (1967-1969)  PostPosted: Apr 23, 2009 - 12:35 AM
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This is the 'era' I am the more familiar with, having heard "Itchycoo Park" when it was still new on the radio ... though I didn't obtain a copy of the 45 (as NOS) till some years later.

fromphilly1247 wrote:
... that was given its psychedelic feel by the then-revolutionary use of phasing. Producer Glyn Johns often gets credited with the discovery of this technique, but he freely admits it was developed by his Assistant Engineer, George Chkiantz....
Just as a side note, I first heard this effect (aka "flanging") on the 1960 Toni Fisher pop hit, "The Big Hurt". There are competing claims as to who 'discovered' the technique -- see under Origin at this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flanging.
 
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