Long live rock, I need it every night

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I feel inclined to blow my mind...

...get on up, feed the ducks with a bun...

The Small Faces

That lyric is from the song "Itchycoo Park," by 1960s English band the Small Faces. They never quite hit it as big as the Beatles/Stones/Who triumvirate but they came pretty close. Think of them as Jim Kelly or Dan Marino, compared to Joe Montana or Brett Favre. Along with the Who, the Yardbirds, and the Kinks, the Small Faces were a mod favorite, owing to their blues-oriented sound and their East London roots. At least until the late 60s, when nearly all of the original mod bands started going hippie-dippie (the Who and the Kinks) or proto-metal (the Yardbirds, who eventually evolved into Led Zeppelin)--at this point the mod movement started to die out and those who were left got into Northern Soul and ska music. The Small Faces started heading that way as well before they broke up in 1969. Lead singer Steve Marriot left the group and formed Humble Pie with Peter Frampton (SUPERGROUP ALERT), while the remaining members of the Small Faces replaced Marriot with Rod Stewart (as well as future Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood) and became known simply as The Faces.

The Small Faces had some great songs in their short life. The aforementioned "Itchycoo Park" (1968) was their highest charting single in America. It's a pleasant ode to hanging out, skipping school, and doing drugs:

Most Small Faces songs had more of a rock sound than "Itchycoo Park." Here's a clip for "Rollin' Over" (1968), off of French TV. Again, lots of hot French hippie chicks. And some dork-assed French guys--keep your eyes open, at 1:11 into this clip there's a guy dancing around who looks like Jules Verne.


Jumbo Slice said...

This will come as no shock to the rest of Rock Club but I don't recognize "Itchycoo Park" at all. Maybe I've heard it before but I doubt it. I spent most of my life avoiding all thing Classic Rock. I've heard of Small Faces, but didn't know anything about them. That's why I enjoy Jimbromski's classic rock posts so much. It's like I'm going back to school for my Masters in Rock.

Jimbromski said...

Due to its upbeat, happy-go-lucky vibe, Itchycoo Park is more likely to be heard on an oldies station, than on a classic rock-type station, if it's played at all anymore. Their other material is too rock for oldies but not well-known enough to make it onto the classic rock playlists. In a way I kind of prefer it that way because you hear a band like this and you can be surprised by stuff you've heard rarely or not at all.