Stone

Poor old Ronnie Lane- fell out with Steve Marriott and lost The Small Faces, lost out to Rod Stewart in The Faces (who he felt ran off with his band), spent all his money on an ill fated circus-style tour of the UK in the 70s, fell ill to MS, died too young. And yet he remains one of those true figures in British music, underappreciated and little known, with a few classic songs to his names (The Poacher is perfection). This is one of those solo songs, with fiddles and acoustic guitars, down-at-home gypsy style.

Stone

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It’s funny how blogging sends you down a musical byway you weren’t expecting to travel down. I posted Ooh La La by Ronnie Lane at the end of August. I hadn’t been listening to him at that time particularly, but chanced upon the song while skimming through my music folder. Since then I’ve been going back to a Ronnie Lane compilation I picked up a few years (How Come, a collection of singles and a pair of live tracks, released to raise funds for MS charities at then end of the 90s) and found a cheap Faces compilation (released by the ever reliable Rhino). I’m not a fan of Rod Stewart, and some of the Faces stuff is not to my taste, but Ronnie Lane’s songs sound better and better, especially when they pop up amongst and in between other stuff, the sort of stuff you can find here at Bagging Area.

The Poacher was a single (number 36 in the charts) and released in 1974. Recorded with his first Slim Chance band the song and it’s parent album Anymore For Anymore mixed rock with folk and country, to make something very English. Trouble is these labels don’t really help; it’s just a beautiful song.

Plonk



I don’t go much for mid-70s rock but for top mod Ronnie Lane I can make an exception. After The Small Faces split up, the remainder of the band hooked up with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood to make the beery, blokey rock that eventually sent Rod Stewart to superstardom. I’m no expert on The Faces to be honest. Ronnie Lane wrote songs throughout and when Stewart left he continued with a solo career and various bands (Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance for one). Ronnie was described by many as a fine songwriter and musician and a top chap to boot. He died from Multiple Sclerosis in 1997, after living with it for twenty years. This is a Faces song, Ooh La La, performed at the BBC by a line up of Slim Chance. It’s very mid-70s- rough hewn, good times, having a lock-in music with all in it together vocals, acoustic guitars and accordians and woody drums, coming across like a band of highly trained buskers playing good songs in the snug bar.