I’m Happy Just To Be With You

I had an urge the other day to hear a song by The Small Faces- it was almost overpowering, like the cravings I still very occasionally get for a cigarette (it’s now five and a half years since I last had a ciggie, as you’re asking). And it was a very specific craving- it had to be the 1968-period, Ogden’s era Small Faces, when they’d loosened up and gone a little hippie around their mod edges, Steve Marriott’s soulful voice, Ronnie’s distinctive bass playing, the wheezy organ, Kenny’s thumpy drums. Song Of A Baker would have done perfectly. Or Tin Soldier. Or this…

Afterglow (Of Your Love)

This is the version from Ogden’s Classic Nut Gone Flake, not the single version Andrew Loog Oldham put out after the group had split in 1969. The album version has the acoustic intro that was removed from the single release- I’m not that fussy, both versions are great. Loog Oldham sped it up slightly for the 45 and extended the end section. Both are stunning but I guess this one is the one the group recorded initially and wanted. Marriott’s lyrics were written for his wife, Jenny Rylance, a song that according to his drummer in Humble Pie Jerry Shirley only Marriott could have written, ‘a beautiful love song about what it feels like to have a fag after sex’.

And while I’m here, double bubble two-fer-one, one of the greatest clips in the history of music television, The Small Faces and PP Arnold destroying hearts on French TV in 1968.

Ian McLagan

Ian McLagan, 12th May 1945- 3rd December 2014.

Girl From New York

Billy Nicholls is one of the forgotten men of 1960s pop and as such has an album that is one of those legendary, hard-to-find records- his take on Pet Sounds, shelved by Immediate just before it was due to come out (Andrew Loog Oldham’s label ran into financial difficulties).This song is an absolute joy with blistering guitar parts from Steve Marriott, the rest of The Small Faces thumping along and a superb vocal from Billy.

 

The lyrics take some beating too…

 

She came from New York in the summer
We went to the zoo
She said that London was lovely
We had a good view

I called her at four in the morning
She came to the phone
We met in a park as the dawn came
I picked her a rose

Some how we found the time
To love each others mind

Peanut butter’s fine

I can’t stand peanut butter personally.

Girl From New York

All Or Nothing

I think The Small Faces are my favourite of the 60s beat bands- they looked so good, like a unit, their Decca stuff is proper 60s mod/r ‘n’ b, their Immediate stuff is inventive and moving and full of brilliance, to say nothing of Marriott’s voice and the band’s playing and the Lane/Marriott songwriting.

I can’t decide which clip of All Or Nothing is better though- this one from a TV show in 1966, playing live and sounding great…

Or this one of them miming on a street corner somewhere in Europe, collars turned up against the cold, a hat put out for small change.

 

There’s Wheat In The Field

No words needed really.

Understanding

PP Arnold- what a cutie eh?

PP Arnold sang with The Small Faces and was romantically linked with Steve Marriott for a while. She signed to Andrew Loog Oldham’s Immediate label and put out several fine solo records. I got one the other day second hand, which contained two too many Beatles covers but had a quite a few corkers too. In 1995 there was a Small Faces tribute album. This song from it united PP with Primal Scream. Primal Scream do their thing, PP does hers.

Understanding

As Recommended By Mr HSD

Someone reversed into me while I drove past their driveway this morning, which just about put the tin lid on it as far as the last week’s concerned. Then my friend Mr HSD recommended this to me via the magic of the internets and all of a sudden… who cares?

Itchycoo Park, (If You Think You’re) Groovy and Tin Soldier. With P P Arnold. Sigh.