Many folks know that Rod Stewart cut his rock teeth fronting a band known as Faces. But do many people outside of the sixties BBC era know that long before Faces came into existence, the very same band was fronted by future Humble Pie vocalist Steve Marriott, and referred to as The Small Faces? Indeed, it was when Marriott left the band in 1969 that the group recruited Stewart (as well as guitarist Ron Wood), dropped the "small" part of its name, and reinvented itself as, simply, Faces.
Unlike fellow mod rockers The Who, The Small Faces achieved limited success here in the States. However, in their native Britain, the group garnered widely received support, with Ogden's Nut Gone Flake reaching #1 in the island nation. In America, the only song to reach the Top 40 was 'Itchycoo Park (mp3),' a psychedelic, yet playful reflection of the collective drug experience of the time.
While 'Itchycoo Park' was anchored in spellbounding psychedelia ("We'll get hiiiigghhh!"), it was 'Tin Soldier' that effectively illustrated the typical R&B power of the band. Laden with bluesy guitars and organs, as well as accented with powerful vocal harmonies all throughout its Gospelesque chorus, 'Tin Soldier' was a prolific milestone, pushing the group's influence perhaps beyond even The Rolling Stones during the year of 1968.
For those of you interested, you can watch a live video of the band performing 'Itchycoo Park' below. Furthermore, you can sample the MP3 for 'Tin Soldier' here.
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