THE FACES Five Guys Walk Into A Bar... (2004 US 67-track digitally remastered 4-CD set - a definitive collection of hits plus unreleased live rehearsal and demo selections compiled from Ians personal archives. Housed in a hardback book styledigipak sleeve with 62-page intregral booklet featuring informative notes and rarely seen photographs R278233)
Five Guys Walk Into A Bar
serves as a reminder that The Faces
were once considered the saviours of rock&roll. As a live act, they provided a sense of empathy with their audience at a time when rock acts were becoming characterised by a hauteur. While their records were never as consistent as their stage prowess, their four albums from 1970-1973 contained many fine moments, inevitable considering the band was made up of the gravel-throated emotionality of Rod Stewart, the fat, rasping guitar work of Ron Wood and the pop craftsmanship of the nucleus of the Small Faces.
This set has been compiled by Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan, who has not gone for the complete oeuvre approach but the hits-and-rarities method. Consequently, this is a treasure trove of neglected B-sides and previously unheard rehearsal tapes, live versions and outtakes. Of most interest to many, artistically and symbolically, will be the inclusion of a stage rendition of "(I Know) I'm Losing You". The Faces' thunderous version of this song was probably their greatest ever studio performance but mysteriously turned up on a Stewart solo album. Rod often overshadowed the Faces but this spiffing box-set proves they were collectively as deserving of attention as their frontman. --Sean Egan