Best known for their alumni (Rod Stewart, the Stones' Ron Wood, the Who's Kenny Jones), the Faces' brief early 1970s run was as musically rewarding as it was boozy and sideshow spectacular. A revamped, bluesier edition of '60s English pop notables the Small Faces, the Faces established a rollicking musical identity that threatened to overshadow the Stones at their own game. Though the group dissolved under the pressures of Stewart's burgeoning solo career and Wood's recruitment into comfortable career Stonedom, the Faces were about much more than just individual talents. The folksy vulnerability of the late bassist, songwriter, and vocalist Ronnie Lane (well-represented here by "Debris" and "Ooh La La") kept the lads close to roots both geographical and class, while keyboardist Ian McLagen alternated between barrelhouse-boogie and Hammond B-3 soulfulness and Jones loosely locked into irresistible grooves. They could pillage Motown ("Three Button Hand Me Down") and Chuck Berry ("Cindy Incidentally") for riffs, and turn from countrified blues ("Sweet Lady Mary") to the breakneck boogie of "Too Bad" in a heartbeat. They may have been cheated of hits, but the Faces' music remains warm, heartfelt, and enthusiastic--a legacy that's aged much better than the cheap hootch they once drowned themselves in. --Jerry McCulley
Great remastered 19-track Rhino compile of singles & key LP tracks from Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane & the boys, plus a rare unissued song from 1975.