on 26 May 2009
After the success of Ogden's Nut Gone Flake in 1968, The Small Faces began work on their third release with the Immediate record label, but halfway through these recordings the band was left in total chaos with the departure of their charismatic front man, Steve Marriot.
During this turbulent period, the record label was also going through some traumatic times with a severe cash flow problem, certainly not helped with the demise of one of its key acts.
In 1969, to improve their fortunes as a label, Immediate decided to use The Small Faces anyway to try and improve their cash flow and released the first ever double LP for the label, The Autumn Stone. It celebrated the works of this once great band, from their early raw R&B days on Decca right through to their sad demise in 1968 where they were creating some impeccable Psychedelia.
As you'd expect, the hit singles are littered throughout this album, All or Nothing, Lazy Sunday, Sha-La-La-La Lee, Itchycoo Park, Hey Girl and Whatcha Gonna Do About It, truly marvellous classics which would be more than enough for any greatest hits package, but The Autumn Stone is much more than that.
22 songs in all can be found on the album, beginning with the brilliant Here Comes the Nice and the beautiful Steve Marriott penned The Autumn Stone; a song which cements the fact that Marriott and The Small Faces were much more than people ever gave them credit for, a beautiful creation.
My personal favourites are also found here, The Universal, a song originally recorded in Marriott's back garden with bits added on later, which reached a disappointing 16 in the UK charts, but to this day remains a wonderful little number. As is Afterglow (of Your Love), the unofficial last single by The Small Faces and a truly lovely song.
There are also a couple of live recording which were recorded on The Small Faces final tour before breaking up, including a rather exuberant performance of If I Were a Carpenter.
Despite the fact that the birth of this release was quite possibly a cynical ploy by a struggling record label to cash in on a band that had broken up, I think is irrelevant. What we have here is the ultimate compilation of The Small Faces' output. Despite a few challenges in later years from other labels, this compilation still remains the first port of call for anybody interested in discovering what The Small Faces were about.
And as The Small Faces were one of the finest bands ever to play a note or two, the most important question to ask would be why on earth would you not want to have this album in your collection?
on 1 November 2002
The band were no more when this was released, and was a sort of best of album. Fortunately it didn't draw on the brilliant 'Ogdens Nutgone Flake' too much, so buying the two of them gives you the ultimate pairing of Small Faces albums.
You can just feel the power behind these songs that drove speed-addled mods to dance all night. The songwriting, the instrumentation, the vocal delivery - they all add to a big sound that defies the technology available at the time.
There are some live tracks here that show how the band fared with the tiny amps of the time - crank them up to full! You can hear how loud the audience is in comparison to the band on the live tracks, but it must have been amazing to be there!
You only have to listen to tracks like 'All or Nothing' or 'Tin Soldier' to realise that Steve Marriot was one of the most underrated vocalists that the UK has ever produced.
Just buy it! I'll say it again - just buy it!
on 11 March 2014
As a fan of the Small Faces since 1965 this is another wonderful album , my only comment is that on that wonderful track of "If I was a Carpenter " the backing tends to drown Steve Marriots wonderful voice, there is a better version of the song on YouTube from the BBC introduced by Brian Mathews.