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Monday 7 May 2012 sees the UK release of a whopping four DELUXE EDITIONS for Small Faces fans (15 May 2012 in the USA) - and while number 3 in the pack lacks the celebrated glory of it's illustrious follow up ("Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake") - "Small Faces" is for many fans 'the' criminally forgotten LP on Immediate Records. This DELUXE EDITION of it however is not without its niggles...

Here are the finite details for Universal/Sanctuary 278 134-5:

Disc 1 (52:47 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 14 are the MONO version of "Small Faces" - their 3rd studio album released 23 June 1967 in the UK on Immediate Records IMLP 008
BONUS TRACKS (15 to 22):
"Here Comes The Nice", "Itchycoo Park", "I'm Only Dreaming", "Tin Soldier", "I Feel Much Better", "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me (Alternate Mix)" (20), "Eddie's Dreaming (Alternate Mix)" (21) and "Green Circles (Take 1: Alternate Mix 3)" (22)

Disc 1 will also allow fans to line up the 3 x UK 7" singles that were issued (in Mono) around the LP (track number after title):
1. Here Comes The Nice (15) b/w Talk To You (11) - released 2 June 1967 on Immediate IM 050
2. Itchycoo Park (16) b/w I'm Only Dreaming (17) - released 4 August 1967 on Immediate IM 057
3. Tin Soldier (18) b/w I Feel Much Better (19) - released 2 December 1969 on Immediate IM 062

Disc 2 (53:54 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 14 are the STEREO version of "Small Faces" - on Immediate Records IMSP 008
BONUS TRACKS (15 to 23 - all are Stereo except 21 and 23 which are Mono):
"Just Passing", "Itchycoo Park", "Here Comes The Nice", "Don't Burst My Bubble", "Things Are Going To Get Better (Alternate Version)", "I Can't Make It (Session Version)", "Green Circles (Alternate Take 2)" (21), "Tin Soldier" and "(If You Think You're) Groovy (Backing Track)" (23)
[Note: 21 and 23 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED Versions]

UK and USA LP Differences:
The American LP was belatedly released in February 1968 as "There Are But Four Small Faces" in Stereo (only) on Immediate Z12 52002 - and with different artwork front and rear. Also to accommodate their lone US hit single "Itchycoo Park" (lyrics above) - the tracks were jiggered around giving "Itchycoo Park" pride of place as Track 1 on Side 1. Essentially the US album dropped 7 tracks of the English LP ("Something I Want To Tell You", "Feeling Lonely", "Happy Boys Happy", "My Way Of Giving", "Become Like You", "All Our Yesterdays" and "Eddie's Dreaming") - took the remaining 7 and added on the 5 non-album sides of the 3 x British 7" singles mentioned above to make a 12-track LP. To sequence the AMERICAN LP in 'both' MONO and STEREO from this 2CD DELUXE EDITION you line the tracks up as follows:

Side 1:
1. "Itchycoo Park" (16)
2. "Talk To You" (11)
3. "Up The Wooden Hills To Bedfordshire" (13)
4. "My Way Of Giving" (6)
5. "I'm Only Dreaming" (17)
6. "I Feel Much Better" (19)
Side 2:
1. "Tin Soldier" (18)
2. "Get Yourself Together" (9)
3. "Show Me The Way" (12)
4. "Here Come The Nice" (15)
5. "Green Circles" (7)
6. "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me" (1)

STEREO (CD 2 - note - see Omissions)
Side 1:
1. "Itchycoo Park" (16)
2. "Talk To You" (11)
3. "Up The Wooden Hills To Bedfordshire" (13)
4. "My Way Of Giving" (6)
5. "I'm Only Dreaming" [see Omissions]
6. "I Feel Much Better" [see Omissions]
Side 2:
1. "Tin Soldier" (22)
2. "Get Yourself Together" (9)
3. "Show Me The Way" (12)
4. "Here Come The Nice" (17)
5. "Green Circles" (7)
6. "(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me" (1)

Eagle-eyed collectors will notice that the 35th Anniversary 2CD set that came out in 2002 in the UK on Sanctuary has 48 tracks - while this 2012 2CD Deluxe Edition has less - 45. The three that are missing are "I Can't Make It" and "Just Passing" - a 3 March 1967 UK single-only release on Decca F 12565 - it's been put on the "From The Beginning" Deluxe Edition (as befits the label). The 3rd missing track is called "Album Sampler" on Immediate AS 1. It was a 1-sided UK-only Promo 45 issued just prior to the album's release and contains Mono excerpts of 5 songs with 'groovy' advert dialogue about 'aware minds' - it runs to 3 minutes and rather clumsily it's been left off here. To add insult to injury this legendary £200+ rarity is pictured on Page 10 of the booklet.

There are minor artwork niggles too. The 2002 CD had a card wrap with the UK artwork on the outside (which is right and proper), but rather cleverly the foldout inlay inside featured 5" artwork for the US "There Are But Four Small Faces" LP as its lead page with the rear LP artwork on the back page. This new booklet relegates the American front cover to a snap shot on Page 21 and the rear sleeve has disappeared altogether. Worse than that however is the missing STEREO versions of "I Feel Much Better" and "I'm Only Dreaming" (on the 2002 2CD set) which would have allowed American fans to sequence their version of the album complete. All these exclusions are a tad sloppy to say the least. Music wise - the point would be that if you want "Album Sampler" and especially those 2 Stereo versions - then don't throw away that old Sanctuary issue just yet. (Apparently - they'll both be on a forthcoming BOX SET along with best sources for some of "The Autumn Stone" and "In Memorium" LPs)

As already highlighted above there are 5 PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED VERSIONS - unfortunately the liner notes don't make any reference to them. In fairness to Mark Paytress - he probably didn't have access to what was being lined up for the release as he composed his appraisals - but again - it short-changes the fans info-wise. What is here however is very good. The "Green Circles" outakes are excellent and the mythical "Groovy" track now appears as a 'backing track' when some thought it didn't exist at all.

The first thing you notice about this Deluxe Edition is the quality of the reproduction. The album sleeve pictured on the 2002 Sanctuary double had slightly faded colours - no such mistake here. The front sleeve repro is really crisp - beautifully done - as are the superb images in the booklet. The inner flaps of the foldout digipak have Melody Maker and Record Mirror reviews from 1967, the original mono LP label is reproduced beneath the see-through plastic trays and each CD is a different picture disc. The 24-page booklet is gorgeous - rare European picture sleeves for "Tin Soldier" and "Here Comes The Nice" (the German issue of this is a belter), pictures of ultra-rare Emidisc Acetates, publicity shots of The Small faces with Immediate label notables like PP Arnold, Chris Farlowe and Twice As Nice - and even an Olympia Sound Studios master-tape box. The new liner notes are by respected writer MARK PAYTRESS and are filled with facts and recent interviews with Jones and McLagan. It's a lovely thing to look at and a solid read.

But the real meat for fans will be the NEW REMASTERS from best-ever sources and overseen by surviving members of the band - KENNEY JONES and IAN McLAGAN. Tape Research and Recovery is by ROB CAIGER, Tape Restoration and Transfer from Analogue is by ROB KAYLACH and Mastering by NICK ROBBINS. The punch is fantastic especially on fan favourites like "Get Yourself Together", that great guitar opening on "Talk To You" and the psychedelic swirl of "Green Circles". I find the sonic difference between the MONO and STEREO mixes is marked - I thought "My Way Of Giving" in Mono is fabulous - while the opening "Darlings Of Wapping..." dialogue and brass of "All Our Yesterdays" is HUGE in Stereo. The drums, bass and acoustic guitars on "Up The Wooden Hills..." sound amazing - as does the piano-happy intro to the album finisher "Eddie's Dreaming". Fans will love the clarity on the brilliant singles - gems like "Tin Soldier" and "Here Comes The Nice".

To sum up - part of me feels I should dock a star for those sloppy exclusions - but I've been enjoying the listen too much - the sound and overall presentation just 'so' good. This double also made be bite the bullet and acquire the first two Deluxe Editions as well - the Decca sets "Small Faces" and "From The Beginning" - and I can report that they're truly gorgeous too.

Will we ever know their like again - I doubt it. In fact the dialogue in the "Album Sampler" promo bragged that the Small Faces were "small of stature, but great of music..." - and on the strength of these reissues - you have to say that the Immediate Records motormouth was absolutely on the money. It really is "all too beautiful..."

PS: there are American 'Charly Records of the UK' version of both "Small Faces" and "Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake" that have 'different' packaging.
See the 'comment section' attached to this review for info on both...
99 comments| 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 May 2012
A word of caution, the fools who designed these packages still think it's a good idea to encase them in a sticky wraparound band. Fortunately, unlike the Kinks sets, these do not have a waxed finish and therefore the plastic is easier to remove but it still caused some minor damage. That complaint aside, if you like the Small Faces, these Deluxe sets are a MUST. Shame no "Autumn Stone" though.
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on 6 June 2012
Small Faces' first album for the "Immediate" label l(which I consider to be the group's 3rd album, though the group disavows Decca's "From The Beginning", and considers the first "immediate" album to be the group's second album) is my favorite "Small Faces" album.

This new 2-CD Deluxe Edition has plenty of good material, but it could have been better with a bit more attention to detail. Disc One opens with the mono mix of the album. To me, the stereo version of the album is, despite its very wide separation, the best way to hear the album. But the mono mix is a collectors curio. When the mono mix of the album appeared on the Castle label's 2002 2-CD expanded edition, it was obvious that some of the tracks had been dubbed from vinyl, so there has been speculation on whether the mono mix, as it appears on this 2012 edition, has also been dubbed from vinyl. I listened closely through headphones, and didn't detect any obvious vinyl noise, but I will say this: the compiler of the 2012 Deluxe Edition has used two sources of very different quality; a very clean high quality source for the "Side 2" songs, and a markedly more distorted source for the "Side 1" songs. You'll note that some tracks in the mono mix seem to run slightly faster than their stereo counterparts. I have no doubt that that is the way the mono mix was.(There were also instances in the catalogues of The Beatles & The Bee Gees where mono mixes ran faster than their stereo counterparts). Disc One adds 5 mono singles mixes("Here Comes The Nice", "Itchycoo Park", "I'm Only Dreaming", "Tin Soldier" & "I Feel Much Better") & three previously unreleased alternate mixes["(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me", "Eddie's Dreaming" & "Green Circles"] As for the 5 mono singles mixes, I am convinced that "I'm Only Dreaming"(likely supplied by Charly Records, who are credited in this 2-CD set's liner notes as a source for "masters") is a dub from vinyl, specifically the dub from vinyl that I did in 1994 when I compiled the 1995 4-CD box set "Small Faces-The Immediate Years". You'll note a subtle skip during the piano introduction at the 0:06 point. This is where my Charly Records engineer(ex-Decca engineer Peter Rynston) had to edit out a very loud vinyl "pop" which could not be concealed by noise reduction, hence the mild skip.

Disc Two opens with the stereo mix of the album. In common with a number of other 1960's rock group catalogues, even groups as diverse as "Jefferson Airplane" & "The Moody Blues", over the years, through various CD editions, engineers had brightened the sound in pursuit of more clarity, and a more "Hifi" sound, and the recordings had gone further and further away from how the artists intended the recordings to sound. The most recent remasters by all of these groups restore the sound intended by the artists; a sound that is somewhat darker than what we had grown accustomed to. My ears were accustomed to the "Repertoire" label expanded edition of this album, with its fantastic clarity, which has unique bonus tracks which have yet to reappear in Universal Music's "Small Faces" reissue programme. Certainly, the stereo mix of the album sounds good in this new 2-CD set, and the mastering has been approved by the two surviving "Small Faces" members.

Stereo mixes of "Just Passing","Itchycoo Park", Here Come The Nice" & "Don't Burst My Bubble" follow, and they sound fine, BUT, the omission of the stereo mixes of "I'm Only Dreaming" & "I Feel Much Better" simply glares at you. It is an unacceptable oversight. I should note that the stereo "I'm Only Dreaming" features a different vocal performance to the mono mix.

Disc two of this set adds an alternate mix of "Things Are Going to Get Better"(the mix which debuted on the Repertoire label 2-CD set "Small Faces-The Definitive Anthology"). Repertoire's stereo remix of "I Can't Make It" follows(and this may be the reason why the original 1960's stereo mix of the song was considered redundant for this set). The previously unreleased "Green Circles"(alternate take 2) follows, then the stereo mix of "Tin Soldier", and the set ends with the backing track for P.P. Arnold's version of "(If You Think You're) Groovy", on which "Small Faces" played( despite rumours that "Small Faces" recorded a version of the song, no tape has been found).

There are other potential bonus tracks that were overlooked, that certainly would have been relevant to this deluxe edition, including the Italian Language version of "Green Circles" & the slower "U.S.A. Mix" of "Green Circles". When I included the "U.S.A. Mix" on the 4-CD box "The Immediate Years", it was one of six songs in that box that I had to obtain from vinyl, though in the 18 years since then, Charly Records did obtain a tape source for that "U.S.A. mix", and I have a DAT dub from it in my collection.

The recent deal between Charly Records(owner of the non-Uk rights to the "Immediate Records" catalogue) & Universal Music(owner of the UK-only rights to the "Immediate Records" catalogue) was going to be(and still could be) a good thing for Charly and for the fans who collected "Immediate" recordings. Universal got access to Charly's 98 reels of Olympic Studios multitrack tapes by "Immediate" artists(though there's only a small quantity of "Small Faces" recordings in those tapes), and Charly(who had held the tapes since 2001) was spared the cost of mixing down those tapes. Universal & its compilers will do the remixing and compiling, and Charly gets to release the resulting expanded remasters, in territories where Charly has the rights. This deal between Charly & Universal permanently cut me out of the picture as a compiler of "Immediate" recordings. I'm not bitter, and wouldn't have cared if Universal Music's compiler (Rob Caiger) had done a fabulous job of expanding this album, but I'll be matter of fact: I could have done better.

Yes, buy this 2-CD set, but also hold onto the "Small Faces" Repertoire CD's and the Charly 4-CD "The Immediate Years" box.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 October 2014
It's odd, or perhaps fitting, that the re-releases of the Small Faces music catalogue involve the same sort of mishaps, mistakes, omissions, multiple simultaneous editions, etcetera, as was the case during their original 60s heydays. (Famously, after Small Faces had switched record company from Decca to Immediate, the two competing companies churned out compilations and re-issues to the degree that a true collector will get grey hairs.) This edition, then: The setup seems perfect - the two survivals from those days have helped in the compiling of the two discs, the first devoted to the mono version of the original release, and the second disc the stereo one. Among the bonus tracks on both discs are non-LP singles, like "Itchycoo Park". There was, of course, already a deluxe edition on the market when this one came out: a slightly bigger one from 2002 on Sanctuary. It is clear that the discs at hand have been getting the better treatment of the two editions, and maybe the two remaining members have had a few inputs here. The two discs do also differ a lot in the song mixes - and it is a clear indication how mono still was the main focus in those days. (Slightly less so, though, when compared with the difference in, say, The Beatles vinyl re-issues.) The music as such is heavenly good - we have all heard it all before, of course, so a discussion about the music itself is almost unnecessary. But to re-iterate: if you have never heard this music before, you should know that it is of the same quality level as the best England had to show for themselves in those days - no less worthy of praise than The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, to name only two. This collection belongs in every home, and among all its meny issues, it is the best one yet.
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on 9 May 2012
I've nothing to add to the many words already written regarding this classic late Sixties album - however, worth the price of entry alone (in my humble) for this re-master and re-issue are the two alternate takes of Green Circles.

And it all sounds much fresher.

If you've already got it (and the other two re-mastered deluxe editions) then buy it for the two remaining members of the Small Faces and rest assured they'll receive some royalties for a change!
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on 10 December 2013
It all sounds much better than earlier pressings of the material, so a thumbs up for the remastering maestro. This is where the Small Faces started to stretch their song writing muscles, and why they are held in much higher esteem than other beat bands of the era. You're getting mono and stereo mixes of the albums here plus associated non-album singles from the era and a couple of alternate mixes of a few tracks, plus a groovy booklet with memorabilia, rare photos, etc. and new sleevenotes. A must for fans and worth exploring if new to the band.
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on 16 June 2014
Have now got all deluxe editions. Bought this first round. Sounds even better today ! A fine band that so deserved far more praise then that which they received !!
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