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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...My Mum She Likes You...Thinks You're Swell..." - A Nod's As Good As A Wink To A Blind Horse by FACES (2010 SHM-CD Remaster), 29 July 2014
This review is from: Nod Is As Good As a Wink to a Blind (Audio CD)
There are some albums you genuinely can't be rational about. You only have to see the LP artwork and you're a pile of dribbling mush in need of a chair. People will ask you to be reasonable and rational as you rant and rave about their aural merits - but it won't work. In our humble abode the 3rd platter by the Godlike Faces "A Nod's As Good As A Wink...To A Blind Horse..." is one such record. I've loved it for over 40 years and this stunning new remaster of it has only made matters worse...

Released in Japan June 2010 as part of a 5-album SHM-CD reissue campaign - Warner Brothers WPCR-13841 (Barcode 4943674098200) is a 5" card repro of the UK artwork (36:25 minutes) complete with the rare fold-out colour poster that came with original November 1971 LPs. There's an Obi band, an inner booklet that reproduces the lyrics and little else (no photos) and a re-sealable plastic outer that needs to be handled with care because its so easy to catch the sleeve or CD when replacing it.

The format used here is the SHM-CD (Super High Materials) - it doesn't require a special CD player to play it on (it's just a better form of the CD format itself). The disc (which is in a protective plastic inner) is heavier in weight that the standard CD and picks up the nuances from the transfer better. But the big news for fans is the exclusive ISAO KIKUCHI remaster - which trumps everything that's gone before. I've had the standard WEA CD from the 1990s and the Audio Fidelity supposed remaster - both are good but never great - and like so many of their lack-lustre releases - the AF issue lacks any real muscle and sounds dead. No such problem with this monster - the detail is fabulous and it rocks like a mother.

1. Miss Judy's Farm
2. You're So Rude
3. Love Lives Here
4. Last Orders Please
5. Stay With Me
6. Debris [Side 2]
7. Memphis
8. Too Bad
9. That's All You Need

"Miss Judy's Farm" opens proceedings with naughty-boy riffage in the left speaker and then bursts into your room - it feels like The Stones on a really good "Sticky Fingers" day. But the remaster and clarity really ups a notch on the rocker "You're So Rude" and the sweet ballad "Love Lives Here" where Rod's vocals are superb and Ronnie Wood's guitar to the fore. There is a small amount of hiss on each of the tracks but that only gives the 'live-in-the-studio' Glyn Johns production a warmth and natural swagger that serves it well. Side 1 finishes on the mighty "Stay With Me" - issued as 7" single with my favourite Faces track ever on the flipside - Ronnie Lane's gorgeous "Debris". What a song - and it sounds huge. Side 2 gives us a raucous cover of Chuck Berry's "Memphis, Tennessee" in that ramshackle Faces fashion - while "Too Bad" is the hidden boogie nugget on the album - a brilliant slice of Seventies Rock if ever there was one. It ends with Ronnie Wood's slide guitar on "That's All You Need" which is astonishing.

There's talk from the people who brought us the Small Faces DELUXE EDITION 2CD sets of 2014 CD reissues for the FACES - Deluxe Editions that will include outtakes and alternates - but we will have to wait and see... In the meantime - there's this superlative remaster and the others in this series to be getting on with.

At their Rock 'n' Rolling champagne-guzzling best - the FACES were probably the only band in the world to rival The Rolling Stones - who let's face it - were in their prime also in 1971 and 1972. A fabulous reissue and I love owning this equine wonder...
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Sep 2014 15:27:54 BDT
Goddammit, Mark - I was not even aware of these 2010 Japanese remasters, and like honesty in politics, there are probably none to be found at this point. And it includes a repro of the biggest, most fabulous poster ever included inside a rock and roll album? Crikey!! I have the Warners LP, and the Japanese reissue from the 90s, and my god, everything you say about "Nod's" is true, one of my ten favorite albums EVER, from any genre of music, an album to be sent out into space so that beings on other planets can truly know what the genre of "rock and roll" has to offer. Any suggestions on where to acquire all five of these reissues? I have to try harder to keep up to date on these things...

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2014 17:25:18 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Sep 2014 21:04:01 BDT
Mark Barry says:
Hi Lawrence

If you use the Barcode 4943674098200 in the Amazon search bar you should get the right issue. There's too many issues I'm afraid - but in order to sell 'that' particular CD release - the seller must use that barcode. I notice some US retailers have it on there at just over a twenty spot which is reasonable. I initially had the Audio Fidelity gold disc but I thought it dull as dishwater. I'm found this of so many of their releases (some are great like the Joe Walsh "Smoker" one) - but others like Randy Newman, Rod Stewart and Simon & Garfunkel aren't.

If you're not up to buying the Japanese issue - there's talk in the Small Faces camp (who are bringing "Autumn Stone" to us in remastered Deluxe form this Autumn) that the Faces back catalogue is to be reissued in the same way the Small Faces were - DELUXE EDITIONS on each. Probably New Year for that lot...

The guy who did the 2010 remaster is ISAO KIKUCHI - he did the Yes catalogue in Japan for SHM in 2009 and Bad Company in 2007. I had "Close To The Edge" SHM-CD which was fabulous - but that in turn has been royally trumped by Steve Wilson's recent stellar work on their catalogue (as well as his sensational remasters of Jethro Tull, King Crimson)...

And on it goes mate!

Regards - Mark.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Sep 2014 18:11:03 BDT
Thank you, Mark, for that uplifting info about possible Deluxe Edition Faces reissues next year; the official albums really need an upgrade both sound-wise and graphically (except in JAPAN, of course). Hopefully Universal (or is it WEA) will do something constructive with "Coast To Coast..."; although it's their weakest album I still like it, it has a rough edge to it, though the live tracks on the box set are far superior to my ears. Great news about "The Autumn Stone", hopefully all of the Newcastle City Hall tracks, and all of the other stray cuts not on the four "official" releases, will finally find a proper home...again, your review of 'Nod's" catches the warmth, spirit and ballsiness of that record like no other I have ever read, thank you!
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