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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Are You All Sitty Comftybold Two Square On Your Botty? Then I'll Begin...", 14 May 2012
This review is from: Ogden's Nut Gone Flake [Deluxe Edition] (Audio CD)
**** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2012 3CD 'DELUXE EDITION' ***

Monday 7 May 2012 sees the release of a whopping four DELUXE EDITIONS for Small Faces fans - and for many their 1968 masterpiece "Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake" (a Number 1 album in the UK) will be 'the' jewel in a very tasty set of crowns.

Here are the finite details for Universal/Sanctuary 276 523-5:

Disc 1 (38:30 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 12 are the MONO version of "Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake" - their fourth studio album released 24 May 1968 in the UK on Immediate Records IMLP 012

Disc 2 (41:17 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 14 are all PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED (Track 8 Previously Unreleased on CD)
1. Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake (Early Session Version - Mono)
2. Afterglow (Alternate USA Mix - Stereo)
3. Long Agos And Worlds Apart (Alternate USA Mix - Stereo)
4. Rene, The Dockers Delight (Early Session Mix - Stereo)
5. Song Of A Baker (Alternate USA Mix - Stereo)
6. Lazy Sunday (Alternate USA Mix - Stereo)
7. Happiness Stan (Backing Track - Mono)
8. Bun In The Oven (Early Session Mix - Mono)
9. The Fly (Take 4 - Instrumental Version - Stereo)
10. Mad John (Take 7 - Early Session Version - Stereo)
11. HappyDaysToyTown (Alternate USA Mix - Stereo)
12. Kamikhazi (Take 7 - Backing Track - Mono)
13. Every Little Bit Hurts (Early Session Mix - Mono)
14. Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake (Alternate Take - Phased Mix - Stereo)

Disc 3 (38:21 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 12 are the STEREO version of "Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake" - on Immediate Records IMSP 012
[Note: in advance of the album "Lazy Sunday" b/w "Rollin' Over" was released 5 April 1968 as a 7" single in the UK on Immediate IM O64 (mono mixes above).
"Afterglow" was also released as 7" single in the UK (credited as "Afterglow Of Your Love") in March 1969 on Immediate IM 077 with the non-album track "Wham Bam Thank You Man" as its B-side.
That song is NOT on here]

PACKAGING:
Since Universal stopped using titled plastic slip-around wraps on their DELUXE EDITIONS - they've plumed instead for a bit of sticky tape at the base that you have to cut and split to get open - not the most graceful of presentations it has to be said. But once inside the detail is impressive. As fans will know "Ogdens'..." was released in the most beautiful and elaborate artwork designed by Mick Swan - a foldout five-flaps circular-sleeve based on a Victorian tobacco tin (name changed by the boys to avoid copyright infringement). Folded out in full - it featured two colour prints on the inside and 4 black and white snaps of the band on the other flaps. The Mono and Stereo CDs contain 'variants' of the gorgeous colour prints by Pete Brown and Nick Tweddell (the actual LP ones are in the booklet) while Gered Mankowitz's black and white 'spider's web' snaps of the band that filled each of the other circles are reproduced on the card flaps. Beneath the two see-through CD trays are repros of the labels for Side 1 and Side 2 of the original 1968 Stereo LP.

The booklet is lovely - 24 colour pages filled with Immediate memorabilia, rare worldwide 7" picture sleeves for both "Lazy Sunday" and "Afterglow Of Your Love" and even a battered-looking Scotch tape box. The liner notes by MARK PAYTRESS are typically informative and fact-filled (such a good writer) and give you great insights into the album's formation, Stanley Unwin's "Unwinese" gobbledegook English that fills Side 2's "Happiness Stan" suite and indeed the general creative mayhem that surrounded this most beloved of English albums. I particularly like the Immediate Records trade advert that uses a re-wording of "Our Father" (The Lord's Prayer) to sell the LP ("...and deliver us Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake..." etc) - blinding!

SOUND:
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 - and man have they collectively done a bang-up job. Little will prepare fans for the sonic whack off this...

"Ogdens'..." for me has always been a two-sided production job - Side 1 is good - but Side 2 is stupendous - and that feeling continues on this reissue. The extensive use of guitar 'phasing' on Side 1 gives the tracks that evocative 60t's feel for sure - but it also sounds sonically compromised somehow - Side 2 does not. Take the strings and opening Stanley Unwin dialogue on "Rollin' Over" (his words title this review) - it's unbelievably clear and full of presence. Then when the band does kick in with that riff and harmonica blasting - it's awesome. The drums and acoustic guitars that open "Mad John" are HUGE - as is the drums and organ on the STEREO mix of "The Journey". The last remaster I had was good - but this is so much better and musically sweeter. And "Lazy Sunday" has never sounded so glorious. "Song Of A Baker", "Rene" - it's all a triumph...

UNRELEASED:
A "...1, 2, 3, 4..." vocal count-in gives us a stringed-up and heavily phased "Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake" that is fascinating - and even in its unfinished form - sounds extraordinary - like something from another world. Unfortunately you can understand why the 'Alternate USA Stereo' mixes have stayed in the can - Marriott's vocals echoed to a ridiculous degree in the mix - almost to a point where it's all you hear. Better is the 'Early Session Mix' of "Rene" which accentuates the drums and sees the piano and organ stretch out (the lyrics still make me laugh). The opening plucked strings of "Happiness Stan" sound bare without Unwin's witty vocals following - but I love the harpsichord and keyboard playing to the fore as the song progresses. "Bun In The Oven" turns out to be an early session version of "Rollin' Over" which is rougher than the finished article but just as powerful. Even in rehearsal mode Steve Marriott lays into Brenda Holloway's Motown classic "Every Little Bit Hurts" with great results and feeling. "The Fly" is an acoustic instrumental version of "The Hungry Intruder" with a count-in and along with another band-instrumental "Kamikhazi" (so-funky-Small Faces) for me are the highlights on here.

NIGGLES:
The cracking non-album B-side to "Afterglow Of Your Love" is "Wham Bam Thank You Man" - but it's nowhere to be seen. Nor is the near 7-minute Alternate Stereo version of "Wham..." that turned up on the "Darlings Of Wapping Wharf Launderette" 2CD set in 1999 - strange omissions to say the least. Maybe they're been kept back for that other missing piece in the jigsaw - the Immediate Records double-album "Autumn Stone" from 1969? Most fans will already have "Wham Bam..." track from preceding comps of course - but it's a point worth making. And bluntly I miss the sheer visual impact of the vinyl album artwork...(vinyl is due in full repro glory soon).

To sum up - while Disc 2 may not exactly set the Universe on fire - there are some unheard nuggets worth the admission price. But for me it's the brilliantly realized remasters that thrill the most. The MONO mix has extraordinary power and tracks like "Afterglow" on the STEREO disc now sound amazing (with previous errors fixed). It all equates to real effort in getting this right. Both Jones and McLagan are to be praised for keeping the recorded legacy of Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane alive - and in such style.

What a band - and what an album. 44 years on and it still blows you away.

"What up man!" indeed.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 May 2012 12:01:06 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 8 Jun 2012 00:11:51 BDT]

Posted on 14 May 2012 12:48:57 BDT
J. Milner says:
Nice one, Mark, as always.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2012 23:43:15 BDT
Heck - now I'm gonna be awake all night coming up with others...

Posted on 3 Jul 2012 15:15:28 BDT
Richard B says:
Mark,
Any idea what the bonus tracks on the US deluxe version are? Amazon US shows both the domestic (US) version and the imported (UK) version. Neither page has track listings (the import version thankfully has yours). The reason I ask is that it wouldn't make much sense on the American version to have a bonus disc with "American mixes" of the tracks. I mean, wouldn't they already be part on the mono/stereo discs? Moreover, their (US) version's bonus disc is disc 3 and the UK version has disc 2 as the bonus disc. I'd really love to know if it's a different set on bonus tracks. By the way, I really do have a life I was just curious!!!
Richard

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jul 2012 19:20:49 BDT
Mark Barry says:
Hi Richard

According to Rob Caiger who oversaw all the reissues - the US track lists are the same as the UK ones - there are no different versions nor different mastering.
The music is exactly the same as the UK DELUXE EDITIONS.

What is different however on two the four releases "Small Faces" (Immediate LP) and "Ogden's Nut Gone Flake" is the 'packaging' because they're Charly issues - and they have licensing rights on these two 'outside' of the UK .

See my review on the "Small Faces" (Immediate LP) US CD - it explains it in full. Type in the following barcode into the search box in Amazon UK and it will direct you to that review - 803415764228

Hope that helps....Mark

Posted on 3 Nov 2012 18:00:41 GMT
RUNTLESTUNT says:
Brilliant review, thanks. :o)

Posted on 7 May 2013 07:30:24 BDT
Great review. I will just say that I fail to see the 3CD format of this release. With all 3CDs being around the 35-40 minute mark, if your not going to fill up on bonus material, why not tag the bonus tracks on to the end of the Mono/Stereo disks? Whereas I like the mono and stereo being on separate disks, why not make disk 2 a 60-70 minute effort. Plenty of Room for both versions of "Wham....". Also, do you know if their were variations on all USA mixes? Would have been interesting to make disk 2 the USA release and round it off with half an hour of bonus stuff!

Just a thought

Posted on 31 Jan 2014 20:22:31 GMT
J. Ratcliff says:
Hi Mark,

good to see you back. Just a question regarding the previous remaster, did you mean the one presented in a tin can with both mono/stereo mixes of the album? Is it worthwhile getting this edition if you have that?

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jan 2014 20:52:38 GMT
Mark Barry says:
Hi

The US version is the same - just more elaborate presnetation.
Charly have US rights over the material - hence the different (packaging) US version of the release.

Regards

Mark
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Mark Barry
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

Location: UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 12