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From The Beginning [Deluxe Edition] Deluxe Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 May 2012)
  • Deluxe Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Deluxe Edition
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B006Z4742M
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,026 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

From the Beginning was originally released in 1967. It contained Small Faces anthems such as Sha-La-La-Lee and Whatcha Gonna Do About It.

The surviving members Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan have overseen the remastering of this double disc album. The second disc features rare outtakes, versions and mixes and the new booklet features sleevenotes by respected music writer Mark Paytress.

BBC Review

From the Beginning was released between the Small Faces’ first (1966, Decca) and second (1967, Immediate) proper albums, both of which were eponymous. Though it rounds up almost all their prior chart successes, From the Beginning (Decca, also 1967) is not a greatest hits as such, for it also includes previously unissued material scraped from the bottom of the session barrel. Two of its tracks are earlier versions of songs that appear on the Immediate album, with whose release its own coincided.

Behind this confusing discography lies a story rife with politics, From the Beginning being the cash-in of an unwanted record company and even more undesired manager from whose clutches the group had escaped. The band eventually made their displeasure with From the Beginning publicly known.

That this cynically motivated product is still a worthwhile listen is down to the Small Faces’ extraordinary talent. Lead vocalist Steve Marriott was a cockney urchin but sang with a bluesy gravitas, while he and his three colleagues executed a sparkling, organ-heavy blend of pop, soul, rock and nascent freakbeat.

Though their explosive entrée What’cha Gonna Do About It and signature song Sha-La-La-La-Lee had featured on their first album, the first-time collation of other hits like the joyous Hey Girl and the anguished All or Nothing was, pre-internet, rather handy. Said songs displayed the developing songwriting partnership of Marriott and bassist Ronnie Lane, further in evidence on high quality newies like My Way of Giving.

The mysterious That Man and the Eastern-inflected Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow demonstrate a thoughtful new path for the band's music that would ultimately culminate in their psychedelic extravaganza Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake, although they do rather make adjacent covers like You've Really Got a Hold on Me and Runaway come across as reflexive exercises, however perky. Bonuses like brilliant contemporaneous B sides Almost Grown and Understanding fill out the enjoyable first disc.

The second disc, however, presents problems. Appending to an album that was already a bit of a dog’s dinner a whole load of alternate and “electronically processed stereo” mixes and different versions – plus more songs that had been better developed by the time of their appearance on their new label – and then slapping on the whole enterprise the designation "Deluxe Edition" comes close to what Marriott would no doubt have termed "having a laugh".

--Sean Egan

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"From The Beginning", originally released in mid-1967 by Decca, was a last ditch cash-in by ex-manager Don Arden & ex-label Decca. The L.P. combined previously unreleased tracks(some dating back to sessions with early keyboardist Jimmy Winston) with non-L.P. single A-sides. The album was a "spoiler" designed to compete with the group's first "Immediate Records" album, which was released a few weeks later. "Small Faces" wanted this album taken off the market, but, the bottom line was that the group still owed more recordings to Decca under contract, and even "From The Beginning" didn't fully satisfy the group's obligations, so Decca was given non-exclusive use of two "Immediate Records" songs("I Can't Make It" & "Just Passing"), which Decca then released as a single.

This 2012 2-CD edition is the most thorough edition to date. As a group whose recordings were (then, in the 1960's) licensed to(but not owned by) Decca, the group couldn't use the superior recording facilities of the big record company, and had to use independent studios. Many of the Small Faces' Decca recordings are tinny, grungy & distorted, even by 1960's standards, and don't really do justice to the group's fine performances.(there are exceptions, such as "All of Nothing", "Sha La La La Lee", "Hey Girl" & "Whatcha Gonna Do About It" & "I Can't Dance With You" , which are significantly better recorded).

Disc One gives you the 14-track original album, plus 5 non-L.P. singles tracks. It is reassuring that the album is being taken from the original mono master tape(a photo of the master tape box is shown in the superbly illustrated booklet). It should be noted, that with only 2 exceptions, that there are no true stereo mixes of the tracks from this album.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
From The Beginning was released in 1967 as a spoiler by Decca, the Small Faces' old label, to coincide with the release of their new album on the Immediate label entitled Small Faces (confusingly, the only album they made for Decca was also self-titled). The Small Faces did not especially appreciate the gesture, and made a point of specifically discouraging people from buying From The Beginning in the advertising for their new album.

From The Beginning contained all the hits they had had with Decca (What'cha Gonna Do About It, Sha-La-La-La-Lee, Hey Girl, All Or Nothing and My Mind's Eye), available on any number of compilations, alongside a number of previously unreleased recordings. These and are now the chief attraction of this CD re-issue.

The Small Faces had one line-up change while they were with Decca, when in October 1965 Jimmy Winston left and was replaced on keyboards by Ian McLagan. Although the Decca album Small Faces depicted Ian McLagan on the cover when it was released in May 1966, Jimmy Winston played on five or six of the tracks, recorded before his departure, and largely comprising their stage act of the time.

Unfortunately, it seems not to be known when these outtakes were recorded but the stage favourite Baby, Don't You Do It (a Marvin Gaye cover) has Jimmy Winston on lead vocals and guitar so some others may well have been recorded before October 1965, possibly the bizarre but interesting version of Runaway and the excellent takes on Don Covay's Take This Hurt Off Me and the Miracles' You've Really Got A Hold On Me. Both of these demonstrate what a fine band they were, and what a great vocalist Steve Marriott was. Indeed one wonders why space could not be found for some of these recordings on their first album.
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Format: Audio CD
Monday 7 May 2012 sees the UK release of a whopping four DELUXE EDITIONS for Small Faces fans (29 May 2012 in the USA for this set) - and the unsanctioned "From The Beginning" compilation has always been a mental and financial sore point for the band.

A slung-together compilation of 7" singles, non-album B-sides, outtakes and works in progress - "From The Beginning" was put out a mere three weeks prior to their proper 2nd album on Immediate Records - the self-titled "Small Faces" (released 23 June 1967). Reeking of a royalties cash-in by ex-manager Don "People in Show Business Spend Money" Arden and contractual arrogance by Decca - it has always been seen by then evolving group as a backwards move and a bit of a 'poor show' frankly. Having said that - history's boil on the arse of the Small Faces catalogue is today's double cream éclair - because this expanded 2CD Deluxe Edition is yet another peach in this superlative run of reissues.

Here are the finite details for Universal/Sanctuary 278 134-1:

Disc 1 (52:47 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 14 are the MONO compilation LP "From The Beginning" - released 2 June 1967 in the UK on Decca LK 4879
BONUS TRACKS (15 to 19):
"Almost Grown" (15), "Understanding" (16), "I Can't Dance With You" (17), "I Can't Make It" (18) and "Just Passing" (19)

Disc 1 will also allow fans to line up the 4 x UK 7" singles that were issued (in Mono) around the LP (track number after title):
1. Hey Girl (6) b/w Almost Grown (15) - released 6 May 1966 on Decca F 12393
2. All Or Nothing (9) b/w Understanding (16) - released 5 August 1966 on Decca F 12470
3. My Mind's Eye (2) b/w I Can't Dance With You (17) - released 11 November 1966 on Decca F 12500
4.
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