Saturday, June 30, 2007

What did you do there? I got high

Who are these guys? Shaggy hair, retro-mod clothes, guitars slung low like a pop-punkster should . . . could be any of several new bands like Jet, The Libertines, The Click Five, and many others.

Only it's not. It's The Small Faces, in 1967:
The Small Faces were a British mod band formed in 1965 by Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones, and Jimmy Winston (who was soon replaced by Ian McLagan). Heavily influenced by American R&B, they later evolved into one of the UK's most successful psychedelic acts before disbanding in 1969.

. . . Their mid-1967 single "Itchycoo Park" is one of Small Faces' best-remembered songs and was also the first of the band's only two charting singles in the United States, reaching No. 16. "Itchycoo Park" was also the first British record to use phasing, a form of "flanging", an effect developed by Olympic Studios engineer George Chkiantz in 1966. Itchycoo Park was followed by the powerful and stylish soul-rock epic "Tin Soldier", (originally written by Marriott for singer P.P. Arnold), who can be heard clearly on backing vocals; it remains one of their best-known singles. However, when the song only reached No. 73 on the US Hot 100 chart, Immediate Records was said to have abandoned its shortlived effort to establish the act in America.

The band was the brain-child of former child actor Steve Marriot. After he left the Faces , he started Humble Pie:
British hard-rock outfit Humble Pie was one of the first rock & roll supergroups, featuring Steve Marriott of the The Small Faces. Peter Frampton of The Herd, and Spooky Tooth's Greg Ridley. Influenced by American blues and soul, they developed a blues-rock sound that proved influential to legions of subsequent hard rock and heavy metal bands. They were best known for their hard-rocking, recordings and concert performances between 1969 and 1975.

Here's a truly fascinating video of the Pie, not rocking loudly as the often did, but doing an acoustic cover of The Yardbirds' "For Your Love." Note the kid with the stars on his shirt playing the sunburst epiphone: he went on to some modest success later in the '70s: