Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Small Faces – Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake

Some people equate this album to legendary releases such as Electric Ladyland, the White Album and Beggar’s Banquet (such as Bruce Eder in the liner notes for the CD) and while it is a fabulous record with some of the Small Faces best tunes, I think that might be a little over the top. I love this band, but just don’t see this as quite as revolutionary or revelationary as some of the other greats that also came out in 1968.

This does have some true gems, though. The opening title cut is a superb instrumental that goes into the sublime “Afterglow” – a song so romantic that it was played at my wedding. “Song of a Baker” is a powerhouse that uses melody and dynamics to build into an intense raver about baking bread! There’s a great video of them lip-syncing this on TV that is mind-boggling and makes me think that this must have been insane live!

I must be one of the few people on the planet who doesn’t really care for “Lazy Sunday”. I find it silly in the extreme and while that has its place, I am somewhat flabbergasted that this was the British hit from this album! (And, according to the liner notes, Marriott wasn’t thrilled either!)

Side Two of the vinyl version was a vignette about “Happiness Stan”, with between-song narration by a British children’s story-teller, Stanley Holloway. This is fairly appropriate as the story is child-like, but it does include some more excellent songs, such as “Rollin’ Over”, though “The Journey” does meander a bit. The final tune, “Happydaystoytown” is jovial but also juvenile.

So, while this is a departure for the band seeking to expand its horizons, and while it has some truly wonderful tunes, it also isn’t consistent and is a bit too darn silly to be honestly considered a landmark record.

But do buy it if you don’t have it! Just don’t expect another “Electric Ladyland” or something! (Which, thinking about it, would be odd coming from the Small Faces anyway!)


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