The Faces – Rock Me

The Faces are not as well as they really should be. The the original line up consisted of Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan and Kenny Jones who had all been in the Small Faces together. They were joined by Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood who had been together in the Jeff Beck Group. The band had a curious arrangement with Stewart as the singer had a solo deal in place and had released his first LP before The Faces had theirs. Titled ‘An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down’, it featured both Wood and McLagan as part of the backing musicians. 

Stewart tried to keep the band material and his solo work separate, but in reality he did not do a very good job. Was this down to him trying to promote himself to the detriment of the band or was it down to his management. The best example of this is the track ‘(I Know) I’m Losing You’ from Stewart’s ‘Every Picture Tells A Story LP’. This song was recorded by The Faces and meant to be included on one of their albums. It ended up being on on of Stewart’s instead. The public perception of the band as Stewarts backing band also lead to some resentment from some members. This was not helped by the fact that when Stewart was booked to play his solo hit ‘Maggie May’ on the BBC’s legendary music show, Top of the Pops, The Faces were backing him up. 

The band managed to keep it together for three years, where their tours made them one of the top grossing acts of the time. When it came to recording ‘Ooh La La’, their fourth album, Stewart was showing signs of not being interested anymore. His solo career was really taking off by this stage and he missed the first two weeks of the recording sessions. There is also a notable absence of his lead vocals on the record. Ronnie Lane and Ronnie Wood take on this role on a number of songs including the title track. 

Stewart did not help the already tense atmosphere between members by being very critical of the album in the music press. This annoyed Ronnie Lane so much he decided to leave the band. His place was taken by Tetsu Yamauchi who had replaced Andy Fraser in Free. They continued to tour but the set list was beginning to feature more Stewart solo songs. The band were also being billed as Rod Stewart and The Faces. ‘Pool Hall Richard’, a non album single was released as well as a live album called ‘Coast to Coast: Overture & Beginners’. 

With these two releases, the band took a break from touring with Wood and Stewart both recording solo albums. These works would include Faces Ian McLagan and Kenny Jones as it was possible that the songs they were on were originally slated for the bands next album. As it was, none of them were but they did meet up again to record the ‘You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything’ single before trying to make another album. The sessions did yield some songs but with Lane gone, the songwriting duties feel mostly to Wood and Stewart who, as was mentioned before, kept the majority of their songs for their solo releases. The band officially broke up in November in 1975 but what if the record company had had a look in the archive and decided to release a fifth Faces album. What did they have to work with. 

Well, the album would start off with the single ‘You Can Make Me Dance’. We then have an outtake from the ‘First Step’ sessions with ‘Behind The Sun’. This is followed by a number of outtakes from either the ‘Ooh La La’; sessions as well as those tracks recorded for the proposed fifth LP. We finish with an outtake from the ‘Long Player’ sessions. I decided against including ‘As Long As You Tell Him’ on the album. This song was the B-Side to ‘You Can Make Me Dance’ and even though A-Sides had started popping on to LPs by the mid 70s, B-Sides still tended to stay on the single. 

SIde A

  1. You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything (Even Take The Dog For A Walk, Mend A Fuse, Fold Away The Ironing Board, Or Any Other Domestic Short Comings) – Single A-Side
  2. Behind The Sun  – First Step Outtake
  3. Getting Hungry – 5th Album Sessions 
  4. (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right – Ooh La La Outtake

Side B

  1. Hi Heel Sneakers/Everybody Needs Somebody To Love – 5th Album Sessions
  2. Come See Me Baby (The Cheater) – Ooh La La Outtake
  3. Rock Me – 5th Album Sessions
  4. Open To Ideas – 5th Album Sessions
  5. Whole Lotta Woman – Long Player Outtake

It’s not a great album by any means, but none of The Faces LPs were. It does hold up surprisingly well though but I did have to do a bit of editing to take out some of the studio chatter at the start and end of some of the songs. The only one I was not able to do this for was on the rather curious cover of The Beach Boys ‘Gettin’ Hungry’ song. Stewart gives some studio direction half way through the song. I am sure that if this had been prepared for released, this would have been edited out. 

The cover is adapted from the compilation album ‘You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything (Even Take The Dog For A Walk, Mend A Fuse, Fold Away The Ironing Board, Or Any Other Domestic Short Comings)’ which came out in 2015. 

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