Faces (band)

Last updated

The Faces (1970).png
The group in 1970 (left to right: Lane, McLagan, Stewart, Wood and Jones)
Background information
OriginLondon, England, United Kingdom
Years active
  • 1969–1975
  • 2009–2011
    (reunions: 1986, 1993, 2012, 2015, 2019)
Associated acts
Website the-faces.com (broken link)
Past members

Faces were an English rock band formed in 1969 by members of Small Faces after lead singer/guitarist Steve Marriott left that group to form Humble Pie. The remaining Small Faces—Ian McLagan (keyboards), Ronnie Lane (bass guitar, vocals), and Kenney Jones (drums and percussion)—were joined by Ronnie Wood (guitar) and Rod Stewart (lead vocals), both from the Jeff Beck Group, and the new line-up was renamed Faces. Faces and Small Faces were jointly inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.



The first collaboration among the future Faces was in a formation called Quiet Melon, which also featured Wood's older brother Art Wood and Kim Gardner; they recorded four songs and played a few shows in May 1969, during a break in Ronnie Wood's and Rod Stewart's commitments with The Jeff Beck Group. [1] [2] Later that summer Wood and Stewart parted ways with Beck and joined Lane, McLagan and Jones full-time. [3] Prior to any releases by the new Faces lineup, Wood and McLagan appeared on Stewart's first solo album in 1969, An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down (known as The Rod Stewart Album in the US). The rest of the backing band on the album included drummer Micky Waller, keyboardist Keith Emerson and guitarists Martin Pugh (of Steamhammer, and later Armageddon and 7th Order) and Martin Quittenton (also from Steamhammer). [4]

With the addition of Wood and Stewart, the "small" part of the original band name was dropped, partly because the two newcomers (at 5'9" and 5'10" respectively) were significantly taller than the three former Small Faces. [5] Hoping to capitalise on the Small Faces' earlier success, record company executives wanted the band to keep their old name; however, the band objected, arguing the personnel changes resulted in a group very different from the Small Faces. [3] As a compromise, in the US their debut album was credited to the Small Faces, while subsequent albums appeared under their new name. [6]

The group regularly toured Britain, Europe and the United States from 1970 to 1975, and were among the top-grossing live acts in that period; [7] in 1974 their touring also encompassed Australia, New Zealand and Japan. [1] They toured the United States and Canada in 1975. Among their most successful songs were "Had Me a Real Good Time", their breakthrough UK hit "Stay with Me", "Cindy Incidentally" and "Pool Hall Richard". As Rod Stewart's solo career became more successful than that of the group, the band became overshadowed by their lead singer. [3] A disillusioned Ronnie Lane left the band in 1973; [3] one reason given later for his departure was frustration over not having more opportunities to sing lead vocals. [8]

Lane's role as bassist was taken over by Tetsu Yamauchi (who had replaced Andy Fraser in Free). Released just months before Lane left the band, the Faces' final studio album was Ooh La La . [3]

The following year a live album was released, entitled Coast to Coast: Overture and Beginners ; it was criticised by reviewers for being poorly recorded and thought out. [9] It featured selections from their late 1973 tour, the first featuring Yamauchi. [9] [10] They recorded a few tracks for another studio album, but had lost enthusiasm and their final release as a group was the late 1974 UK Top 20 hit "You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything". In 1975 Wood began working with the Rolling Stones, which brought differences between Stewart and the others to a head, and after a troubled fall US tour (with Jesse Ed Davis on rhythm guitar), in December the band announced that they were splitting.


The members have had varied post-band careers. Wood joined the Rolling Stones and later became a full member with the departure of Mick Taylor, Lane formed Slim Chance and had a modest solo career that ended prematurely when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and he also worked on an album with Who guitarist Pete Townshend, Rough Mix . [11] Jones joined the Who after the death of Keith Moon; [12] McLagan stated in a 2004 interview that Townshend also asked him to join the Who, but he had already promised Keith Richards that he would tour as a Rolling Stones sideman. McLagan moved to the United States, where he formed Ian McLagan & the Bump Band. [13] Tetsu Yamauchi returned to his native Japan, where he recorded and toured as a jazz musician and Stewart's solo career was extremely successful. There was also a Small Faces reunion in the late 1970s (without Ronnie Lane) that resulted in two albums; and in 1981 Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott collaborated on the album The Legendary Majik Mijits. [14]

Faces reformed for the encore of Rod Stewart's Wembley Stadium concert in 1986. Ronnie Lane, by then suffering from multiple sclerosis, was on stage to sing in his wheelchair, but was unable to play bass; Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones filled in for him. The same line-up reunited once more (minus Lane) in 1993 when Rod Stewart was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award at the Brit Awards. Ronnie Lane made his final concert appearance in 1992 at a Ronnie Wood show with Ian McLagan on keyboards; Lane died in 1997.

In 2004 a 4-disc Faces box set entitled Five Guys Walk into a Bar... was released by Rhino Records, featuring many of the band's most popular tracks as well as several previously unreleased songs. Drummer Kenney Jones formed a group called the Jones Gang, together with singer Robert Hart (formerly of Bad Company), Patrick Walford and bassist Rick Wills (formerly of Foreigner); in 2005 their first single "Angel" reached number 1 on the US Billboard "hot singles sales" list. [15]

During 2004 and early 2005 the surviving Faces had several near-reunions, none of which featured more than three members at the same time: In May 2004 Kenney Jones and Ronnie Wood joined Ian McLagan on stage at his concert at The Mean Fiddler in London. In August 2004 Wood and McLagan joined Stewart at the Hollywood Bowl; Wood also appeared at several other of Stewart's 2004 gigs, including New York's Madison Square Garden, the Royal Albert Hall and a street performance in London for an audience of 80,000.[ citation needed ] In March 2005 McLagan joined Ronnie Wood's band at a London show, which also featured Kenney Jones on drums for the final encore; and in December 2005 Wood joined Ian McLagan & the Bump Band for three numbers at a concert in Houston, Texas. [16]


The band reunited at the Royal Albert Hall, October 2009 Faces2009.jpg
The band reunited at the Royal Albert Hall, October 2009

On 11 June 2008, Rod Stewart announced that the surviving Faces were discussing a possible reunion, envisioning making a recording and/or performing at least one or two concerts. [17] On 18 November Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones reunited along with Rod Stewart's touring bassist Conrad Korsch for a rehearsal "just to check if they can remember the songs"; [18] the band's official reunion website was launched earlier the same month. [19] However, on 23 January 2009, a spokesman for Rod Stewart denied there were any plans for a 2009 Faces reunion tour. [20]

On 24 September 2009, it was announced that the Faces, minus Rod Stewart, would reunite for a one-off charity show for the Performing Rights Society's Music Members' Benevolent Fund, at the Royal Albert Hall in London. "This will be so special for us, staging a reunion for such a wonderful and prestigious event," said Ronnie Wood when the announcement of the concert was made. "Sadly Ronnie Lane can't be with us, but I'm sure he will be there in spirit, God bless him." Lane's ex-wife, Katy, [21] is one of many to receive assistance from the charity. [22] The event was held on 25 October. Ronnie Wood, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan all took part, with various vocalists, including Mick Hucknall, replacing Stewart, and Bill Wyman filling in for the late Ronnie Lane on bass guitar. [23]

On 25 May 2010, it was announced that the Faces had officially reformed with Hucknall taking on vocal duties, and Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols on bass. [24] The band played festival dates in both 2010 and 2011, with dates in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and Japan. [25]

The Small Faces/Faces were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. [26] [27] On 23 March, the Faces announced that they would reunite with Rod Stewart to play at the induction ceremony for the first time in 19 years. [28] However, on the eve of the ceremony, Stewart bowed out owing to a bout of influenza and Hucknall was asked to sing in his place. [29] In June 2013, speaking in an interview on YouTube, Kenney Jones confirmed the band's intention to reunite with Stewart for a tour in 2014. [30] However, Ian McLagan died on 3 December 2014, putting this reunion in doubt.

Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood and Kenney Jones performed a short set at Hurtwood Polo Club on 5 September 2015 for charity, following their brief reunion at Rod Stewart's private party for his 70th birthday in January of that year. The reunion show was critically acclaimed, with The Telegraph newspaper reviewing the performance as "5 star," under the headline of "worth the 40-year wait." [31]

Influence on music

Although they enjoyed only modest success compared to contemporaries such as the Who and the Rolling Stones, the Faces have had considerable influence on latter-day rock revivalists. [3] Their good-natured, back-to-basics (and frequently liquor-laden) concerts and studio albums connect them with such bands as the Damned and the Sex Pistols. [3]

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.



Faces (band)


Related Research Articles

Small Faces English band

Small Faces were an English rock band from London, founded in 1965. The group originally consisted of Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones, and Jimmy Winston, with Ian McLagan replacing Winston as the band's keyboardist in 1966. The band was one of the most acclaimed and influential mod groups of the 1960s, recording hit songs such as "Itchycoo Park", "Lazy Sunday", "All or Nothing", and "Tin Soldier", as well as their concept album Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake. They later evolved into one of the UK's most successful psychedelic bands until 1969.

Ronnie Lane English musician

Ronald Frederick Lane was an English musician, songwriter, and producer who is best known as the bass guitarist and founding member of two prominent English rock and roll bands: Small Faces (1965–69) and subsequently Faces (1969–73). With Small Faces he was nicknamed "Plonk". After their breakup and re-formation as Faces, he acquired the nickname "Three-Piece".

Ronnie Wood British rock musician, member of The Rolling Stones

Ronald David Wood is an English rock musician, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, artist, author and radio personality best known as a member of the Rolling Stones since 1975, as well as a member of Faces and the Jeff Beck Group.

Kenney Jones Drummer

Kenneth Thomas Jones is an English drummer best known for his work in the groups Small Faces, Faces, and the Who. Jones was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Small Faces/Faces.

<i>Ooh La La</i> (Faces album) 1973 studio album by Faces

Ooh La La is the fourth and final studio album by the English rock band Faces, released in March 1973. It reached Number One in the UK album chart in the week of 28 April 1973. On 28 August 2015, the album was reissued in remastered form on vinyl, and remastered and expanded on CD as part of the box set 1970–1975: You can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything.

<i>A Nod Is As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse</i> 1971 studio album by Faces

A Nod's As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse is the third album by British rock group Faces, and their second album of 1971. Bolstered somewhat by lead singer Rod Stewart's recent solo success with "Maggie May", it was their most successful album worldwide, peaking at No. 6 in the US, and reaching No. 2 in the UK. It also contains their biggest US hit, the swaggering "Stay with Me", and the album itself would be certified gold by the RIAA in 1972.

<i>Long Player</i> (album) 1971 studio album by Faces

Long Player is the second album by the British rock group Faces, released in February 1971. Among the highlights are a soulful live cover version of Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed", the wistful ballads "Richmond" and "Sweet Lady Mary", the rollicking party tune "Had Me a Real Good Time", and uptempo saloon bar rocker "Bad 'n' Ruin". Two tracks, "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "I Feel So Good", were recorded live at the Fillmore East, New York on 10 November 1970.

<i>First Step</i> (Faces album) 1970 studio album by Faces

First Step is the debut album by the British group Faces, released in early 1970. The album was released only a few months after the Faces had formed from the ashes of the Small Faces and The Jeff Beck Group The album is credited to the Small Faces on all North American issues and reissues, while record labels for initial vinyl printings give the title as The First Step.

<i>Coast to Coast: Overture and Beginners</i> 1974 live album by Rod Stewart/Faces

Coast to Coast: Overture and Beginners is a 1974 live album credited to Rod Stewart/Faces. Stewart's practice was not giving concerts as a solo act at the time, but rather appearing jointly with the Faces, thus the dual crediting.

<i>Snakes and Ladders / The Best of Faces</i> 1976 compilation album by Faces

Snakes and Ladders / The Best of Faces was an October 1976 best-of album by British rock group Faces. While the first released Faces compilation was a simple repackaging of the group's first two LPs as a double album, this US-only release presented the first attempt to compile the popular songs from the group after they had disbanded in 1975. Featuring photography by Tom Wright and unique cover art by guitarist Ronnie Wood, it was only eventually superseded in the US market by the CD compilation Good Boys... When They're Asleep in 1999.

<i>Good Boys... When Theyre Asleep</i> 1999 compilation album by Faces

Good Boys... When They're Asleep... was a 1999 compilation of British rock group Faces. Compiled primarily by keyboardist Ian McLagan, it served to supersede the 1976 effort Snakes And Ladders / The Best of Faces, and to present a CD-length retrospective of the group, lasting nearly eighty minutes.

<i>Five Guys Walk into a Bar...</i> 2004 box set by Faces

Five Guys Walk into a Bar... is a comprehensive four-disc retrospective of the British rock group Faces released in 2004, collecting sixty-seven tracks from among the group's four studio albums, assorted rare single A and B-sides, BBC sessions, rehearsal tapes and one track from a promotional flexi-disc, "Dishevelment Blues" - a deliberately-sloppy studio romp captured during the sessions for their Ooh La La album, which was never actually intended for official release.

<i>Gasoline Alley</i> (album) Rod Stewart album

Gasoline Alley is the second solo studio album by the British singer-songwriter Rod Stewart. It was released in June 1970. Originally released in the UK on the Vertigo label, it was re-mastered and re-issued in 2008 by Russian reissue label, Lilith Records Ltd. It is a collection of covers combined with Stewart's own compositions. Like many of Stewart's solo albums from the period, it featured significant musical contributions from the other members of his band Faces.

<i>Never a Dull Moment</i> (Rod Stewart album) 1972 studio album by Rod Stewart

Never a Dull Moment is the fourth solo album by rock musician Rod Stewart. It was released in the summer of 1972; that year it became a UK number-one album and reached number two on the US Album chart. The track "You Wear It Well", co-written by Stewart and classical guitarist Martin Quittenton, was a smash hit, as well as "Twisting the Night Away", a song originally recorded by Sam Cooke.

Tetsu Yamauchi is a retired Japanese bass guitarist. In the 1970s, he was a member of several popular hard rock bands, including Free, where he replaced former bassist Andy Fraser before the band's final album Heartbreaker, and the Faces, where he replaced Ronnie Lane and appears on the band's final single, "You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything", as well as touring with them and playing on the live album Coast to Coast: Overture and Beginners. He also recorded a number of solo albums and did extensive work as a session musician before retiring from the music industry in the late 1990s.

<i>Mahoneys Last Stand</i> 1976 soundtrack album by Ron Wood and Ronnie Lane

Mahoney's Last Stand is an album by Faces bandmates Ronnie Wood and Ronnie Lane, recorded in 1972. It is the music soundtrack album of the low-budget 1972 Canadian film Mahoney's Last Stand starring Alexis Kanner, Sam Waterston and Maud Adams. The film itself, little seen at the time of its release and even less so since, charts the progress of city-dweller Mahoney (Kanner) who abandons his urban existence to become a homesteader, and the drama that ensues. Pete Townshend, who guests on guitar on some tracks on the album, also receives a credit in the film for providing 'special electronic effects', alongside Wood and Lane's musical score.

Stay with Me (Faces song) Song by the band Faces

"Stay with Me", written by Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, was first recorded by their band Faces for the 1971 album A Nod Is As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse. The song has also appeared on various Faces compilations and on albums by both songwriters. The lyrics describe a woman named Rita with whom the singer proposes a one-night stand, on the condition that she be gone when he wakes up.

Playmates is the fourth studio album, and the first during their reunion, by English rock band the Small Faces. The album was created by Steve Marriott, Ian McLagan, Kenney Jones and Rick Wills when they reformed in the late seventies and recorded it along with the album 78 in the Shade. Ronnie Lane left before the album was recorded.

My Way of Giving Song written by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane

"My Way of Giving" is a song written by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane. Initially demoed by their band Small Faces in 1966, it was given to British singer Chris Farlowe, who released his version as a single in early 1967. It was Farlowe's first single not written by Jagger–Richards since 1965's "The Fool". The Small Faces themselves decided to go on and record a version which was released on two different albums on two different record labels.


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