Written on: 29/08/2006 by jfderry (208 reviews written)
Oh my gosh! What a beautiful sound Fuel2000 have got out of this classic recording. It's got to be one of my favorites, mainly for the contribution of the superior Professor Stanley Unwin; "Are you sitting comfort-boldly, two-square on your botty? Then I'll begin ...", who so starts his narration of the tale Happiness Stan in his unique Unwinese, but also for the gutsy, rockin' music of the Small Faces at their pinnacle of rhythm and melody mastery. Add no less than 6 bonus tracks to this remastered edition and it's more the tale of Happiness ___ [fill in your name here].
By the way - this is of course the Unwin of Unwin Publishers who persuaded Tolkien to release The Hobbit and follow it up with The Lord Of The Rings. What a debt we owe him and in fact there's something of Tom Bombadil in Unwin's free-spirited characterisation of Mad John.
The Small Faces had grand aspirations. Their masterpiece Ogdens... took five months to record during 1968 using four studios to create an enormously popular album the popularity of which wasn't reflected in record sales nor in promotion of the band outside the close-knit circle of loyal UK followers. Even though they had migrated from Decca to Immediate, were now under the wing of Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, and had less touring commitments, things started on a bum note for the release of this album with the misjudged leading advertisement based on a parody of the Lord's Prayer which alienated millions of potential buyers. Following their apology, the record label tried to make amends with the sure-fire hit Lazy Sunday, something legendary (and recently lost) Steve Marriott had never intended. Soon after Marriott quit and the Faces were never the same again, irrespective of the introduction of Rod Stewart and Ron Wood.
No, this is the definitive line up, and Fuel2000 have brought us more than the definitive album and a glorious taste of British musical eccentricity and whimsy. The squidgy thunderous bass and rasping throaty guitar tones that have been achieved on this remaster suit the music perfectly, and there's nothing you can do but sit back and re-live this "real life experience story ... Oh what a mindblast".
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