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Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Small Faces - Ogden's Nut Gone Flake (1968 uk, classy psychedelic mod rock, 2006 three disc box set)



There was no shortage of good psychedelic albums emerging from England in 1967-1968, but Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake is special even within their ranks. The Small Faces had already shown a surprising adaptability to psychedelia with the single "Itchycoo Park" and much of their other 1967 output, but Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake pretty much ripped the envelope. 

British bands had an unusual approach to psychedelia from the get-go, often preferring to assume different musical "personae" on their albums, either feigning actual "roles" in the context of a variety show (as on the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album), or simply as storytellers in the manner of the Pretty Things on S.F. Sorrow, or actor/performers as on the Who's Tommy. 

The Small Faces tried a little bit of all of these approaches on Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake, but they never softened their sound. Side one's material, in particular, would not have been out of place on any other Small Faces release -- "Afterglow (Of Your Love)" and "Rene" both have a pounding beat from Kenny Jones, and Ian McLagan's surging organ drives the former while his economical piano accompaniment embellishes the latter; and Steve Marriott's crunching guitar highlights "Song of a Baker." 

Marriott singing has him assuming two distinct "roles," neither unfamiliar -- the Cockney upstart on "Rene" and "Lazy Sunday," and the diminutive soul shouter on "Afterglow (Of Your Love)" and "Song of a Baker." Some of side two's production is more elaborate, with overdubbed harps and light orchestration here and there, and an array of more ambitious songs, all linked by a narration by comic dialect expert Stanley Unwin, about a character called "Happiness Stan." 

The core of the sound, however, is found in the pounding "Rollin' Over," which became a highlight of the group's stage act during its final days -- the song seems lean and mean with a mix in which Ronnie Lane's bass is louder than the overdubbed horns. Even "Mad John," which derives from folk influences, has a refreshingly muscular sound on its acoustic instruments. 

Overall, this was the ballsiest-sounding piece of full-length psychedelia to come out of England, and it rode the number one spot on the U.K. charts for six weeks in 1968, though not without some controversy surrounding advertisements by Immediate Records that parodied the Lord's Prayer. Still, Ogdens' was the group's crowning achievement -- it had even been Marriott's hope to do a stage presentation of Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake, though a television special might've been more in order. 
by Bruce Eder


Tracks
Disc 1
1. Ogden's Nut Gone Flake (Marriott, Ian McLagan) - 2:39
2. Afterglow (Marriott) - 3:33
3. Long Agos And Worlds Apart (Ian McLagan) - 2:36
4. Rene (Marriott) - 4:06
5. Song Of A Baker (Marriott) - 3:15
6. Lazy Sunday (Marriott) - 3:10
7. Happiness Star (Marriott) - 3:38
8. Rollin' Over (Marriott) - 2:13
9. The Hungry Intruder (Marriott, Ian McLagan) - 2:15
10.The Journey (Marriott, Ian McLagan) - 4:03
11.Mad John (Marriott) - 4:20
12.Happydaystoytown (Marriott, Ian McLagan) - 3:02


Disc 2
1. Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake (Marriott, Ian McLagan) - 2:28
2. Afterglow of Your Love (Marriott) - 3:29
3. Long Agos and Worlds Apart (Ian McLagan) - 2:34
4. Rene (Marriott) - 4:31
5. Song of a Baker (Marriott) - 3:16
6. Lazy Sunday (Marriott) - 3:06
7. Happiness Stan (Marriott) - 2:37
8. Rollin' Over (Marriott) - 2:49
9. The Hungry Intruder (Marriott, Ian McLagan) - 2:15
10.The Journey (Marriott, Ian McLagan) - 4:09
11.Mad John (Marriott) - 2:50
12.Happy Days Toy Town (Marriott, Ian McLagan) - 4:18


Disc 3
1. Lazy Saturday/ Whatcha Gonna Do About It (Marriott, Potter, Samwell) - 3:49
2. Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake (Marriott, Ian McLagan) - 4:08
3. Afterglow (Marriott) - 5:34
4. Long Agos And Worlds Apart (Ian McLagan) - 3:23
5. Rene (Marriott) - 2:50
6. Rene/ Song Of A Baker (Marriott) - 3:44
7. Lazy Sunday (Marriott) - 4:45
8. Untitled Spoken Word Track - 2:35
9. Happiness Stan (Marriott) - 2:57
10.Rollin' Over (Marriott) - 4:32
11.The Hungry Intruder (Marriott, Ian McLagan) - 4:18
12.The Journey (Marriott, Ian McLagan) - 3:46
13.Mad John (Marriott) - 4:39
14.Untitled Spoken Word Track - 0:52
15.Happydaystoytown (Marriott, Ian McLagan) - 2:57
16.The Universal (Marriott) - 4:10

Small Faces
*Steve Marriott - Vocals, Guitar
*Ronnie Lane - Backing Vocals, Bass Guitar
*Kenney Jones - Drums
*Ian McLagan - Keyboards

1967  Small Faces - Green Circles / First Immediate Album

Free Text

7 comments:

Remy said...

Thanks Marios!

Too bad in the video they were only miming the song. Still cool to see them together. Steve had some pretty good moves.

Marios said...

Yes Remy,
my point was to capture the spirit of the band and the time.

BigGray said...

This has been one of my favourite albums for many years now. Thank you for the (hopefully) definitive version.

Tommy Duque said...


Marios, I'm sorry to inform you that part 1 of the CD 3 for this beautiful album is missing.
Both links are dead, RS and DF.
I noticed that this was a post by your friend Cor.
I would love to have this 3CD set, could you please ask Cor to re-up the link, o better yet, maybe you already have the file. Thank you Marios !!

Marios said...

......smilin' faces......

Tommy Duque said...

Smilin' indeed, thanks man...

ProfessorCalculus said...

Many Thanks Marios