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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ronnie Lane And Slim Chance - Ooh La La An Island Harvest (1974-76 uk, wonderfully eclectic mix of country, rock, folk and blues, 2014 two disc hard paper sleeve edition)

The story goes that Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance were formed after he walked into a bar after the last ever Faces show in June of 73 and shouted at Marc Bolan asking if he had an opening for an unemployed bass player.  Bolan did not take him up on the offer and he retreated to his farm in Wales to begin putting together a new band called Slim Chance. The sound was mainly acoustic driven over flowing with warmth and quality and revealed the heart and soul of one of Britain’s most under rated songwriters. During his time with The Faces, Lane’s talents shone with songs he penned like ‘Just For A Moment’, Ooh La La and ‘Debris’.

Eschewing the rock sound of his era, Lane created a personal organic sound, propelled by melody and mandolins, violins and squeeze boxes, the sound that conjures up the sun at dawn and the beauty of the fading afternoon horizon.

Lane would record four solo albums with Slim Chance plus albums with Ronnie Wood, Mahoney’s Last Stand & Pete Townshend Rough Mix. In 1976 he briefly joined a re-formed Small Faces but quit after two weeks and again teamed up with Steve Marriott in 1981 to cut an album called the Magic Mijits album.

Contracting MS in 1982, he kept going and in a massive showing of affection by his musical contemporaries a benefit show for MS charity was put together featuring Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Steve Winwood, Jimmy Page, Charlie Watts, and Andy Fairweather Low and raised millions for the charity.

Ooh La La: An Island Harvest looks at Ronnie and Slim Chance’s time with Island Records where Ronnie released two albums – Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance and One for The Road.  This collection features highlights from those albums as well as covers of classic tracks delivered in the inimitable “Plonk” style.  Tracks such as ‘Tin and Tambourine’ , ‘One For the Road’ and ‘Burnin’ Summer’ showcase Ronnie’s beautiful melodies and imaginative lyrics.  

It is easy to see why Lane was and still is admired by so many.  The collection also unearths some previously unreleased alternate takes of classic Ronnie compositions such as Ooh La La, The Poacher  and Anniversary.  Also included is the BBC concert Ronnie performed in 1974 which features Faces classics as well as a rip roaring version of How Come and a cover of Gallagher and Lyle’s I Believe In You who were part of the original Slim chance line up and incidentally perform alongside Ronnie at this concert.

Ronnie passed on June 4th, 1997 at the age of 51 . He had stars in his eyes and love in his smile.
by Paolo Hewitt

Disc 1
1. Ooh La La (Alternative Studio Take, Take 4) (Ronnie Lane, Ron Wood) - 3:18 
2. Don't Try And Change My Mind - 3:06 
3. One For The Road - 4:47 
4. Buddy Can You Spare Me A Dime (Alternate Studio Version, Take 5) (Jay Gorney, E.Y. "Yip" Harburg) - 4:10 
5. Steppin' And Reelin' - 6:26 
6. Harvest Home (Charlie Hart, Ronnie Lane) - 5:52 
7. 32nd Street - 4:36 
8. Give Me A Penny - 3:01 
9. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (And Write Myself A Letter) (Alternate Studio Take) (Fred E. Ahlert, Joe Young) - 3:10 
10.You Never Can Tell (Take 1) (Chuck Berry) - 6:59 
11.Back Street Boy (Jam Version) - 4:57 
12.Snake - 3:30 
13.Burnin' Summer - 4:07 
14.Anniversary - 3:00 
15.Country Boy (Alternate Take) (Marshall Barer, Fred Brooks) - 3:34 
16.What Went Down (That Night With You) - 3:29 
17.Tin And Tambourine (Kathy Lambert, Ronnie Lane) - 4:12 
18.Little Piece Of Nothing - 2:26

Disc 2
1. The Poacher (Take 2) - 3:51
2. Street Gang (Ronnie Lane, Ruan O'Lochlainn, Steve Simpson) - 4:08
3. Nobody's Listenin' - 3:57
4. Stone - 4:10
5. G'morning - 4:02
6. Bottle Of Brandy (Isaacs Family) - 2:50
7. Single Saddle (Arthur Altman, Hal David) - 2:03
8. Lovely - 3:29
9. Ain't No Lady (Kathy Lambert, Ronnie Lane, Ruan O'Lochlainn) - 4:26
10.Blue Monday (Dave Bartholomew) - 4:09
11.Anniversary (Alternate Mix) - 3:07
12.Last Orders (BBC In Concert) - 4:26
13.Done This One Before (BBC In Concert) - 3:58
14.Flags And Banners (BBC In Concert) (Ronnie Lane, Rod Stewart) - 4:06
15.Tell Everyone (BBC In Concert) - 3:40
16.How Come (BBC In Concert) - 3:55
17.I Believe In You (BBC In Concert) (Bernard Gallagher, Graham Lyle) - 4:53
18.Debris (BBC In Concert) - 6:29
19.Ooh La La (BBC In Concert) (Ronnie Lane, Ron Wood) - 3:48
All songs written by Ronnie Lane unless as else noted.

*Ronnie Lane – Guitar, Bass, Vocals
*Steve Simpson – Guitar, Mandolin, Violin, Keyboards, Harmonica
*Graham Lyle - Banjo, Twelve String Guitar, Guitar Bottleneck, Mandolin
*Benny Gallagher - Bass, Guitar, Accordion
*Steve Bingham - Bass
*Ken Slaven - Fiddle
*Kevin Westlake - Guitar
*Bruce Rowland - Percussion
*Jimmy Jewell - Saxophone
*Bill Livesey - Keyboards
*Ruan O'Lochlainn – Organ, Piano, Saxophone
*Charlie Hart – Violin, Keyboards, Piano, Accordion
*Brian Belshaw – Bass
*Glen LeFleur – Drums
*Jim Frank – Drums
*Charlie Hart – Violin, Keyboards, Harp, Whistle
*Brian Belshaw – Bass, Vocals
*Colin Davy – Drums
*The Tanners Of Montgomery - Vocals

1965-69  Small Faces - The Immediate Years (four discs box, 1st edition)
1967  Small Faces - Green Circles / First Immediate Album (rare Sequel release)
1968  The Small Faces - Ogden's Nut Gone Flake (2006 three disc box set)

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