Friday, 9 November 2018

Faces - Ooh La La (1973)

  

 

Released March 1973

Although this is The Faces' swansong album, coming out eighteen months after their previous one, and the signs of strain are supposed to be all over it, like their "Let It Be", I have aways found it a highly enjoyable album.

TRACK LISTING

1. Silicone Grown
2. Cindy Incidentally
3. Flags And Banners
4. My Fault
5. Borstal Boys
6. Fly In The Ointment
7. If I'm On The Late Side
8. Glad And Sorry
9. Just Another Honky
10. Ooh La La

"Silicone Grown" is a rocking, typical Faces boogie of an opener, about the subject of breast enhancement, which was not really a de rigeur thing to have done back then. Who doesn't love "Cindy Incidentally"? It was a great, mid-pace rocking single - great guitars, great lyrics, great Rod Stewart vocals. Faces perfection. "Leave the rent with the gent up in the Penthouse...". I always loved that line. I remember for some reason in March 1973, as a teenager, going to the "Ideal Home Exhibition" with a friend. Why, I don't know. I came back with "Cindy Incidentally", however. I am not sure how. Were they selling records at the show? They must have been. I recall it had a lyric sheet in with it for the song (pictured above).

"Flags and Banners" is a short, plaintively bucolic Ronnie Lane song that just sort of drifts along before we get Rod rocking again on the loose, rough and ready grind of the riffy "My Fault". "Borstal  Boys" is a rousing, energetic, thumping prison rocker. Again its is full of riffs and another Stewart gritty vocal.

"Fly In The Ointment" is a buzzy, guitar-drive, slightly funky instrumental. "If I'm On The Late Side" is a short but soulful and melodic number, with an infectious organ swirling around backing it and a convincing Stewart vocal. It has hints of Paul Weller's "Broken Stones" in it, for me, a lot. "Glad And Sorry" is one of Ronnie Lane's best Faces songs, with a great bass line, piano and a fetching vocal (for one whose voice I have never gone for). It has a searing guitar solo in the middle from Ronnie Wood Too. "Just Another Honky" is a very typical Rod Stewart song despite being a Ronnie Lane one! It just sounds so much like some of the stuff he wrote for himself later in the seventies. He was obviously influenced by his old mate's writing style. It is a great song, for me, I love the guitar, piano, drum interplay at the end.

So, it was goodbye to The Faces. All that was left was the last classic single in "You Can Make Me Dance Sing Or Anything" and the last track on this album, Ronnie Wood on rare vocals for the now iconic "Ooh La La". It is a delightful, folky, acoustic singalong and provides a suitable au revoir for this good-natured, lovable group. We all missed them. Cheers, lads. Along with Mott The Hoople, they were such a "lads" band, weren't they?

B

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