Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Words Fail Me

I first posted the clip below -- the original Small Faces doing their seminal hit "Tin Soldier" on Belgian TV in 1968 -- back in 2007, shortly after I first arrived in these precincts. And frankly, I'd forgotten about it until yesterday, when an occasional commenter and I got to discussing the relative merits of Faces mod frontman Steve Marriott vis a vis his later stint in Humble Pie.

May I just say -- and for the record -- that I pretty much now consider this among the top 10 (or so) most exciting performances by a rock band ever captured on video tape? (And yes -- I know they're lip-synching.)

In case you're wondering, the black gal singing with them is P.P. Arnold, the band's Immediate Records labelmate best known for the original hit version of the oft-covered "First Cut is the Deepest."

And as I wrote back in '07, can you think of any other rock stars of the period who would have cheerfully let themselves be upstaged on TV by a good looking woman of color providing barely audible backup vocals? I mean, the Stones let Merry Clayton steal the show on "Gimme Shelter," but only on the record.

Jeebus christ, but these guys were great.


Mister Pleasant said...

Amazing clip isn't it? P.P. was a real looker and who cares if we can barely hear her - she adds to the mood with her presence. I was late to the Small Faces party, other than the single Itchycoo Park. I did not discover Ogden's Nut Gone Flake until well into the 70s. This song and everything else on that album just kills me. Too bad they did not hang together long enough to put out a followup.

FD13NYC said...

Love The Small Faces. Steve Marriott was a unique character and singer. When he and Frampton teamed for Humble Pie, another great step forward. While the rest of the Faces joined Rod The Mod (more history). Rockin' The Fillmore still is one of my favorite Live albums ever. I must have played it a million times back then, and still play cuts today. It was great while smoking the cheeba.

Speaking of smoke, it was very sad how Steve died though.

Anonymous said...

Released during a very unique era when cutting edge singles were able to become hits.

FM radio and albums quickly put an end to this time but for just a few years (I'd say 65 - 68) some very amazing songs became hits.


TMink said...

I am still digesting the Faces 4 disc anthology, from the looks of this, I need to bone up on the Small Faces too. Great stuff.


Blue Ash Fan said...

Talk about serendipity. I stumbled upon this post while playing Steve's 1976 solo album on my iPod. I know the critics reviled them back in the day and that it's terminally uncool to admit it, but I loved the Pie. Even the post-Frampton albums. (Well, maybe not "Thunderbox" all that much.) Still, I couldn't count the reviews of latter day Pie albums I read that included the term "self-parody." Eh, screw 'em. What did they know?

Amazing clip. Time to break out some Small Faces.

As an aside, I've had the pleasure and, well, honor, of meeting Ian McLagan two times. You'll never meet a nicer guy.

TMink said...

Also aproppos of nothing, I just got in The Very Best Of Shocking Blue. It sounds ok over the little computer speakers, but this one wants to rock! Thanks to Powerpop for pointing me this direction.

Edward said...

May have the time period wrong, and it was on film, if not TV, but didn't the Stones share the stage with Tina Turner a few times?

Whatever, good clip.

steve simels said...

Tina Turner opened for the Stones, but I'm not sure she ever actually came on stage with them.

Jagger and Tina probably dueted somewhere sometime, although my memory is hazy.

In any event, that "Tin Soldier" vid just slays me.

Gummo said...

Jagger and Tina probably dueted somewhere sometime, although my memory is hazy.

1985. Live Aid.

steve simels said...

And I just wiki'd PPArnold.

Ex-Ikette, as it turns out.

And still with us, I'm glad to say. A very interesting life and career...

TMink said...

To bring this full circle, Tina and the Ikettes sang background on Dynamo Hum for Frank Zappa.

The mind reels.


Gene Oberto said...

Has ANY band had such a line up of reprobates go through it, and still be able to go as long and as excellent as the Small Faces / Faces did?

Elroy said...

Steve, any chance you'd mention some of your other top 10 videotape performances?

WHT said...

Best video live performance being a lip-synch gives the impression that the field of contenders is not too deep.