Release Date: Aug 28, 2015
Record label: Rhino
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Blues-Rock, Album Rock, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll, Proto-Punk
FacesYou Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything (1970-1975)(Rhino)Rating: 5 out of 5 stars Listening to Rod Stewart strut and shimmy fronting these ragtag rockers on five albums during the titular years, it’s nearly impossible to imagine he would achieve some of his biggest success crooning the Great American Songbook of smooth standards three decades later. Such are the inexplicable twists and turns of the music industry that found Stewart, fresh from a short, two album gig singing for the Jeff Beck Group on their groundbreaking albums (Truth and Beck-Ola), replacing Steve Marriott in the Small Faces, and bringing buddy Ron Wood along. The new, taller members lost the “small” after the debut, continuing as simply the Faces, churning out four studio albums included in this set.
The past few years have seen a rush of praise and newfound appreciation for the Faces, the influential English rock ‘n’ roll band, famous for featuring both a pre-fame Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood. Their songs have popped up frequently in television advertisements and movie scores, original members have appeared to play at a few one-off gigs, and in 2012, the band received their proper due with an induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Originally conceived as the Small Faces, the band cut their teeth on the British mod scene, playing a loose collection of skiffle and R&B-inflected numbers that served as an early template for the ensuing British Invasion scene.
The Faces albums were scheduled for expanded reissues in 2008, roughly four years after the release of the definitive rarities-laden box set Five Guys Walk into a Bar..., but those plans were scrapped and the albums remained untouched for the next seven years. After that long wait came You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything: 1970-1975, a five-disc box that contains expanded versions of the four Faces studio LPs -- 1970's First Step, the twin 1971 masterpieces Long Player and A Nod Is as Good as a Wink...to a Blind Horse, 1972's Ooh La La -- along with a disc of non-LP singles. These aren't quite the track listings from 2008 but they're close enough and, more importantly, they offer a bunch of songs that were not on Five Guys.
Faces were always out for a good time, weren’t they? The full title of this box set – Even Take The Dog For A Walk, Mend A Fuse, Fold Away The Ironing Board, Or Any Other Domestic Shortcomings – was the kind of drollery Rod Stewart liked to liven up the album sleeves, while his accomplices knocked off music-hall rock with hard working nonchalance. If they sometimes sounded like an adjunct to Rod’s solo success, Ron Wood, Kenney Jones, Ian McLagan and Ronnie Lane knew which side their bread was buttered. All the (remastered) studio albums are here, and there’s an extra disc of semi-rarities.
The Upshot: The four studio albums from Rod, Ron, Plonk, Kenney and Mac return to print via a rather sweet 5-disc box set, including rarities. A 5-out-of-5 stars collection. Well, it’s about time. And it took a fine archival label like Rhino, whose bosses apparently appreciate the value of reintroducing the classics, to do it.