The Small Faces - From the Beginning (Deluxe Edition) (Music CD)

Release Date: 07 May 2012
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Another remastering of a classic piece of mid-'60s British rock & soul, and as important and enjoyable a record as, say, the Beatles' Rubber Soul or the Stones' Aftermath, even if the album itself was slapped together by Decca in an effort to undercut the band's first new release for rival Immediate Records in 1967. Steve Marriott's honest, agonized cover of the Del Shannon classic "Runaway" almost makes up for the fact that neither Otis Redding nor Marvin Gaye ever got around to applying their respective talents to this jewel of a song. That's just the opening number, and there's some stuff even better than that here. There are some songs that overlap with the Immediate stuff, including some really spaced-out psychedelia ("Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow"), cool dance numbers ("Have You Ever Seen Me"), some repeated tracks ("What'cha Gonna Do About It," "Sha-La-La-La-Lee") from the Decca Small Faces album), killer Motown paeans ("You've Really Got a Hold on Me" -- picture the early Who on a really, really good day covering this), and one original ("All or Nothing") that should be required listening for anyone who thinks they know the best music of the British invasion. And then there are the five bonus tracks, four from French-issued EPs that are completely different (and better) takes of "Baby Don't You Do It" et al, and a live BBC-recorded version of "What'cha Gonna Do About It." Marriott's playing on the latter is so loud and powerful, it could have melted the instruments of any American garage band this side of the Litter. At $11.99 list, this disc and its companion Small Faces reissue are the biggest British Invasion bargains going. ~ Bruce Eder
Release Date: 07 May 2012

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Catalogue No: 2781341