Monday, November 22, 2010

A Nod Is As Good As A Wink...And Better Than Sticky Fingers. (There, I've Said It.)


Everyone loves the Faces, yet I've run into very few who take them as seriously as the Stones. I get that. The Faces only released four albums to the Stones thirty four, and really, The Faces didn't take themselves too seriously.

If you don't know "A Nod Is As Good As A Wink...To A Blind Horse," I suggest you make it your next purchase and discover one of the great rock and roll records of all time.

It is Rod Stewart when Rod Stewart was arguably the best singer in the game. It is Ronnie Wood before he became a parody of Ronnie Wood. It is Ronnie Lane and Kenny Jones, a rhythm section that could effortlessly pound you into the ground, give up the funk, and swing lightly, most of the time during the same song. And it's Ian McLagan, adding just the right amount of barrelhouse piano and church-ified organ to keep these rockers legit.

Songs like "Miss Judy's Farm," and "You're So Rude" were FM staples back in the day of real radio, while the hit "Stay With Me" remains in heavy rotation. But that's not all you need. Their cover of Chuck Berry's "Memphis" does not let up and both "Love Lived Here" and "Last Orders Please" show a soulful side of this band that rarely gets props.

But the winner, the song that did it to me last night, was Ronnie Lane's gorgeous "Debris." Rod plays Mick to Ronnie Lane's Keith. It's a bit " Wild Horses" and a precursor to the equally gorgeous "Glad & Sorry" from the boys' final LP "Ooh La La."

A week from now, I may no longer feel that this record is better than "Sticky Fingers," but right now I am still on that high. At the very least, "A Nod Is As Good As A Wink" will remain in my Top 5 of Greatest Rock Albums Of All Time.



DEBRIS

18 comments:

steve simels said...

It's not. In a class with "Sticky Fingers," I mean. But yes -- they were great, for precisely the reasons you stipulate. And more.

My favorite description of the Faces -- and I wish I knew who said it:

"The Rolling Stones with Gem├╝tlichkeit."

Sal Nunziato said...

Well, I suspect, as I said, that I will change my mind about it being better. But, really? Not even in the same class?

Mihaleez said...

I'm all the way with ya on this! Sure i adore the Stones, but hey, for a small period of time the Pretty Things (the early days) and the Faces were the best rock & roll bands in the world! Ask Mick for what he did to put them down...

JAYESSEMM said...

"Top 5 of Greatest Rock Albums Of All Time."

Okay Sal ... I'll bite.

At least on this Monday morning what are the other four?

Charlie said...

It is. A major step on the way to 1976.

steve simels said...

Not even in the same class?

I really don't see it.

I mean, is there anything on the album with the depth of "Sway" or "Moonlight Mile"?

steve simels said...

And I should add that the people who tell you that The Flamin' Groovies "Teenage Head" is better than "Sticky Fingers" are also wrong.
:-)

Sal Nunziato said...

"I mean, is there anything on the album with the depth of "Sway" or "Moonlight Mile"?"

No, but everything is better than "Can't You Hear Me Knocking."

OK, not the same class. Same homeroom? Shared locker?

steve simels said...

Shared locker?

Okay, I can live with that.
:-)


Seriously -- as much as I love the Faces, all of their albums are patchy, and the reason's pretty obvious -- Rod kept all his A-material for the concurrent solo records.

Eric said...

71' Faces-bbc/top of the pops live perfs. are great....but as someone wrote, the depth?

perhaps the greatest party band for the shortest period in their even shorter prime---...

what's wrong can't hear me knocking? its probably the last four minutes of horn laden mush.....?

Sal Nunziato said...

"Seriously -- as much as I love the Faces, all of their albums are patchy, and the reason's pretty obvious -- Rod kept all his A-material for the concurrent solo records."

Well, Ian McLagan makes that same claim in his book. And I do absolutely love those Rod records, but I've never felt the Faces albums were patchy. I think all four are quite solid.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely solid...I agree 100%...Ooh La La being my personal fave....lookit, Faces albums were a democratic affair...that always leaves room for, shall we say, inconsistencies...Rod's great early albums, using virtually the same cast, were tighter....that's supposed to happen in a monarchy...all in all , great stuff...but the Stones?...ouch, in comparison pretty much any band would lose...

elizabethm said...

So, Sal, on a slightly related subject, how do you feel about the Keith Richards autobiography you're reading? Have you read prior biographies of any of the Stones? (and for an extra 10 pts, describe the similarities and differences....)

Sal Nunziato said...

Elizabeth,

Haven't read any prior Stones'bios. I am only about 150 pages in on Keith. It's been slow reading because so far, I am mostly bored.

I also find his chapter intros very offputting.

"Chapter 3, in which I go to art school, meet Alexis Corner, say hello to Aunt..."

Great. Now I know what's coming and I don't care.

The Stones have just begun, so we'll see if it picks up at all.

Anonymous said...

I had this on 8-track as a teenager. Every time I listened to it while driving I would, unintentionally, speed. Definitely in my top 10 of all time.

Anonymous said...

although short shows 1hour 15/20 minutes from stop to finish you could not sit down!!!
they skipped the Spectrum in 1975 and played The Civic Center. They kicked some butts. Still trying to figure Rods ballerina outfit, my friends still believe him and mick like boys and girls ???
THE FACES (like bruce) HAD TO BEEN SEEN LIVE!!!

Meanstreets said...

I love " The Faces ", and always will...they bring back memories of my first live concerts...with a girl on my arm...

Thanks for this Sal...

And Ian McLagan has fit in very nicely as a fellow Austin TX resident...with his " Bump Band "...

Anonymous said...

Sal, Humble lead to(Peter Framton) "Small Faces" (may steve rest in peace)to "Faces" to Rod
with Woody who both came from Jeff ,to 'The Stones'.
So blame Steve and Jeff for Rod's new music!