Faces – First Step

ARTIST: Faces FacesFirstStep
TITLE: First Step
YEAR RELEASED: 1970
CHART ACTION: #119 US, #45 UK
SINGLES: Flying
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Um…maybe Three Button Hand Me Down
LINEUP: Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan, Kenney Jones
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Three Small Faces plus two ex-Jeff Beck Group form boozy party band, release first album to crickets. That would change, and soon.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: When Steve Mariott formed Humble Pie, the rest of the Small Faces were left behind. When Jeff Beck decided to change direction – Wood and Stewart needed a band. The Faces were formed (though some copies still called them the Small Faces, contracts I think…)..

This band was way different from the poppy psychedelic Small Faces. Wood brought along a blues presence, and Stewart gave them a powerful voice. Lane and company were a great rhythm section.

The issue with this album is material. They chose a great Dylan cover (“Wicked Messenger”) and songs like “Flying”, “Three Button Hand Me Down” and “Around the Plynth” were great. The rest are kind of generic and forgettable and that brings the album down. But the high points were enough to show the world this band had a future.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Stewart had a solo starting at the same time – the Faces backed him up on most of the cuts. The Faces soon became the party band, while Stewart’s solo stuff was more serious at first.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: They released a new version in 2015 with a couple of outtakes and BBC sessions.

GRADE: B: Half good, half meh. But the good is great!

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