Faces – A Nod’s As Good As a Wink…to a Blind Horse

ARTIST: Faces                                                             faces-a_nod_is_as_good_as_a_wink-to_a_blind_horse_album_cover

TITLE:  A Nod Is As Good As a Wink…to a Blind Horse

YEAR RELEASED: 1971

CHART ACTION: #6 US, #2 UK

SINGLES: Stay with Me (#17 US, #6 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Miss Judy’s Farm

LINEUP: Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane, Ronnie Wood, Ian McLagan, Kenney Jones

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The commercial breakthrough for the band, though many probably thought it was another Rod Stewart solo record when they heard the single.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Faces and Rod Stewart were so intertwined in the early 70’s that unless Ronnie Lane was singing, or if it was an acoustic song, people mixed them up. “Stay with Me” definitely was a hit, following on the footsteps of Stewart’s big solo hit single and album this same year.

Though this is a Faces record through and through, since Ronnie Lane sings three songs, including the great “You’re So Rude” and “Debris”. He adds a bit of temper to Stewart’s blazing hot vocals. However, the two styles, and Stewart’s solo success led to tension between the two.

The first side and the opener of side two (“Debris”) are great, and then the record slides on by with a cover of “Memphis” that’s just perfunctory. Stewart was writing a lot of songs at this point, and may have just run out of good ones. Still, this is the best Faces record and definitely belongs in any 70’s rock collection.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: There was a poster included in the original pressing of the album, full of sex, drugs, and other bad habits taken on the road.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a couple of BBC sessions

GRADE: B+:  The second side let me down.

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