THE FACES

Seventies rock n rollers The Faces were a major influence on everyone from the Sex Pistols and the Damned through to Oasis and the Replacements. But with a the shocking news that they will reform with Glen Matlock on bass (well that’s ok) and that ridiculous wanker Mick Hucknall on vocals, Vive Le Punk has to ask – are they going to shit their reputation down the toilet? In the meantime VLP traces a short history of Rod Stewart’s great band of rock n roll vagabonds.

When Steve Marriott left the Small Faces to form Humble Pie in 1969, the three remaining members dropped the “Small” and added two more musicians. The Faces were then comprised of Rod Stewart (vocals) and Ronnie Wood (guitar) from the Jeff Beck Group, and original members Ronnie Lane (bass), Ian McLagan (keyboard), and Kenney Jones (drums). During their reign from 1969-1975, the Faces released four studio albums and toured regularly, becoming one of the top-grossing live acts during the period. The English rock band produced many hits, including “Stay With Me,” “Had Me a Real Good Time,” and “Pool Hall Richard,” before releasing their final studio album Ooh La La in 1973. However, as Stewart began to pursue a solo career, the group became overshadowed by the lead singer, causing tension amongst members. Eventually, Lane left the band in 1973 – just months after the release of Ooh La La – frustrated at the lack of opportunities to sing lead vocals. Tetsu Yamauchi, bassist from Free, replaced Lane shortly after. The Faces released a live album the following year, featuring selections from their 1973 tour, and began recording for another studio album, but the group was losing momentum. The Faces released their final track, “You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything,” in late 1974, which earned a UK Top 20 spot. In 1975, Wood began working with the Rolling Stones, which caused an even bigger riff in the group, and in December of that year the band announced they were splitting.

After the Faces disbanded, each member went his separate way: Wood joined the Rolling Stones full-time, Stewart continued his successful solo career, Jones joined The Who, McLagan moved to the US and worked as a session musician, and Yamauchi toured as a jazz musician. The Faces were not finished performing together, however. In 1986, they reformed for Stewart’s Wembley Stadium concert, and again in 1993 when Stewart received a Lifetime Achievement award at the Brit Awards. Since then, there have been many rumors of reuniting, and in 2008 it was confirmed that band members had been discussing a possible reunion. In September 2009, the Faces, with the absence of Stewart, reunited for a charity show, with Wyman filling in for Lane and Mick Hucknall of Simply Red for Stewart. On May 25, 2010, the group announced that they were officially reuniting with Hucknall on vocals and ex-Sex Pistol Glen Matlock on bass. After their first gig on August 13th at the Vintage at Goodwood festival, with special guests Slash, Noel Gallagher, and Chris Robinson, the Faces will play at more festivals, followed by a world tour in 2011. Forty years later, the Faces are ready to face the world again.

Caitlin Peterkin

 

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