Record of the Week

presented by Music Direct

The Faces – First Step

The Faces - First Step

Released in the spring of 1970, the Faces, made their debut record – with members of the original Small Faces and the Jeff Beck Group. Mistakenly titled Small Faces in the US and Canada, what would become a highly influential and critically acclaimed band.

Unfortunately, they would never become a huge box office draw at the concert hall or the record store, with this album never going higher than #119 on the Billboard charts.

The ever stealthy 4 Men With Beards imprint does an admirable job on this forgotten classic, with nary a production credit in sight.  Whoever took the helm on this one, they did good work on the record as well as the reproduction of the gatefold cover.

Musically this one’s as raw as they come, and it’s well preserved.  Leading off with Dylan’s “Wicked Messenger” the record starts with a fat organ riff reminiscent of the Band’s Music From Big Pink, but the minute the guitar and Rod Stewart’s voice kick in, you know this is something completely different.

The rest of the tracks are all Faces originals and perhaps the strongest track on the album is “Flying,” though the band would not really reach it’s stride until their third – A Nod is as Good as a Wink… t0 a Blind Horse. However this album does build a foundation for what became The Faces’ signature sound – heavy on keyboards and relatively devoid of lead guitar excess.  In retrospect, it’s easy to see why the Rolling Stones may have considered Wood to be their rhythm guitarist.

4MWB has done an admirable job on the remaster.  My original is way too knackered to do an honest comparison, but the surfaces are quiet and this record sounds reasonably dynamic overall. To their credit, the label keeps their prices very reasonable, with this record only costing $18.95.

You can purchase this from Music Direct here…