The Small Faces: From the Beginning and Small Faces

The Small Faces
From the Beginning and Small Faces
(Universal Music)

The Small Faces were pretty prolific, releasing five albums in three years on two different labels. Now, the band’s discography is handled by Universal Music on hot on the heels of their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, that label is reissuing the band’s catalog.

Up first are Small Faces and From the Beginning, the first two releases by the band put out on Decca Records. Interestingly enough, the band left Decca in 1967 for Immediate Records and Decca rushed to issue From the Beginning before Immediate put out there first release by the band, confusingly titled Small Faces.

Anyways, back to the Decca catalog/reissues. Both early albums find the band playing loose, raw R&B, with the perfect mix of covers and originals. When compared to their contemporaries and those that came slightly before them (The Who, The Kinks and The Rolling Stones), it is safe to say that the Small Faces were at the top of the heap and may have been the best at capturing that white boy soul that came to define vocalist/guitarist Steve Marriott.

Here is a band dedicated to its craft and it is apparent on these first two albums. There is an intensity and passion that is rarely captured on tape. They were known as an amazing live band. A Small Faces show was tantamount to a religious experience, as the stories go. We’re fortunate that their energy was captured and preserved for future generations.