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‘Face’ Time For A Band All But Forgotten

By Mike McKeown/Express/Getty Images

The Small Faces (along with the Faces)  will be inducted into the Class of 2012 of The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and it makes me very, very happy.  I think The Small Faces have been long overdue for their recognition and I’ve always been sorry that so many people of a certain (younger) age have never heard of them.

The Small Faces formed in East London in 1965 by Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenny Jones and Jimmy Winston (Winston was replaced by Ian McLagan in 1966). The band was hugely influenced by American rhythm and blues and were critically acclaimed in the 1960’s; they also had a big influence on the Britpop movement of the 1990’s.

What I most remember about this band was the amazing voice of Steve Marriott (who later rocked in Humble Pie and then tragically died in a house fire in April of 1991).  He was a powerful white soul singer, and when I listen to The Black Crowes I always think of Steve Marriott and hear his influence.

Steve’s vocal prowess impressed and/or influenced many great rock artists, including Robert Plant, Ozzy Osbourne, Paul Stanley, Keith Richards and Steve Perry (Perry said in an article at “One of my favorite vocalists was Steve Marriott”).

In an article in Rolling Stone, Ian McLagan says he was initially “not happy that the Small Faces and the Faces were lumped together” (for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nomination/induction) but gave it a lot of thought and figured he’d “take it”.  He says the induction is going to be fun and with “The Chili Peppers, Guns N’ Roses and The Faces…look out, there’s going to be some room-wrecking.”

Let me share one of my favorite songs of all time in the video below, the Small faces “Tin Soldier”. If you don’t remember it, I think you will now.   And by the way, I would say “rest in peace, Steve”, but I don’t think he’s resting up there in the great beyond.  I have a feeling he’s kicking vocal ass instead.

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