Wednesday, July 04, 2012
OGDENS' NUT GONE FLAKE
Whether you're sailing through the air on a fly's back or just having a few, this is really fun to listen to. Steve Marriot and Ronnie Lane's creations were Britpop. Understanding the good time that went into making this is the key to absorbing the album.
Doesn't hurt that Marriott was one of the greatest rock singers of all time, bar none.
Starting with the instrumental title track, it's evident where all of the "inspiration" is coming from. Weak psychedelia doesn't apply here though, as they played heavier than most bands in that category.
Exaggerated Cockney delivery, huge hooks and an imaginative story about searching for the other half of the moon (the "Happiness Stan" suite on side two) are just some of the draws of this remarkably layered set. Stanley Unwin provided the narration in a style so unique that it was dubbed as 'Unwinese'.
"Lazy Sunday" was extracted as the single. Exuberance? There is enough here to power a large city for months. It is an absolutely perfect 3 minutes of pop.
Given their youth at the time these songs were created, it is astounding how insightful some of the lyrics were. Without doubt, my favorite bit of wordplay comes from the closer, "HappyDaysToyTown".
"Life is just a bowl of All-Bran/ You wake up every morning and it's there"
Whether intentional or not, the line is as funny as it is grim. All-Bran tastes sweet but it gives you the shits.
Produced by Glyn Johns, Ogdens featured some lavish overdubs that made it impossible to reproduce on stage, though they presented it (miming to backing tracks) on BBC TV shortly after release. It was the only time that this treasure of an LP was performed "live".
Here then, are the Small Faces on "Color Me Pop", June 21, 1968
Nice to report that this set was number one in Britain for six weeks in the summer of 1968. Steve Marriott left the Small Faces at the end of that year to form Humble Pie.