The Small Faces: Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones tell the story of their singles

The tales behind every one of the band’s historic 45s, including "All Or Nothing", "Itchycoo Park" and "Lazy Sunday"

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Lazy Sunday
Immediate, April 1968. UK: 2; US N/A
English pop-psych classic, “lumbago”, “khazi” and all. Although never intended as a single, Loog Oldham’s pop instincts prevail. A No 2 hit, and a hefty promotional gift for the parent LP, Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake.

McLagan: “When Steve came in with this it was slower. We started taking the piss out of it while he was out of the room. The ‘Root-ti-doo-ti-di-day’ thing. And he laughed when he came back in and heard us. So we cut it like that. It was a pisstake!”
Jones: “This is a record I’m still not sure about. Steve had been a child actor, he was the first Artful Dodger in Lionel Bart’s Oliver! in the West End. He brought that theatricality to this. Once again, we were on tour in Germany, picked up Melody Maker… and this was a hit! Andrew had released it without our knowledge, like ‘My Mind’s Eye’. So this dragged us back into poppy-land. We wanted to be known for being as good as the Claptons of this world. We wanted a tougher image. It wasn’t a fair representation of Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake.”
McLagan: “After we’d done Ogdens’…, things with Steve got kinda strange. And then he wrote ‘The Universal’.”

The Universal
Immediate, July 1968. UK: 16; US: N/A
Marriott records this dig at the hollowness of Swinging London in the back garden of Mick Jagger’s house. A sudden change of style that bewilders fan and Small Face alike.

Jones: “He brought it into the studio, we overdubbed drums and stuff onto it… and that was basically it. It’s certainly not ‘Tin Soldier’.”
McLagan: “I’m not even on this. The drums and bass are so clear on it that they’ve obviously just been stuck on top of Steve’s cassette recording.”
Jones: “People love it because it’s very relaxed and shows where our heads were at the time. Even the dog barks in time. Yes, of course the ‘Mick’ in the song was Jagger. And maybe the song was Steve’s sort of goodbye to the London scene because he was planning his departure.”
McLagan: “I quit around this time. Steve started telling me what to play. As soon as I left he phoned Nicky Hopkins and got him to play on some tracks. I came back but it hurt me. Steve was in his own world by this time. He wanted Peter Frampton to join the band. Fuck that.”


Afterglow (Of Your Love)
Immediate, March 1969. UK: 36; US: N/A
Marriott quits the Small Faces onstage at Alexandra Palace on New Year’s Eve 1968. Immediate rush out this stunning farewell. But the British rock audience, like Marriott, have moved on.

McLagan: “This, ‘Tin Soldier’ and ‘All Or Nothing’ are the best Small Faces recordings.”
Jones: “There were two reasons why Steve left. One was that, no matter what we did, we never lost this pop image. And this affected Steve more than anyone else. Another was Ogdens’…. We always knew, in the back of our minds: how are we gonna top this? The only thing I hated was him leaving us onstage standing there like twats – he should’ve realised we all felt the same way.”
McLagan: “Steve and I fell out over the B-side, ‘Wham Bam Thank You Man’, which was a hint to what Steve wanted to do in Humble Pie. It was all a bit obvious and a bit heavy, man. He was already on his way out.”
Jones: “There was never a discussion about carrying on the Small Faces without Steve. People still think we replaced Steve Marriott with Rod Stewart. We didn’t. The Faces were a completely new and different band.”


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