The FACES – ” A Nod Is As Good As A Wink…To A Blind Horse ” Released 17th November 1971 Classic Albums

Posted: November 17, 2017 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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There are very few albums which are indispensable. The Beatles Revolver, Stones Exile on Maine Street and the like. For me, truly great records capture a moment.

The Faces‘ third album from 1971, came in the middle of a whirlwind year for singer Rod Stewart.  In the mere months that separated the album “Long Player” and “A Nod Is As Good As A Wink” Stewart had a huge hit with “Maggie May” and his first No. 1 solo album (‘Every Picture Tells a Story’) his third solo album was something that would soon irreparably damage the band, but at the time it was mere good fortune, helping bring them some collateral success that they deserved. Certainly, it didn’t change the character of the album itself, which is the tightest record the band ever made. Granted that may be a relative term, since sloppiness is at the heart of this band, but this doesn’t feel cobbled together, (which the otherwise excellent Long Player did).

‘A Nod Is as Good as a Wink .finally gave the group their long-awaited hit single in “Stay with Me,” . Loose, bluesy and boozy, rock ‘n’ roll doesn’t get more natural than this. The Faces and solo Rod Stewart were never as good as this before or since. From the opening ‘Miss Judy’s Farm’ which is awesome, the songs just get better and better. Their interpretation of Chuck Berry’s Memphis Tenessee followed by ‘Too Bad’ will make you feel grateful that you’re alive. Ending with the rampaging good times of “That’s All You Need.” In between, Ronnie Lane serves up dirty jokes the exquisitely funny “You’re So Rude”  and heartbreaking ballads (the absolutely beautiful “Debris” , and generally serves up a nonstop party. There are few records that feel like a never-ending party like this seventies album , the slow moments are for slow dancing, and as soon as it’s over, it’s hard not to want to do it all over again. It’s another classic –

They were helped in that respect by new co-producer Glyn Johns, who came in as an impartial outside set of ears while helping to wrangle the unruly band members into recording shape. It couldn’t have been the easiest gig, but it’s easy to understand why Johns was attracted to it — aside from Stewart’s formidable vocals, the group boasted the prodigious talents of keyboardist Ian McLagan , drummer Kenney Jones and perpetually underrated bassist and great songwriter Ronnie Lane .

With Johns helping the Faces were brought more attentively to bear on some of their finest material. While public perception was increasingly focused on Stewart, the new album titled A Nod Is As Good As a Wink … to a Blind Horse — presented the band at their creatively democratic best. Of the eight originals they lined up for the LP, the majority were co-written, with Lane, McLagan, Stewart and Wood all having a hand in the record’s compositional makeup. As Lane recalled in the years after its release, Nod captured a group firing on all cylinders.

Side One
1. “Miss Judy’s Farm” (Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood) – 3:42
2. “You’re So Rude” (Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan) – 3:46
3. “Love Lives Here” (Lane, Stewart, Wood) – 3:09
4. “Last Orders Please” (Lane) – 2:38
5. “Stay with Me” (Stewart, Wood) – 4:42

Side Two

1. “Debris” (Lane) 4:39
2. “Memphis, Tennessee” Incorrectly titled on original US pressings of the album as simply “Memphis” (Chuck Berry) – 5:31
3. “Too Bad” (Stewart, Wood) – 3:16
4. “That’s All You Need” (Stewart, Wood) – 5:05

PERSONNEL
ROD STEWART – vocals
RONNIE LANE – bass, acoustic guitar, percussion, vocals
RONNIE WOOD – lead, slide, acoustic and pedal steel guitars, backing vocals on “Too Bad”, harmonica
IAN McLAGAN – piano, organ, backing vocals “Too Bad”
KENNEY JONES – drums, percussion
HARRY FOWLER – steel drums on “That’s All You Need”
GLYN JOHNS – co-producer, engineer
PRODUCED BY FACES AND GLYN JOHNS

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