Posts Tagged ‘The Faces’

The FACES – ” Stay with Me “

Posted: April 27, 2022 in MUSIC

Ron Wood’s rhythm track on the Faces’ classic “Stay with Me” is one of the raunchiest guitar tones of all time. The rhythm track on the Faces’ classic track “Stay with Me” is a great example of how a relatively simple rig can be so much more than the sum of its parts. In essence, Wood used just a guitar and an amp, but his signature tone has eluded imitators and befuddled tone geeks for decades.

The guitar Wood used on the song is no mystery: a Zemaitis “disc-front” solid-body that Tony Zemaitis custom built for him in the early Seventies and that Wood calls the “Stay with Me” guitar for obvious reasons. Equipped with three Gibson PAF humbuckers, each with its own volume and tone controls and individual push switches that enabled any conceivable combination of the three pickups, the Zemaitis also features a distinctive circular aluminum “scratch plate” that enhances the guitar’s natural resonance.

But perhaps the most important feature of the disc-front Zemaitis when it comes to decoding this song’s guitar tone is its built-in battery-powered booster, which is engaged by pulling up the master volume control on the upper bout. The circuit is a mystery, but considering its timeframe it’s likely based on a germanium transistor treble booster — the distinctive midrange growl it produces certainly suggests that.

The bigger mystery is the amp that Wood used. Fortunately, Wood revealed that exact detail in the November/December 2015 issue of Guitar Aficionado where he emphatically stated it was a Hiwatt. Although tone snobs argue that an early Hiwatt’s tone is too clean, these amps can get quite nasty when pushed hard (check out the Who’s Live at the Isle of Wight Festival or Led Zeppelin at the Royal Albert Hall) and the Zemaitis’ booster adds delicious rasp and grit that has fooled many into thinking Wood used a tweed amp. Having the guitar tuned to open E is the cherry on top, providing a generous amount of unison-note clang that makes the tone even more resonant.

This Incredible performance, “Live from the Fillmore West”. Includes the entire KFOG-FM broadcast plus five bonus tracks from John Peel’s ‘Sunday Concert’. Full colour booklet with background liners and rare images. Digitally remastered for greatly enhanced sound quality.

Rod Stewart and the Faces, live at the Fillmore West on October 28th 1970 Following the February 1970 release of their classic debut album, The Faces gigged far and wide, their rowdy and raucous style earning a devoted following. This classic performance from the Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA on October 28th 1970, was originally broadcast on KFOG-FM and finds them at their infectious best, on a selection of classics culled both from their catalogue and from Rod Stewart’s solo work.

It’s presented together with background notes, images and five bonus tracks from John Peel’s ‘Sunday Concert’.

DISC ONE 1. Devotion 2. You’re My Girl (I Don’t Want To Discuss It) 3. The Wicked Messenger 4. Country Comfort 5. Flying 6. Too Much Woman 7. Cut Across Shortly 8. Maybe I’m Amazed 9. Around the Plynth 10. Gasoline Alley DISC TWO 1. Love In Vain 2. Three Button Hand Me Down 3. It’s All Over Now 4. I Feel So Good 5. (Love Ballad) Bonus tracks John Peel’s ‘Sunday Concert’, Paris Cinema, 25th June 1970 BBC radio 6. You’re My Girl 7. The Wicked Messenger 8. Devotion 9. It’s All Over Now 10. I Feel So Good

Rod Stewart – vocals Ron Wood – guitar Ian McLagan – keyboards Ronnie Lane – bass Kenny Jones – drums

Rod Stewart and The Faces - Live At Fillmore 1970

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Let’s hear it for Ron Wood! The shaggy-haired guitar ace has played devil’s advocate to both Rod Stewart and Keith Richards — his style perfectly complementing the Faces and the Rolling Stones. Wood joined the Stones in 1975 after the Faces split up, but his history dates back to the sounds of swinging London as guitarist with R&B rockers the Birds and as bassist extraordinaire for the Jeff Beck Group. Most people might only know the man from his tenure with the Stones.

Live from Kilburn, Andy Newmark -drums; Willie Weeks-bass; Ian McLagan– keyboards, and of course ,Ronnie Wood ,Keith and Rod Stewart What a fronting trio. Ronnie, Rod and Richards (the 3 Rs of Rock) fit together visually, musically and presentation wise like a dream rock and roll team.

This set of videos of The First Barbarians, Ronnie Wood shouldn’t have left The Faces, Keith Richards should have left the Rolling Stones and joined Rod, Ronnie, Kenney and Ian (Ronnie Lane had left by then) in a revitalized Faces lineup. With Rod, Ronnie and Keith writing lyrics, we’d have had more classic rock LPs like A Nod’s, Every Picture etc.

Ronnie Wood’s 1974 solo debut, “I’ve Got My Own Album to Do”, is somewhat of a forgotten artifact. He received a little help from friends Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, George Harrison and David Bowie, to name a few. One of the album’s best tracks is “Mystifies Me.” Hearing it all these years later begs the question, What would this have sounded like if it had been a Faces track?

From: ‘I’ve Got My Own Album to Do’ (1974)

I first heard Son Volt’s cover of this song. Jeff Tweedy did such a good job covering it that I thought it was his song. Then I ran across this! I couldn’t believe I didn’t know this was a Ron Wood song. This is an awesome performance. Ron and Keith were meant to play together and Ian is just fabulous.

Ronnie Lane was a Britsh songwriter and bass player. He started with the Small Faces as the bass player and he and Steve Marriott wrote most of bands songs. The Small Faces never toured America so they never really broke out big. They did have 11 top twenty hits in the UK but only one in America with Itchycoo Park charting at #16.

Steve Mariott left the Small Faces in 1968 and Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood joined Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones, and Ian McLagan to start The Faces. The Faces released four albums between 1970-1973… First Step, Long Player, A Nod is as Good as a Wink…to a Blind Horse and Ooh La La. They were one of the top grossing touring bands.

After Rod Stewart’s solo career took off his interest in the band began to wane and in 1973 Ronnie Lane quit. After Ronnie left the Faces, they made no more studio albums.

Ronnie started his own folk-country band named “Slim Chance” and released a surprise hit single “Come On” in 1973 and it went to #11 in the UK. Ronnie had a unique idea of touring. His tour was called “The Passing Show” which toured the countryside with a circus tent and included a ringmaster and clowns.

In 1976 he owed a record company an album and he was in financial trouble. He asked Pete Townshend to help him record an album. The album was called “Rough Mix” and it was a very strong album with great reviews but the record company didn’t promote it and the sales were not great.

During the recording of “Rough Mix” Lane diagnosed with was Multiple Sclerosis. He still toured with Eric Clapton and others afterward and released an album in 1979 called “See Me.”

In 1983 Ronnie called some of his musician friends to do some charity concerts for the Research for Multiple Sclerosis. They were known as the ARMS (Action into Research for Multiple Sclerosis) Charity Concerts. Musicians such as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Steve Winwood, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, and more came out to support Ronnie.

Ronnie Lane died of Pneumonia while in the final stages of Multiple Sclerosis in 1997


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

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

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The story goes that Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance were formed after he walked into a bar after the last ever Faces show in June of 73 and shouted at Marc Bolan asking if he had an opening for an unemployed bass player. Bolan did not take him up on the offer and he retreated to his farm in Wales to begin putting together a new band called Slim Chance. The sound was mainly acoustic driven over flowing with warmth and quality and revealed the heart and soul of one of Britain’s most under rated songwriters. During his time with The Faces, Lane’s talents shone with songs he penned like ‘Just For A Moment’, Ooh La La and ‘Debris’. Eschewing the rock sound of his era, Ronnie Lane created a personal organic sound, propelled by melody and mandolins, violins and squeeze boxes, the sound that conjures up the sun at dawn and the beauty of the fading afternoon horizon.

Lane would record four solo albums with Slim Chance plus albums with Ronnie Wood, Mahoney’s Last Stand & Pete Townshend Rough Mix. In 1976 he briefly joined a re-formed Small Faces but quit after two weeks and again teamed up with Steve Marriott in 1981 to cut an album called the Magic Mijits album. Contracting MS in 1982, he kept going and in a massive showing of affection by his musical contemporaries a benefit show for MS charity was put together featuring Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Steve Winwood, Jimmy Page, Charlie Watts, and Andy Fairweather Low and raised millions for the charity. Ooh La La. An Island Harvest looks at Ronnie and Slim Chance’s time with Island Records where Ronnie released two albums – Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance and One for The Road.

This collection features highlights from those albums as well as covers of classic tracks delivered in the inimitable “Plonk” style. Tracks such as ‘Tin and Tambourine’ , ‘One For the Road’ and ‘Burnin’ Summer’ showcase Ronnie’s beautiful melodies and imaginative lyrics. It is easy to see why Lane was and still is admired by so many. The collection also unearths some previously unreleased alternate takes of classic Ronnie compositions such as Ooh La La, The Poacher and Anniversary. Also included is the “BBC In concert” Ronnie performed in 1974 which features Faces classics as well as a rip roaring version of How Come and a cover of Gallagher and Lyle’s I Believe In You who were part of the original Slim Chance line up and incidentally perform alongside Ronnie at this concert.

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Ronnie Lane And Slim Chance 00:00 Ooh La La (Altern Studio Take 4) (Ronnie Lane, Ron Wood) – 3.15 03:15 Don’t Try And Change My Mind – 3.05 06:20 One For The Road – 4.44 11:04 Buddy Can You Spare Me A Dime (Altern Studio Version) Gorney, Yip Harburg) – 4.07 15:11 Steppin’ And Reelin’ – 6.24 21:35 Harvest Home (Charlie Hart, Ronnie Lane) – 5.48 27:23 32nd Street – 4.34 31:57 Give Me A Penny – 3.01 34:54 I’m Gonna Sit Right Down (Altern Studio Take) (Fred E. Ahlert, Joe Young) – 3.10 38:02 You Never Can Tell (Take 1) (Chuck Berry) – 6.59 44:58 Back Street Boy (Jam Version) – 4.57 49:53 Snake – 3.30 53:21 Burnin’ Summer – 4.07 57:26 Anniversary – 3.00 1:00:24 Country Boy (Altern Take) (Marshall Barer, Fred Brooks) – 3.34 1:03:55 What Went Down (That Night With You) – 3.29 1:07:21 Tin And Tambourine (Kathy Lambert, Ronnie Lane) – 4.12 1:11:31 Little Piece Of Nothing – 2.26 1:13:53 The Poacher (Take 2) – 3.51 1:17:41 Street Gang (Ronnie Lane, Ruan O’Lochlainn, Steve Simpson) – 4.08 1:21:46 Nobody’s Listenin’ – 3.57 1:25:39 Stone – 4.10 1:29:47 G’morning – 4.02 1:33:47 Bottle Of Brandy (Isaacs Family) – 2.50 1:36:33 Single Saddle (Arthur Altman, Hal David) – 2.03 1:38:33 Lovely – 3.29 1:41:59 Ain’t No Lady (Kathy Lambert, Ronnie Lane, Ruan O’Lochlainn) – 4.26 1:46:22 Blue Monday (Dave Bartholomew) – 4.09 1:50:30 Anniversary (Altern Mix) – 3.07

(BBC In Concert) 1:53:35 Last Orders- 4.26 1:58:01 Done This One Before – 3.58 2:01:59 Flags And Banners (Ronnie Lane, Rod Stewart) – 4.06 2:06:05 Tell Everyone – 3.40 2:09:45 How Come – 3.55 2:13:40 I Believe In You (Bernard Gallagher, Graham Lyle) – 4.53 2:18:33 Debris – 6.29 2:25:02 Ooh La La (Ronnie Lane, Ron Wood) – 3.48 All songs written by Ronnie Lane unless as else noted.

Ronnie Lane passed away on June 4th, 1997 at the age of 51 . He had stars in his eyes and love in his smile. Story by Paolo Hewitt

Rod Stewart was doing double duty with the Faces at the time of 1971’s ‘Every Picture Tells a Story,’ so his band mates’ contributions boost the loose, boozy vibe. As the decade progressed, Stewart would try on a few other hats soft-rock lothario, swarthy disco guy – but he’s at his best when he puts his throaty voice behind pure rock ‘n’ roll.

The album is a mixture of rock country, Folk and blues and some soul, and includes Stewart’s breakthrough hit, “Maggie May” and the Tim Hardin cover “Reason To Believe” taken from Hardin’s debut album of 1966. “Reason to Believe” was released as the first single from the album with “Maggie May” as the B-side, however, “Maggie May” became more popular and was a No. 1 hit in both the UK and US.

The album also included a version of Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right (Mama)” and a cover of the Dylan song “Tomorrow Is A long Time” that was an outtake from Dylan’s 1963 “Freewheelin” album.

All five members of the Faces (with whom Stewart at that time was thier lead vocalist) appeared on the album, with guitarist/bassist Ronnie Wood and keyboardist  Ian McLagan on keyboards being most prominent. Due to contractual restrictions, the personnel listings were somewhat vague, and it was unclear that the full Faces line-up . Other contributors included Ray Jackson on mandolin (though Stewart forgot his name and merely mentioned “the mandolin player in Lindisfarne on the sleeve). Micky Waller on drums. Maggie Bell performed backing vocals (mentioned on the sleeve as “vocal abrasives”) on the title track, and Madeline Bell sang backup on the next track, “Seems Like A Long Time”. Pete Sears played all the piano on the album except for one track, “I’m Losing You” which featured Ian McLagan on piano, along with the Faces as a band.


This is the final rollicking concert of the legendary Faces featuring a high powered performance from Keith Richards, Rod Stewart himself shakin’ his booty like there’s no tomorrow, and a string section for a little class. Although Rod went on to bigger success, many say his association with Faces was the musical highpoint of his career and this concert is the cinematic proof. Stewart and his Faces group were joined on-stage by Rolling Stones stalwart Keith Richard. For the record, “Faces” consisted of Ron Wood (guitar) Ian McLaglan (keyboard), future Who member Kenny Jones (drums) and Tetsu Yamauchi (replacing Ronnie Lane on bass).

What a great track “Ooh La La” is a song from The Faces. The song was written by Ronnie Lane and Ronnie Wood and sung by Ronnie Wood. That is strange because The Faces had one of the best lead singers around at the time…Rod Stewart. Stewart by this time was soaring as a solo artist and his interest in the Faces was waning. He claimed the song was not in his key to sing. He did do vocals for it then and Lane but Wood ended up singing the released version. Rod Stewart and the Faces seem to sound better with each passing year. You realise there’ll never be another band quite like them. It’s almost as if they were so busy having a good time that they didn’t even realise just how great and lasting their music really was. There was nothing intellectual about the Faces, but they sure knew how to play it from the heart. There’s something so English about them and yet a lot of their influences were so obviously American, especially Rod’s love of Soul legend Sam Cooke. Ron Wood’s guitar playing from ths period is so unique, just listen to his work on a track like “Just Another Honky” from Ooh La La. There’s so much great music on the Faces and early Rod albums (which usually feature most if not all of the band). The title song of “Ooh La La” actually has Ron Wood handling the lead vocal and has been one of my favourite songs for a long time. There’s something so down home and relaxed (but not laid back) about it. Try finding some bootlegs of Faces live shows. They overflow with good times. May their music live on forever.

The Faces had one big hit…”Stay With Me” but this song is their greatest song to me. Rod Stewart finally covered the song in 1998 for a tribute to Ronnie Lane. Ronnie Lane did his own version with his band Slim Chance. Ronnie Wood also does it live in solo shows. A song between Granddad and Son about the ways of love. The song never ages because the subject matter never changes and it is continually passed along. The song creates an atmosphere and Wood not known for his singing ability did a great job on this one.

This week in 1973: The Faces scored their first UK #1 album with their final studio release, ‘Ooh La La’, released on Warner Bros. Records; with his career in the stratosphere due to the success of his solo albums, Rod Stewart had became increasingly distanced from his bandmates by the time of this recording; produced by Glyn Johns, highlights included “Silicone Grown”, “Cindy Incidentally” & the raucous yet bittersweet album closer “Ooh La La”, featuring the only-ever Faces lead vocal from guitarist Ronnie Wood; the album cover is a photo of Gastone’, a stage character of 1920s Italian comedian Ettore Petrolini, originally designed in such a way that when the top edge was pressed down Gastone’s eyes would discolour & move to the side, while his jaw dropped into a leering smile…

1. Silicone Grown 0:00
2. Cindy Incidentally 3:06
3. Flags And Banners 5:43
4. My Fault 7:45
5. Borstal Boys 10:54
6. Fly In The Onitment 13:48
7. If I’m On The Late Side 17:39
8. Glad And 20:19
9. Just Another Honky 23:23
10. Ooh La La 27:00

The complete Faces album released in 1973 including many of their best songs. I would say it’s their best studio album.