Album: Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake
. . .
In a little over two years, Small Faces had gone from your typical English R&B snobs to psychedelic minstrels whose consensus best album was named after Liverpudlian tobacco, was released in a circular sleeve, and featured a second side that was song suite about a guy named Happiness Stan who sets out to find the missing half of the moon.
That’s just how great the drugs were in late-60s London.
That album, of course was Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake, and while the first single from it, “Lazy Sunday” — released against the band’s wishes., of course — wasn’t part of that song suite, it’s still a prime bit of British psychedelic goofiness, staying just this side of the music-hall tendencies that dragged some of their contemporaries down.
Just barely, though, as over a bouncy electric piano-driven stop-and-start rhythm, Steve Marriott sings the first part of the song — based on a ongoing fight he had with his neighbors — with a Cockney accident. As you do.
Wouldn’t it be nice to get on wiv me neighbours (da da da do)
But they make it very clear they’ve got no room for ravers
They stop me from groovin’, they bang on me wall
They’re doin’ me crust in it’s no good at all, ah!
Somehow, on the chorus, the accent gets even more pronounced; apparently it was spurred on because the Hollies were dissing him for not singing in his own accent. But honestly, very few of those R&B influenced British cats ever did.
Lazy Sunday afternoon
I’ve got no mind to worry
Close my eyes and drift away
It’s all very Kinks, honestly — I could imagine this song on either Something Else By The Kinks or The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (speaking of concept albums), though even at his most whimsical — and he could get pretty fucking whimsical ::coughs::”Phenomenal Cat” ::coughs:: — Ray Davies would trashcan a second verse that started “here we all are sittin’ in a rainbow” , which Marriott sang with a joyful lack of irony.
Luckily, what saves “Lazy Sunday” from crawling up its own whimsical ass is Marriott catches himself halfway though and sings the rest of the song in his normal accent, forcing us to pay attention the pretty melody he and Lane came up with for the chorus. Ian McLagan’s ever-creative keyboard parts don’t hurt either.
And, of course, as a single “Lazy Sunday” was yet another U.K. smash, making it to #2, and Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake topped the U.K charts as well. And yet, with all of their success, all was not well in Small Faces land, and at the end of 1968, Steve Marriott quit, because he wanted to do heavier, more technically proficient, less whimsical music.
And so Marriott went on to form the hard-rockin’ Humble Pie with Peter Frampton (because nobody could be in a band back then without having at least one other future famous person), who were well-regarded, though I’ve only ever heard the Rockin’ The Fillmore live album.
As far as Lane, McLagan and Jones go, it took two guys to replace singer/guitarist Marriott, but luckily those two guys were Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, so they renamed the band “Faces” and went on to contribute to some of the greatest records ever records, as well as some Faces albums. Which was a mean joke, as I’ve written about my undying love for a pair of Ronnie Lane songs, “Debris” and the immortal “Ooh La La.”
After The Faces broke up in 1975, Ronnie Lane went on have a solo career, including a well-regarded album with Pete Townshend; Ian McLagan became a widely-used session guy, playing on zillions of things, including my beloved “Miss You”; Ronnie Wood took on the difficult task of replacing Mick Taylor the Rolling Stones (as well as playing drums in the Miss Alans); Kenney Jones took on the impossible task of replacing Keith Moon in The Who; Rod Stewart was never heard from again.
“Lazy Sunday” Music Video
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