Friday, April 14, 2017

Faces 2: Long Player

The next Faces album sported minimal cover art, a throwback to the days when records came in plain sleeves with only the label showing for identification. Interestingly, it wasn’t identical all over the globe; the British version even had “stitches” keeping the cardboard together. This is a good metaphor for the grab-bag nature of the tunes within Long Player.
“Bad ‘N Ruin” opens with a decent riff, barely bothering to change chords. Ron Wood solos constantly, as he was wont to do. “Tell Everyone” and “Sweet Lady Mary” are slower, sensitive tunes sung by Rod Stewart, but not as slow as the bottleneck-heavy “Richmond”, sung by Ronnie Lane. Then we’re transformed to the Fillmore East for a decent live version of “Maybe I’m Amazed”, less than a year after anyone heard Paul McCartney’s original recording. Ronnie takes the first verse, then Rod takes over, even starting to sing the song again after the band’s stopped. (A studio take was issued around the same time as a single.)
It’s back to the barrelhouse for “Had Me A Real Good Time”, eventually bringing in horns after the fake ending. “On The Beach” has all the audio quality of a rehearsal, but still sounds very together. It’s back to the Fillmore for a lengthy skip through Big Bill Broonzy’s “I Feel So Good”, complete with call-and-response from the crowd. Woody’s dobro rendition of the hymn “Jerusalem” closes the album, and provides something of a bridge to the next Rod Stewart solo album.
Long Player is good, and fun. Sounds like it, anyway. By not evenly laying out the slow tunes, the raveups, the acoustic ones and the boogies, it never gets stuck in a rut. We could use a little more Ronnie Lane and less Ronnie Wood, but that’s us.

Faces Long Player (1971)—3

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