Album no. 126/1001
The third album from The Small Faces, and the first to parody a brand of tobacco. It was originally released in a replica tobacco tin, in an example of advertising dating to the point of being incomprehensible.
The packaging didn’t work; the tins tended to roll right off shelves, and it was reissued in a normal sleeve. It still went to number one on the UK albums chart, knocking off The Dock Of The Bay by Otis Redding. What a decade.
Have you listened to this album before?
NK: I have not! The Libertines covered ‘Lazy Sunday’, but that’s it. I get really confused with this band. Once they’d had enough being The Small Faces, they became The Faces, straight up, with Ronnie Wood playing guitar and everyone’s favourite feathery-haired dipstick Rod Stewart on vocals. But neither of them are on this album, that was all later. They should have just straight up changed the name, it would be way less confusing.
CL: No I haven’t. Is this going to be like The Kinks again? God, I hope not.
NK: This is an easy one: ‘Afterglow’. IT’S GREAT. I really took to this song for some reason. I took to the whole first half of this album really, but ‘Afterglow’ is a hell of a track. QUESTION FOR YOU: how did you feel about the use of organ on ‘Afterglow’?
CL: Well. You know my feelings on the organ, but see, when used appropriately it makes such a difference. I quite like that song – not as much as you – but I actually think the standout is the opener – ‘Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake’. If Tame Impala didn’t get some of their influence from that song, I’ll eat my metaphorical hat. I’m digging their vibe! It’s sort of like if The Kinks were actually good and had some balls.
NK: Side one of this album is amazing. Really really good, even the knees-up cockney singalongs. Sailing along towards a big ol’ 5 stars. But then…side two.
CL: I TOTALLY AGREE. First side doesn’t have any sort of downside! But then everything from ‘Happiness Stan’ is WEIRD AS SHIT. At first I thought it was just going to be a typical ‘one-song weirdo’ that seems to happen a lot, but the made-up words carry on all through the second half.
NK: I am all for trying different things. HOWEVER. The second half of this album, telling a weirdo children’s fable half in gobbledegook about a bloke who wants to repair the moon DID NOT leave a good taste in my mouth. Some of the songs are ok, but I absolutely could have done without all the rest of the nonsense. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING THE SMALL FACES? You wrote half of a properly great rock and roll album and then threw it all away.
When would be the best time to listen to this?
NK: If you’re interested in disappointing endings.
CL: That’s definitely true.
NK: If you like walking out of movies halfway through. If you prefer Let it Be to Abbey Road. (NOTE: if you do, you absolutely should not be reading this blog)
Why has this album been included on the list?
NK: Look. If they had released this as two EPs, I would have thought one was basically perfect and the other one was a failed experiment. BUT, they are all together on one album. At least they split it up by sides. If you had it on vinyl you could just put the needle back on track one, no need to turn it over. I am really torn by this album. The first half is one of the best we’ve heard, the second half is…
“Now after little lapse of time, Stan became deep hungry in his tumblode. Oh, after all, he’d struggly trickly how several mileoad, and anyone would suffer under this. So suddenly he did deep thoughtkus, out with his lunchy-bag, just about to do a little nibbload of his mincey meat he went”
…I ASK YOU.
CL: I like lunchy-bags. But I totally agree with you. There’s such promise and it all just crumbles away.
Will you be listening again?
NK: I want to clarify that the first half of this (up to ‘Lazy Sunday’) is ABSOLUTELY worth listening to. It’s great. Everything from ‘Happiness Stan’, I hope you’ve got some strong drugs on hand because you might need them. I will listen to this again, but I suspect it will only be the first half.
CL: There are some total gems here, but never the whole album again. No sir. No more lunchy-bags for me.
NK: First half 5, second half 2. THREE STARS AND I AM SO DISAPPOINTED.
CL: For once, we’re in total agreement.
Listen to Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.