This just in! At one time, Rod Stewart was cool. No, really! By the early 70s, Stewart was going strong with an outfit consisting of an amalgam of two bands – Ronnie Lane (bass), Ian McLagan (piano and organ), and Kenney Jones (drums) from the Small Faces, and Ron Wood (guitar) and Stewart himself from the Jeff Beck Group. That group was Faces, aka ‘The Faces’.
But, enough rock family trees for now. The point is that with the Faces and with his early solo career, Rod Stewart rose in stature as one of the premier rock vocalists, taking his love of soul music, Bob Dylan, and a boozy, blues-inflected type of rock music to incredible heights. His solo career, which he worked on concurrently with his work with the band, was also a tremendous four-album run (from The Rod Stewart Album to Never a Dull Moment) of folk-influenced rock music. This was just before the lure of American stadiums, and a number of other mitigating factors laid Faces to rest and set Rodders on the path up the middle of the road to cheeseville. Ron Wood joined the Rolling Stones in 1975, and Kenney Jones would replace Keith Moon in the Who three years after that. But before all that, Rod Stewart was a consistently great rock vocalist. Did I mention how cool he was at one time? Not convinced? Well…
Check out this clip of Stewart fronting the aforementioned Faces on their tale of a modern day prodigal son returning home; 1971’s ‘Bad N’ Ruin’ .
To view the clip, hover over the image below and click on the ‘play’ icon. To enlarge the viewing window click the magnifying glass icon. Alternatively, click on the image to view the clip in a new browser window. Enjoy!
To me, Faces should have been much, much bigger. But, at least their traditions have been carried forth in more recent years by bands like the Black Crowes, who owe a great debt to the booze-rock sound which Faces helped to establish twenty years before.