The Faces was guitarist Ronnie Lane’s baby and even without Rod Stewart’s over-riding influence it’s still quintessential Faces, trademarked alcohol drenched good-time rock.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: The Faces
ALBUM: Ooh La La
LABEL: Warner Bros
SERIAL: K 56011
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Rod Stewart – lead vocals, rhythm guitar * Ronnie Wood – lead, slide and rhythm guitar, bass, vocals * Ronnie Lane – bass, rhythm guitar, tambourine, vocals * Ian McLagan – piano, organ, harmonium * Kenny Jones – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Silicone Gown * 02 Cindy Incidentally * 03 Flags And Banners * 04 My Fault * 05 Borstal Boys * 06 Fly In The Ointment * 07 If I’m On The Late Side * 08 Glad And Sorry * 09 Just Another Honky * 10 Ooh La La
Rod Stewart made no secret of his dislike for this album calling it ‘Stinking Rotten’, but then again he didn’t put his heart and soul in the project either. Focused like a laser beam on a solo career which had already given the world ‘Maggie May’ and ‘You Wear It Well’, The Faces were often treated as a back-up band for Stewart’s star on the rise.
‘Ooh La La’ would be the last studio album from the band made up of former members of Small Faces and the Jeff Beck Group although they recorded a couple of follow-up singles and continued to tour well into 1975.
With Stewart showing up late for sessions or not at all, this was guitarist Ronnie Lane’s baby and even without Rod-the-Mod’s over-riding influence its quintessential Faces, trademarked alcohol drenched good-time Rock. As always The Rolling Stones were The Faces biggest influence which is brought home on ‘Silicone Gown’ and the albums ‘should have been a big hit’ single ‘Cindy Incidentally’.
Fans of The Black Crowes will hear the real deal in ‘My Fault’ and the honkytonk boogie-woogie of ‘Borstal Boys’ but it’s the slower songs like the boozy ‘If I’m On The Late Side’ and the dreary but oddly pleasant piano pop of ‘Glad And Sorry’. I find even more appealing and capped off with Ronnie Wood’s first vocal appearance on The Kinks-ish title track, ‘Ooh La La’ is a far better record than gone-Hollywood Stewart led everyone to believe.
With a fun gimmick sleeve that included the front cover Dandy’s movable mouth and shifting eyes, the record didn’t exactly blaze up the charts. Ronnie Lane, fed up with Rod’s lack of commitment left after the album’s release and the downward spiral began.
A live set with Lane’s replacement former Free bassist Tetsu Yamauchi, ‘Coast To Coast’: Overture And Beginners’ was credited as Rod Stewart and Faces but few cared. Ronnie Wood left for fame and fortune in The Stones while Kenny Jones participated in a short-lived Small Faces reunion and later replaced Keith Moon in The Who.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)