Various Artists

Long Ago and Worlds Apart: A Tribute to the Small Faces

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Tribute albums usually suck because the assembled modern "talent" is vastly inferior to an all too familiar honoree. However, you should know that mid-'60s East London mods the Small Faces were as hot as West London rivals the Who, with a better (sexier-voiced) singer in Steve Marriott (never mind their later '70s lineup with Marriott replaced by the truly horrid, pre-solo Rod Stewart!). As well, such truly marvelous and important luminaries as Gene ("Autumn Stone"), Buzzcocks ("Here Comes the Nice," which reached number 12 on the U.K. charts in 1967), Primal Scream ("Understanding"), the sadly departed Ride ("That Man"), and guesting Paul Weller (who, as a member of the Jam, probably did more to re-expose the Small Faces to U.K. audiences between 1977 and 1982 than anyone) are big fans with the right revelry. Ditto lesser vets Dodgy, Ocean Colour Scene, and 60 Ft. Dolls (with the Boo Radleys' Martin Carr). Best of all, post-punk killers Mantaray steal the show with the rippin' rave-up "I've Got Mine," perhaps the Small Faces' greatest unknown A-side (it was left off their four LPs and uncharacteristically failed to chart). Small Faces' drummer Kenny Jones (never mind his ill-advised stint in the late-'70s Who replacing Keith Moon; the man was brilliant in his original band), who fittingly enough appears on two tracks here, must love this.