Ronnie Lane / Steve Marriott

The Legendary Majic Mijits

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Finally surfacing nearly 20 years after the fact, the great lost "Majik Mijits" album project is a duo recording made in the early '80s by the creative forces from Small Faces, Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane. (The Majik Mijits moniker is yet another reference to their diminutive size.) Marriott at the time was fresh out of reunions with Small Faces (a gathering that had initially included Lane) and Humble Pie; Lane, most recently a solo artist, was just starting to suffer the physical limitations associated with multiple sclerosis. They organized a band featuring bassist Jim Leverton, guitarist Mick Green, drummer Dave Hynes, and keyboardist Mick Weaver, and used Lane's mobile recording studio to cut an LP democratically sequenced with six songs each by Lane and Marriott (no collaborations), alternating one after the other. The result, not surprisingly, has moments when it sounds like Small Faces. In particular, Marriott's "How Does It Feel" could have been a Small Faces single of the 1980s. Typically, Lane's songs are sturdy, well-constructed efforts, while Marriott's are more varied, sometimes ("Toe Rag") even being comic throwaways. And why was the album not released in, say, 1982? Apparently, record companies either passed on it or required that the band tour to support it, which Lane was incapable of doing. So, instead, the tapes ended up in the possession of Small Faces drummer Kenney Jones before emerging in the new millennium. Now, they constitute a worthy footnote in the Small Faces story.

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