The proposed artists for A Tribute to the Small Faces: Long Agos and Worlds Apart was far more interesting than the end product. Originally, the album was going to feature a cross-section of British pop acts of the mid'-'90s, including everyone from Paul Weller and Oasis to Blur and Supergrass. The end result is far more conservative, a veritable celebration of the trad-rock fetish that swept the UK in 1996. With the exception of the concluding trio of the Buzzcocks, Ride and Gene, every band on A Tribute to the Small Faces: Long Agos and Worlds Apart sounds like they learned about the Small Faces through Paul Weller; every song is performed as if it were an outtake from Wild Wood or Stanley Road, sounding like the Small Faces filtered through Free and Traffic. Apart from Ocean Colour Scene, the Weller supergroup Kenney J All Stars, Gene, Buzzcocks and Ride, the bands don't exhibit any passion for the material, even though they pour on all the artificial signs of white "soul" -- strained, husky singing, R&B grooves and guitar solos. In short, it's everything Humble Pie were about, not the Small Faces.
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