Small Faces

Odds and Mods

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Odds and Mods is yet another entry in the Small Faces' reissue catalog, courtesy of Fuel 2000 -- as its title would seem to indicate, it's comprised of a mix of heavily mod-influenced R&B, distilled from the group's singles and LPs, much of it presented in seldom-heard stereo renditions and odd single edits. Such details will only really matter to completists and completely fanatical devotees of this band (which isn't so far-fetched -- anyone who was around in England between 1965 and 1968 will tell you the Small Faces were in a league with the Rolling Stones and the Who). What will matter to most is the quality of the sound, which is excellent. Along with the Nice and a brace of other Immediate Records acts, the Small Faces' music had its share of poor-sounding reissues well into the CD era, but this 2002 release is from the other end of their sonic spectrum -- vivid and discreet stereo, with a close, loud sound, so that Ian McLagan's organ and Kenny Jones's drums on "Happy Boys Happy" are in your face, and Steve Marriott's voice has great presence. The annotation is unusually thorough as well, explaining the importance of each track and the particular take and mix that was used. The only drawback is that there are so many compilations of Small Faces material out there, it's difficult to recommend any without encouraging some overlaps with compilations one is already likely to own, and that goes double for this set, which appeals more to hardcore fans than casual listeners (there are a couple of singles here, but no "Itchycoo Park," "Lazy Sunday," etc.).

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