Small Faces

The Best of Small Faces

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With the multiple reissues of the Small Faces' complete Decca and Immediate catalogs since the mid-'90s, a new best-of CD would hardly seem relevant, much less important. This 20-song CD, however, is a handy and very nicely produced assembly of the group's biggest hits (all from the U.K.) on Decca, coupled with their most significant LP cuts, and all freshly (and very crisply) remastered. This reviewer is about as familiar with the quartet's Decca stuff as he is with the Beatles' repertory of the same period, and it was still a major surprise hearing this stuff this loud and richly detailed, sounding a good deal better than much of the Rolling Stones' Decca/London catalog of the same era did (until their 2002 remastering). On "Hey Girl" it's even easy to separate Steve Marriot's guitar and Ian McLagan's keyboard, even though they're playing like there's no tomorrow while Kenny Jones kicks the heck out of his kit. There are no surprises or revelations, apart from the sound quality and, perhaps, for neophyte listeners, the inclusion of the French EP version of "What'cha Gonna Do About it"; this catalog has been an open book for years, but this is a very good "new" edition.

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