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Music / Faces

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Faces in 1970. From left to right: Rod Stewart, Kenney Jones, Ronnie Wood, Ian McLagan, Mickey Mouse and Ronnie Lane.

"Stay with me,
Stay with me,
For tonight you better stay with me"
—"Stay with Me"

Faces are an English Rock & Roll group which includes members from The Jeff Beck Group and The Small Faces. Their music is often raucous and raw-sounding, and they quickly gained a reputation as rock and roll wild men. They recorded four very popular albums and released a few hit singles before splitting up in 1975, amidst accusations that Rod Stewart was keeping all of the best new material for his own solo career. Ronnie Wood later joined The Rolling Stones, while Kenney Jones teamed up with The Who after the death of Keith Moon.

Noted for their influence on Punk Rock and Britpop, the group was inactive for over thirty years in spite of several near reunions that never quite got the whole line-up back together. They finally reformed in 2009 with bassist Glen Matlock replacing the late Ronnie Lane (and Bill Wyman, who had been filling in for previous reunions) and lead vocals were handled by Simply Red lead singer Mick Hucknall. Ian McLagan sadly died from a massive stroke on 3 December 2014, but this did not stop a reunion with Rod Stewart from happening in 2015, to wide critical acclaim.


Principal Members (Founding members in bold, current members in italic):

  • Jesse Ed Davis - guitar (1975, died 1988)
  • Mick Hucknall - lead vocals (2009–12)
  • Kenney Jones - drums, percussion (1969–75, 1986, 1993, 2009–present)
  • Ronnie Lane - bass, guitar, backing and lead vocals, percussion (1969–73, 1986, died 1997)
  • Glen Matlock - bass (2009–11)
  • Ian McLagan - piano, organ, keyboard, harmonium, vocals (1969–75, 1986, 1993, 2009–14, died 2014)
  • Rod Stewart - lead vocals, banjo, guitar (1969–75, 1986, 1993, 2015–present)
  • Ronnie Wood - guitar, vocals, harmonica, bass (1969–76, 1986, 1993, 2009–present)
  • Tetsu Yamauchi - bass (1973–75)


Studio and Live Discography:

  • 1970 - First Step note 
  • 1971 - Long Player
  • 1971 - A Nod Is As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse
  • 1973 - Ooh La La
  • 1974 - Coast to Coast: Overture and Beginners

Associated Tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: Seemingly a requirement for membership - this was a bunch who hurried through nationally televised live sets in order to make it to last call, after all.
    • Can't Hold His Liquor: Tetsu Yamamuchi, clearly out of his element, repeatedly went on stage borderline catatonic during his short run with the group and needed guidance from Stewart to manage the lifestyle.
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Kenney Jones.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Matlock was first turned on to music listening to the Faces and even played "Three-Button Hand Me Down" in his audition for the Sex Pistols.
  • Blues Rock
  • Boxed Set: Five Guys Walk Into a Bar... (2004), sequenced by McLagan as though it were a live set list. And 1970-1975: You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything... (2015), which contains all of their studio albums in full along with bonus tracks and an additional disc of singles and other stray cuts.
  • Breakup Breakout: Rod Stewart looks like this in hindsight, though in truth his solo career was already more successful during the band's run.
  • Cover Version: A staple of their live sets, many cover songs appear on the Five Guys Walk Into a Bar... Boxed Set.
    • "Wicked Messenger" by Bob Dylan
    • "I Wish It Would Rain" by The Temptations
    • "Jealous Guy" by John Lennon
    • "Maybe I'm Amazed" by Paul McCartney
    • "Angel" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
    • "You're My Girl (I Don't Want to Discuss It)" by Little Richard
    • "Cut Across Shorty" by Eddie Cochran
    • "If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don't Want to Be Right)" by Luther Ingram
    • "I'd Rather Go Blind" by Etta James
    • "Gettin' Hungry" by The Beach Boys
    • "Hi-Heel Sneakers" by Tommy Tucker and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" by Solomon Burke, as a medley
    • "The Stealer" by Free
    • "Love in Vain" by Robert Johnson
    • "I Feel So Good" by Big Bill Broonzy
    • "Evil" by Willie Dixon
  • Greatest Hits Album: The Best of Faces: Good Boys... When They're Asleep.
  • Guttural Growler: Rod Stewart's vocal style at this time.
  • Instrumentals: "Pineapple and the Monkey", "Looking Out the Window", "Jerusalem", "Fly in the Ointment".
  • Live Album: 1974's Coast to Coast: Overture and Beginners, which features a mixture of Faces and Rod Stewart solo material along with some cover songs. Surprisingly, given their live reputation, the album was a critical and commercial bomb — except in Japan. The 2004 box carries over none of the tracks and recreates most of the songs from other recordings, so it seems McLagan wasn't a fan either.
  • Long Title: "You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything (Even Take the Dog for a Walk, Mend a Fuse, Fold Away the Ironing Board, Or Any Other Domestic Shortcomings)".
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: "Stay with Me" asks the singer's one-night stand to do this.
  • Repurposed Pop Song: "Ooh La La" is best known as the end credits theme from 1998's Rushmore.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: "Too Bad".
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Ronnie Lane sang lead on at least one track per album. And Ron Wood handles the vocals for "Ooh La La".
  • The "The" Title Confusion: Everyone assumes that it's "The Faces", but officially there's no "the". This is probably worsened by the fact that they are the successor group to The Small Faces, who did use the definite article.


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