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Faces Biography

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Faces In-depth Biography

When Steve Marriott} left the Small Faces} in 1969, the three remaining members brought in guitarist Ron Wood} and lead singer Rod Stewart} to complete the lineup and changed their name to the Faces}, which was only appropriate since the group now only slightly resembled the mod}-pop} group of the past. Instead, the Faces} were a rough, sloppy rock & roll} band, able to pound out a rocker like "Had Me a Real Good Time,"} a blues} ballad} like "Tell Everyone,"} or a folk} number like "Richmond"} all in one album. Stewart}, already becoming a star in his own right, let himself go wild with the Faces}, tearing through covers and originals with abandon. While his voice didn't have the power of Stewart}, bassist Ronnie Lane}'s songs were equally as impressive and eclectic. Wood}'s rhythm guitar had a warm, fat tone that was as influential and driving as Keith Richards}' style.

Notorious for their hard-partying, boozy tours and ragged concerts, the Faces} lived the rock & roll} lifestyle to the extreme. When Stewart}'s solo career became more successful than the Faces}, the band slowly became subservient to his personality; after their final studio album, Ooh La La}, in 1973, Lane} left the band. After a tour in 1974, the band called it quits. Wood} joined the Rolling Stones}, drummer Kenny Jones} eventually became part of the Who}, and keyboardist Ian McLagan} became a sought-after supporting musician; Stewart} became a superstar, although he never matched the simple charm of the Faces}.

While they were together, the Faces} never sold that many records and were never considered as important as the Stones}, yet their music has proven extremely influential over the years. Many punk} rockers in the late '70s learned how to play their instruments by listening to Faces} records; in the '80s and '90s, guitar rock} bands from the Replacements} to the Black Crowes} took their cue from the Faces} as much as the Stones}. Their reckless, loose, and joyous spirit stayed alive in much of the best rock & roll} of the subsequent decades. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

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