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Faces – A Nod is as Good as a Wink… to a Blind Horse (1971)

September 25, 2013

[Album 240/1001]220px-Faces-A_Nod_Is_as_Good_as_a_Wink...To_a_Blind_Horse_(album_cover)

There was a funny SNL skit recently: Dylan McDermott or Dermot Mulroney, where contestants were asked to identify pictures of the two similarly named & photographed actors.

A skit about Glynis Johns & Glyn Johns wouldn’t be nearly as amusing (somewhat less of a physical resemblance…) but both have had an impact in the entertainment world.

Glynis Johns is the actress with an identifiably sweet voice from Mary Poppins & The Court Jester.

Glyn Johns’ work is probably not as instantly recognizable.  He also might have the most impressive production resume in the business.  The Stones, The Who, The Eagles, Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan are hardly unknowns.  Throw in a couple strong newer acts like Ryan Adams & Band of Horses, his CV’s looking pretty solid.  He’s credited as engineer & co-producer here and based on the sound he extracts from Faces, it’s clear why he continues to be a producer in demand (even if he doesn’t work as often these days).

It sounds like a Southern Rock album and if Rod Stewart’s vocals weren’t so distinctive I might have pictured the band being a Lynyrd Skynyrd contemporary.  Stay With Me, in particular, feels like the blueprint followed by The Black Crowes almost two decades later.  A vocal line from That’s All You Need also resurfaces note-for-note on GNR’s Pretty Tied Up.  These aren’t intended as complaints or plagiarism accusations; more an observation that two of my favourite early 90s records were made by musicians who likely also enjoyed this one, as I did!

I’m surprised Debris isn’t a more familiar tune, it’s as excellent as any of the guitar ballads I’ve heard from that era.

Ronny Lane’s gentle vocals are a nice counterbalance to Stewart’s howl and there’s lots of solid guitar sounds throughout.

Bizarre title, better record.

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From → 1970s

8 Comments
  1. I absolutely love this album and Debris is such a beautiful song. This definitely appealed to the Black Crowes fan in me when I first heard it.

    • It’s my favourite from the record for sure (though there aren’t really any misses, the Memphis Tennessee cover’s the only one I’d classify as merely OK). It feels like Faces might be one of those great but often forgotten groups – Rod Stewart & Ronnie Wood are likely much more recognized for their solo/stones work.

      • I agree about the Memphis Tennessee cover but I do like that as well. I’d never heard the original when I first got this either, so that might have helped.

        I do think they get forgotten a bit. I’m really pleased they made it on to the list!

      • I’d imagine every generation has a great group that’s overshadowed by some of its peers – the two that come to mind for me are The Kinks (often left out of the Beatles/Stones debate) and Pulp (Blur/Oasis battle).

        I’m guessing Metal has plenty of examples of underrated artists that probably deserved more time in the spotlight!

      • Absolutely. And loads of artists that get way more time in the spotlight than they deserve!

  2. Agreed with HMO.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Top 5 “F” Artists | 1001albumsin10years
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