Here Come the Nice

There wasn't a more playfully revolutionary delight in British pop between 1967 and 1969 than a Small Faces 45: the heavy Technicolor soul of "Tin Soldier"; the giddy acid-spiced mischief in the Motown-like concision of "Here Come the Nice" and "Itchycoo Park." Originally a pure-mod squad, the Small Faces rapidly bloomed into something brighter and deeper – an R&B-ravers spin on the Beatles' studio exploration and the Beach Boys' California grandeur – in the punchy mono singles filling the first disc in this lavish four-CD box. The session outtakes across much of the set show how they built that perfection, atop the masterful writing of singer-guitarist Steve Marriott and bassist Ronnie Lane, while five late-'68 live tracks show the blues power at the base of it all.

From The Archives Issue 1201: January 30, 2014