A lost classic . . . .
beatparty | Seattle, WA, USA | 02/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow - one of the best records I've heard in my life. If you like early Who, Kinks or Creation records you're gonna love this. Totally different from their later (and more pop oriented) Immediate recordings, this record is hard mod rock at its best, all in glorious mono. The bonus tracks offer even tougher versions of Hey Girl, My Mind's Eye and Take This Hurt Off Me. Runaway is worth the price of admission alone and the cover of You've Really Got A Hold On Me is simply awesome. How this isn't as known as The Stone's Aftermath and the Who's My Generation is totally beyond me. Do yourself a favor and grab this now!"
Some of their best tracks
ill will | Austin, Texas United States | 12/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I would completely disagree with the reviewer who stated that psychedelic music was the Small Faces strength, in my humble just the opposite is true and the further they went into psychedelic whimsy the more annoying they became. The Small Faces were at their best as a noisy somewhat experimental mod soul band. And this c.d. showcases this side to great effect. Do not hesitate to buy. If you like the Who and the Pretty Things more aggressive stuff this rates right up there with those sides."
Fascinating early Faces
Laurence Upton | Wilts, UK | 08/20/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"From The Beginning was released in 1967 as a spoiler by Decca, the Small Faces' old label, to coincide with the release of their new album on the Immediate label entitled Small Faces (confusingly, the only album they made for Decca was also self-titled). The Small Faces did not especially appreciate the gesture, and made a point of specifically discouraging people from buying From The Beginning in the advertising for their new album.
From The Beginning contained all the hits they had had with Decca (What'cha Gonna Do About It, Sha-La-La-La-Lee, Hey Girl, All Or Nothing and My Mind's Eye), available on any number of compilations, alongside a number of previously unreleased recordings. These and are now the chief attraction of this CD re-issue.
The Small Faces had one line-up change while they were with Decca, when in October 1965 Jimmy Winston left and was replaced on keyboards by Ian McLagan. Although the Decca album Small Faces depicted Ian McLagan on the cover when it was released in May 1966, Jimmy Winston played on five or six of the tracks, recorded before his departure, and largely comprising their stage act of the time.
Unfortunately, it seems not to be known when these outtakes were recorded but the stage favourite Baby, Don't You Do It (a Marvin Gaye cover) has Jimmy Winston on lead vocals and guitar so some others may well have been recorded before October 1965, possibly the bizarre but interesting version of Runaway and the excellent takes on Don Covay's Take This Hurt Off Me and the Miracles' You've Really Got A Hold On Me. Both of these demonstrate what a fine band they were, and what a great vocalist Steve Marriott was. Indeed one wonders why space could not be found for some of these recordings on their first album. After Ian McLagan joined, they began to put Booker T-style instrumentals on their B-sides, so the cover of Plum Nellie here probably features him rather than Jimmy Winston on keyboards.
The album also included earlier versions of songs they re-recorded for Immediate, including My Way Of Giving, which they had handed over to Chris Farlowe for a single, and (Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Her, which they had similarly given to Apostolic Intervention.
For the CD five bonus tracks have been added. Besides some unreleased alternative takes and a BBC session recording are two variant versions of singles which apparently appeared on French EPs: My Mind's Eye (which sounds slightly speeded up) and Hey Girl.
This album is a fascinating insight into the workings of the band during their Decca days with a number of gems not found elsewhere."