Friday, May 24, 2013

ogdens' nut gone flake

The Small Faces shot for the moon with the complex folk, rock, and soul explorations of this psychedelic fairy tale concept album.  After the success of singles such as 'Sha La La La Lee'the group had left Decca Records to join the new Immediate Records label set up by the former manager of the Rolling Stones  Andrew Loog Oldham.  Two weeks before Immediate released their second eponymous album (which had two different versions in the UK and the US)Decca put out 'In the Beginning'.  The group was inspired by the Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' during the recording of 'Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake' at Olympic Studios and Trident Studios in London with Steve Marriott on lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar; Ronnie Lane on lead vocals (on "Song Of A Baker", "The Journey" & "Happy Days Toy Town"), backing vocals, and bass guitar; Kenney Jones on drums and percussion; and Ian McLagan on keyboards, lead vocal (on "Long Agos And Worlds Apart") and backing vocals; with narration by Stanley Unwin.  Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane produced the sessions with engineer Glyn Johns.

McLagan recalls:    "We were keen to have more studio time, to experiment.  The Beatles and the Beach Boys and the Stones were all turning out great records, and you couldn't do that in a day, you know?!...With Immediate, you could spend days in the studio, experiment a little more...We weren't in there every day, but it was close to a year...It's quite interesting...Steve, Ronnie and I had a boating trip up the Thames for a week. We were working on songs.  I still have some of those tapes, actually.  That's why I've got a lot of songwriting credit on that album, because I was more in from the beginning.  It was Ronnie or Steve's idea to link it and originally to use Spike Milligan...We wrote The Journey, Hungry Intruder, Happydaystoytown-- that was my title, actually-- all those things happened on the boat.  And others, like Happiness Stan, and Ogden's Nut was actually an instrumental version of I've Got Mine, a song they'd written before I'd joined."

Lane considers:    "Wouldn't it be nice to get on with my neighbors?  All that came about because Steve Marriott had this flat down by the river Thames. He did aggravate his neighbors. He played his records loud all night long. He had lots of cats who would shit everywhere in his neighbor's gardens. Marriott was a terrible neighbor. "Lazy Sunday" came about when Marriott got stoned and wrote the song in the toilet. One of the lines are, 'Sitting in the carsey, while I suss out the moon". Another true story. 'Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake' is from a well established tobacco company in England called Ogden's. We were thinking if they ever legalize this stuff we smoke then Ogden's would definitely want to market it. Ogden's used to market this tobacco call Nut Brown Flake, but we sort of fantasized they would call it Nut Gone Flake! It would be good dope and your nut would go! The round cover, which I think was the first ever used, was a disaster because it would fallout of the record bins. You said the album is a sort of cult classic. So it should be."

'Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake' only made it to number one hundred and fifty-nine in the US; but it held the number one spot in the UK for six weeks, marking their greatest success.  Steve Marriott abruptly left the band during a show on New Year's Eve later that year to join Humble Pie with Peter Frampton:    "It made perfect sense to knock it on the head.  It had taken us a year to make. We'd done all our growing up in that time. And that's the main reason people still sit and talk about 'Ogdens' now."

Jones says:    “I wish we had been a little bit more grown up at the time, if we had played 'Ogdens’ live it would have boosted our confidence so much, we were labelled as a pop band, which definitely got up Steve’s nose more than we realised. I wish we had been more like The Who in the fact that when they have problems they stick together until they’ve overcome them, Steve just thought well how do we top 'Ogdens’ and he was off. 'Ogdens’ was a masterpiece if we had played it live we would have gone on to even greater things, I reckon we were on the verge of crossing the great divide and becoming a heavier band."

"Song Of A Baker"

'Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake' 
full album:

Side One   
00:00     "Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake"     
02:31     "Afterglow of Your Love"    
06:06     "Long Agos and Worlds Apart"    
08:41     "Rene"     
13:12     "Song of a Baker"    
16:30     "Lazy Sunday"      
Side Two (titled "Happiness Stan")         
19:40     "Happiness Stan"     
22:17     "Rollin' Over"     
25:09     "The Hungry Intruder"    
27:25     "The Journey"      
31:40     "Mad John"      
34:28     "HappyDaysToyTown"      

'Colour Me Pop' television performance:

00:00 "Song of a Baker"
03:20 "Lazy Sunday"
07:05 "Happiness Stan"
10:15 "Rollin' Over"
12:29 "The Hungry Intruder" 
15:10 "The Journey" 
18:56 "Mad John"
22:18 "HappyDaysToyTown"

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