Faces :: Five Guys Walk Into A Bar

rod the faces

I know, I know. It can be hard to forgive pop stars for their latter-career missteps; in this case, one mister Rod Stewart. After years, and years (and years) of E! True Hollywood Story segments, Behind The Musics, People magazine exposé’s, and a seemingly endless string of notorious marriages/divorces to young blondes, Rod the mod is mostly seen, these days, as aging celebrity tabloid fodder. So yeah, when one squanders their talent/reputation like Rod, it’s easy to see why most folks who grew up in the eighties have a less than favorable impression of the artist.

When you couple the above argument, with his abysmal solo records, over the past twenty odd years (Rod is now having great success cutting “standards” records…gag), it can be very easy to forget that at one time Rod Stewart was the fucking man, both solo, and fronting the raucous, booze heavy, rock & roll outfit the Faces. I was reminded of this last week while driving through North Carolina’s Outer Banks, when whatever radio station the rental car was dialed into, suddenly, and unexpectedly, launched into the Faces raunchy “Stay With Me.” Besides ** “Ooh La La,” “Stay With Me” is probably the bands most well known song, and for good reason. When Rob croaked “I hear you’re a mean old Jezebel, Lets go up stairs and read my tarot cards,” I about had to pull the car over it sounded so good. Rock & Roll.

Since returning to Los Angeles I have been inspired to dig into my copy of the Faces comprehensive box set Five Guys Walk Into A Bar. I was going to say that I recommend this to even the most casual Faces fan, but really, I recommend this to even the most casual fan of seventies, Stones-ish, pub rock, period. Released a few years ago the box does an expert job in wrangling together not only the bands album cuts, but outtakes, alternate versions and ultimately the Faces take on songs that would go on to grace the initial Rod Stewart solo albums.

Alright, I’m going to quit waxing now and listen to the music — I suggest you all do the same. Look for inspired, related Small Faces, and early Rod Stewart solo, posts in the very near future.

** The Faces “Ooh La La” had the great fortune of being used as a cornerstone track in Wes Anderson’s film Rushmore, hence introducing it to a whole new audience. See more Rushmore OST tracks here.

The Faces :: Bad & Ruin – Live @ the BBC 1971

MP3: The Faces :: Flying
MP3: The Faces :: Stay With Me
MP3: The Faces :: Ooh La La
Amazon: The Faces – Five Guys Walk Into A Bar

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+ Check out additional Faces tracks at the Hype Machine.

19 thoughts on “Faces :: Five Guys Walk Into A Bar

  1. For more of the same, (Rod Stewart rocking balls out) check him out fronting Jeff Beck’s group on “Truth” and “Beck-ola.”

  2. This really is a kickass box set. Their cover of ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ KILLS. These guys are the band the Stones were too famous to be.

  3. hell yeah. It really took me some time to get over the Rod Stewart of my youth to get into the Faces, but now it’s hard to believe that there was any hesitation in the first place; I can even dig his first couple of solo albums now. Keep posts like these coming, please.

  4. Love the Faces, sadly underappreciated. VH1 Classic shows an hour long concert I think under thte BBC Crown Jewels series that is absolutely amazing, the guys are having soo much fun it’s contagious. Ronnie Lane is absolutely the MAN! What I wouldn’t give to have seen these guys in thier heyday. Keep up the great posts and I love all the music.

  5. His first four solo albums were also backed by the Faces and all are very good.

    As Steve mentioned the two albums with the Jeff Beck Group – especially Truth – are great. That version of the Jeff Beck Group were supposed to give Led Zeppelin a run for its money.

    The stuff Rod did between 1969 and 1972 is some of the best music from that era.

  6. I was a teenager during the ’70s and grew up listening to songs like “Stay With Me,” “Maggie Mae,” and his cover of “Memphis.” My wife and I got some free tickets to see Rod’s show in St. Louis this year. He got sick right before the show and the had to postpone it for a few days. He said they don’t usually do “Stay With Me,” but they decided to do it because of the postponement. I have to admit despite all the Las Vegas glitz and being in the round, he and the band did a pretty good job. He didn’t do any of the standards and, yes, he did the stupid songs too, but all in all it wasn’t too bad for a man in his 60’s.

    I would love to see him back with a small band, on a small stage playing these old songs. Now *that* would be something to see.

  7. By “standards” above, I mean the American songbook crap. Don’t get me wrong, I love the American Broadway and jazz standards. I just don’t think Stewart does a good job with them.

  8. Totally fall into the Wes-Anderson-introduced-me-to-The-Faces crowd. Stay With Me, Cindy Incidentally, If I’m on the Late Side…good stuff. I try not to think of Rod Stewart, that Forever Young track used to always freak me out. Isn’t he in the back of truck with hay for that video?

  9. For me, the saddest thing about the aftermath of the break up of The Faces is not Rod’s crappy solo career…it is how under utilized Ronnie Wood is in The Stones. Wood wrote or co-wrote some great songs with The Faces (including “Ooh La La” which he [not Rod or the glorious Ronnie Lane..who co-wrote the song] sang). Ronnie was kick ass, but the Glimmer Twins are known for sucking the kick ass out of any of their band members…

  10. what 12 comments and not one person mentioned Every Picture tells a story, easily Canadas favorite faces song

  11. Glad to see all the love for the Faces. Great band, great players. I’ve always really dug the album Ronnie Lane made with Pete Townshend called ‘Rough Mix’, back in the late 70’s. Ron Wood also made a solo album called ‘Gimme Some Neck’, roughly around the same time. Both are well worth checking out.

  12. Agree on all the Faces stuff– just a goldmine. But I have to say that the most rock and roll part of “Stay With Me” is the line “You can have your cab fare home, You can even wear my best cologne/ Just don’t be here in the morning when I wake up.” So wrong. So right….

  13. Great post. The amount of talent Rod Stewart had and then squandered was summed up nicely in the last airing of that Faces show on VH1 Classic. The Faces show is amazing and they filled out the last 5-7 minutes of the hour by showing the video for Blondes Have More Fun. It’s astounding to see an artist fall that far that fast.

  14. God bless Ronnie Lane and the Faces. Without the Faces would we have the Sex Pistols, Replacements, or GBV? Those bands may not sound alike but they all definitely drew from the Faces well. Heck I think you could make the argument that Van Halen owes a great deal to the Faces. What a fantastic band.

    Time to dig up some Humble Pie and give Steve Marriott his due.

  15. Rod,
    Your A C###T, you have stold from everybody you have have ever been with. Yoy suck on on your own & KARMA will kick you & Scotland up the ASS.
    U just need to answer to Darren Fletcher & the rest of the squad.

  16. The Faces were incredible and this is one of the best box sets of all time. Stewart’s late 60’s and early 70’s stuff on Mercury label were very good. I always thought the Faces backed him on all those great albums – The Rod Stewart Album (69), Gasoline Alley (70), Every Picture Tells A Story (71) and Never A Dull Moment (72). There were just one or two or three Faces on almost every song, but only a handful only Stewart and all The Faces – Every Picture Tells A Story, I’m Losing You, Jodie, My Way of Giving, Oh No Not My Baby and True Blue.

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