Review - Five Guys Walk Into a Bar

Artist: Faces

Five Guys Walk Into a Bar
Label: Rhino
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Five Guys Walk Into a Bar

For all I care, Rod Stewart could recite the poetry of Ronald Reagan while backed by the Mantovani Orchestra, and I'd still insist that he is one of the most bad-ass rock & rollers to ever walk the planet. Forget "Mandolin Wind." Forget "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy." Forget any Rod Stewart album with the word "songbook" in the title. Forget all that and pick up this, the goddamned Bible of boozy, bluesy boogie-rock majesty. You know nothing about rock music until you know the Faces, and the 67 tracks here – nearly a third of which are not album tracks – will easily teach you that simple lesson. Quick history: Steve Marriott breaks up Small Faces to start Humble Pie with Peter Frampton; the remaining Small Faces – Ian McLagan, Kenney Jones and Ronnie Lane – enlist ex-Jeff Beck Group members Rod Stewart and Ron Wood to help them carry on. Between 1970 and 1975, the newly christened Faces record four full-tilt studio albums, play hundreds of concerts, bang countless groupies and consume thousands of gallons of alcohol. (The band, for Christ's sake, had a freaking bartender on stage.) Faces wholeheartedly undertook a rock & roll party, all the while managing to make music that, though steeped in obvious blues-rock influences, was possessed of an undeniable identity. Seldom seen not smiling, Faces were notoriously fraternal and that relationship is apparent in the easy musical rapport of these songs; songs as effortlessly effervescent as "Stay With Me" or as ramshackle and raw as "Open to Ideas" don't come from a band that's trying, they come from a band that just can't help being great. Given the copiously excellent track selection, it's easy to forgive the uneven liner notes; McLagan and Faces photographer Tom Wright provide some great insight, but the endorsements from the likes of Jeff Tweedy, Gaz Coombes and Slash are positively superfluous. That minor quibble aside, Five Guys is as essential as rock & roll gets.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.