ogden\’s nut gone flake

Released in 1968 on the Immediate label, \”Ogden\’s Nut Gone Flake\” saw the Small Faces move consciously away from their core mod fan base into a trippy conceptual territory more comfortably occupied by the early Pink Floyd, The Who, or even Donovan.

While \”The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn\” is not strictly speaking a concept album proper, and the Who\’s \’opera\’, \”Tommy\” would not be released until the following year, \”Ogden\’s Nut Gone Flake\” clearly showcases similar elements of social observation dressed up in psychedelic frippery. The primary difference is that where Syd Barrett drew on a rich fairy tale tradition steeped, with equal measure, in the charming and grotesque, the Small Faces opt for vaudevillian music hall shtick.

That\’s not to say there aren\’t great moments of rythym driven rock on the first side of this album – in particular the outstanding \”Afterglow (Of Your Love)\” – but the entirety of the second side is made over to the tale of Hapiness Stan, narrated by British comedian, Stanley Unwin, and is a huge departure for the band more commonly associated with pop classics like \”All Or Nothing\” or the later \”Tin Soldier\”.

Personally speaking, I could well do without the Mockney knees-up of \”Lazy Sunday\”. For many Small Faces fans, however, that 45 culled from this album – a huge hit for the group – remains an enduring favourite.

On the second track which follows here, it sounds like the Small Faces have been reading Bertholt Brecht\’s \”Baal\”, or at least listening to the Kurt Weill adaptation.

SMALL FACES: OGDEN\’S NUT GONE FLAKE from \”Ogden\’s Nut Gone Flake\” LP (Immediate) 1968 (UK)

SMALL FACES: MAD JOHN from \”Ogden\’s Nut Gone Flake\” LP (Immediate) 1968 (UK)



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