It has been announced that legendary supergroup Faces have been working on new music.
The band has been unofficially broken up since their initial split in 1975 after 6 years together. Ronnie Wood joined the group along with members from other bands during their early formation. Wood, also a member of The Rolling Stones since 1975, has revealed to The Sunday Times that the Faces have been working on new music along with new music with fellow Rolling Stone Mick Jagger. “I saw Mick [Jagger] here last week and Rod [Stewart] and Kenney [Jones] were here yesterday. Me and Mick have done nine new tracks for the [40th anniversary] re-release of ‘Tattoo You’. And me, Rod and Kenney have been recording some new Faces music. I’ve had a front-row seat on some amazing rock’n’roll projects these past couple of weeks.”
Faces were not just a supergroup but a collection of the era’s most talented musicians and songwriters. The group was formed in 1969 by the majority of the members from the 60’s rock band Small Faces famed for their era-defining tracks, ‘Itchycoo Park’ and ‘Lazy Sunday’. The group’s split was due to lead singer Steve Marriott departure to join Humble Pit. The breakup led to the formation of Faces made up of the original lineup, Ronnie Lane on bass and vocals, Ian McLagen on keyboards and drummer and percussionist Kenney jones. The trio was then joined by members from the Jeff Beck Group, Ronnie Wood on guitar and lead vocalist Sir Rod Stewart, many will remember Stewart from his 1978 single ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?’. But before his spandex-wearing days, Stewart was known for his gravelly vocals on Faces tracks such as the 1973 single ‘Ooh La La’.
Sir Rod Stewart has revealed what bonded himself and Wood together as friends and bandmates, the singer has stated that it was their noses and passion for fashion that propelled the friendship. “We introduced each other. I said, ”Ello Nose’ and he said, ”Ello Nose’. We both had big noses. I think what brought us together was our sense of clothing – we both liked style – and our unique sense of humour. That’s bonded us together over the years.”
However, during the recording of their final studio album ‘Ooh La La’, the band began to fall apart. One of the founding members, Lane decided to leave the group as he felt he was being pushed aside within the band’s hierarchy. The group replaced Lane with Tetsu Yamauchi as their bassist and continued with the new lineup. During the band’s last two years, they embarked on a yearlong tour and released the live album ‘Coast to Coast: Overture and Beginners’ released 10th January 1974 recorded on 17th October 1973 during a live show in California at Anaheim Arena. Further line-up changes would proceed to occur, Wood had released a couple of solo albums during this time and began to drift towards The Rolling Stone and went on tour with them in 1975. Wood had a fleeting replacement, Jesse Ed Davis, before the group’s eventual breakup.
The group have reunited several times after their breakup, in the late 1970s the group played together again but unfortunately without Lane due to the musician’s illness which forced him to retire in 1997. Lane would tragically die on 4th June 1997 due to pneumonia, whilst in the final stages of multiple sclerosis. Between the years 2010 and 2011 the surviving members went on a reunion tour with an altered lineup, Mick Hucknall from Simply Red on vocals and Glen Matlock playing bass and vocals. In 2012 the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted both Faces and Small Faces, Hucknall replaced Stewart within the performance due to illness, Lane was also posthumously inducted. The group reunited again in 2015 for a charity event, the line-up consisted of original members Sir Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood and Kenney Jones. More recently, the group appeared at the 2020 Brit Awards as part of the closing performance, unfortunately, the group would not be joined by McLagen who tragically died on 3rd December 2014.
74-year-old musician, Wood, has been very busy so far this year, he is also working with fellow musician Mick Taylor on a new album. The musical pair have been recording a tribute album to Jimmy Reed, a Blues legend famed for his influential style. Wood spoke to The Sunday Times concerning his unique work ethic. “I go through art phases when music is secondary, but right now I really want to get out there and play.”