Forgotten Gems of Rock and Roll: Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake

26 April 2015 in Heroes -

Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake by The Small Faces.

If it were not for the Small Faces, I would have never written storytelling segments in my album. I have to give entire recognition to Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake for the idea of a narrative parallel in Gizzy Limelight.

It’s a plain shame that we don’t spend our days at the record store to discover new music anymore because the first time I heard the Small Faces was in a record store in Japan. I was so intrigued by the opening instrumental song “Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake” that it was love at first hearing.

Then I heard a familiar voice on the following track “Afterglow Of Your Love” and instantly thought “This has got to be Steve Marriott!”. I was convinced it was Humble Pie. Close enough, but not quite. I was listening to what was to become the precursor of a powerful duo with Peter Frampton yet to come.

After asking the salesman about the artist currently playing, he presented me with this round record sleeve. When I looked at it, I knew this album had some sort of special place in rock history.

Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake is the third studio album by the Small Faces released in 1968. Engineered and mixed by Glyn Johns, it has to be one of the most experimental mixes I’ve ever heard in the heavy use of dynamic panning and flanged/phased drums.

The story describes a psychedelic fairy tale narrated by comedian Stanley Unwin, that unwinds exclusively on side B of the record. The title of the album is a parodic reference to a brand of tobacco called Ogdens’ Nut-Brown Flake that was manufactured in Liverpool.

Nobody can deny the British pop rock staple that is “Lazy Sunday”, driven by the iconic Wurlitzer electric piano played by Ian McLagan. Not to mention the hard rock monument that is Ronnie Lane’s “Song Of The Baker”.

But what I admire the most is Steve Marriott’s extremely soulful and powerful voice that never seems to deceive me. His aura emanates in “Afterglow Of Your Love”, a song driven by the leading organ sound that transports the listener to another dimension of love.

I am very nostalgic of conceptual projects like these that would never become a reality in our current music industry, whether it being a circular sleeve, a storytelling album, an experimental mix or a controversial parodic marketing advertisement1.

  1. Small Faces
    Which were in the studios
    Hallowed by thy name
    Thy music come
    Thy songs be sung
    On this album as they came from your heads
    We give you this day our daily bread
    Give us thy album in a round cover as we give thee 37/9d.,
    Lead us into the record stores.
    And deliver us Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake
    For nice is the music
    The sleeve and the story
    For ever and ever, Immediate 

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