Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake

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Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake
Studio album by Small Faces
Released 24 May 1968
Recorded November – December 1967
Olympic Studios in London, England, Trident Studios in London, England
Genre Psychedelic rock, psychedelic pop
Length 38:27
Language English
Label Immediate
Producer Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane
Small Faces chronology
Small Faces
(1967)
Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake
(1968)
The Autumn Stone
(1969)
Singles from Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake
  1. "Lazy Sunday"
    Released: 5 April 1968
  2. "Afterglow of Your Love"
    Released: 7 March 1969
  3. "Mad John"
    Released: 1969 (US only)

Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake is a concept album by the English rock band Small Faces. Released on 24 May 1968, the LP peaked at number one on the UK Album Charts on 29 June, where it remained for a total of six weeks.[1] The title and the design of the distinctive packaging was a parody of Ogdens' Nut-brown Flake, a brand of tobacco which was produced in Liverpool starting in 1899.[2][3]

Background[edit]

Side One is a mix of early heavy rock with "Song of a Baker"; psychedelic cockney knees-up songs "Lazy Sunday" and "Rene", the opening instrumental title track (which resembles their second single "I've Got Mine", which was a flop in 1965), and the soul influenced ballad "Afterglow",[3] as it is called on the LP, but is titled "Afterglow of Your Love" on the subsequent single and some compilations.

Side Two is based on an original fairy tale about a boy called Happiness Stan, narrated in his unique 'Unwinese' gobbledegook by Stanley Unwin, who picked up modern slang from the band and incorporated it into the surreal narrative.[3]

The fairy tale follows Stan in his quest to find the missing half of the moon, after seeing a half-moon in the sky one night. Along the way, he saves a fly from starvation, and in gratitude the insect tells him of someone who can answer his question and also tell him the philosophy of life itself. With magic power, Stan intones, "If all the flies were one fly, what a great enormous fly-follolloper that would bold," and the fly grows to gigantic proportions. Seated on the giant fly's back, Stan takes a psychedelic journey to the cave of Mad John the Hermit, who explains that the moon's disappearance is only temporary, and demonstrates by pointing out that Stan has spent so long on his quest that the moon is now full again. He then sings Stan a cheerful song about the meaning of life.[3]

Due to the album's complexities, it was never performed live; it was performed as a whole once on the BBC's television programme Colour Me Pop on Friday 21 June 1968.[3] Songs featured were "Song of a Baker", "Happiness Stan", "Rollin' Over", "The Hungry Intruder", "The Journey", "Mad John" and "Happydaystoytown". Although the band mimed to the studio recordings, their microphones were left on to capture ad libs.[4]

Packaging[edit]

The album was originally released on vinyl in a circular novelty package of a metal replica of a giant tobacco tin, inside which was a poster created with 5 connected paper circles with pictures of the band members. This proved too expensive and was quickly followed by a paper/card replica with a gatefold cover. Two limited-edition CD releases (including a three-disc deluxe edition in 2006 that included the original mono mix of the album on CD for the first time) went even further by packaging the disc(s) in a circular tin (as the original vinyl release had). Most CD releases use conventional packaging, superimposing the circular artwork on a square booklet.[3]

The award-winning artwork for the album cover was done by Nick Tweddell and Pete Brown, who were art school friends of Ian Mclagan and who had also played in a band with Ian called 'The Muleskinners'.[5]

Controversy[edit]

To promote the album, Immediate Records issued an advertisement that parodied The Lord's Prayer. This caused an uproar in the British press, and outraged readers wrote in to voice their outrage.

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

Regaring the advert, Steve Marriott said, "We didn't know a thing about the ad until we saw it in the music papers. And frankly we got the horrors at first. We realize that it could be taken as a serious knock against religion. But on thinking it over, we don't feel it is particularly good or bad. It's just another form of advertising. We're not all that concerned about it. We're more concerned in writing our music and producing our records."[6]

Vinyl and CD versions[edit]

The original vinyl album includes a segue between the end of "Afterglow" and the beginning of "Long Agos And Worlds Apart". Most CD editions have a different stereo mix, and use the single version of "Afterglow" without the segue. There is also a segue between "Long Agos and Worlds Apart" and "Rene", and this is retained on the CD. Some CD editions also include one or more bonus tracks.

The 2005 3-disc "tobacco tin" Special Edition includes fully remastered mono and stereo mixes complete with segue, plus an episode of the BBC Radio documentary series Classic Albums in which the band discuss the making of the album. A second 3-disc Deluxe Edition was released in 2012, this time, overseen by surviving members Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones, and featured newly remastered mono and stereo mixes complete with segue, with the third disc full of outtakes and alternate takes, versions and mixes, including some specially mixed from newly discovered original session tapes. In countries other than the UK, however, the 2012 3-disc version was a limited edition and was replaced a year later by a two CD version with conventional packaging, and the stereo mix is omitted completely from the package.

On many reissues, the cover design still spells the title as Ogdens' , but the label and sleeve copy gives it as Ogden's .

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone (positive)[8]

In 2000 Q magazine placed Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake at number 59 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.[9] The album was featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[10] Rolling Stone gave the album a positive review.[11]

Comments include " an essential part of the legacy of mankind... You have to see through that dirtyness, non-hifi sound. This is great music."

Appearances in other media[edit]

The title track was played during the debut trailer for the video game Grand Theft Auto V and was later featured on the in-game Los Santos Rock Radio station.[12]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake"   Marriott, Lane, McLagan, Jones 2:26
2. "Afterglow of Your Love"   Marriott, Lane 3:31
3. "Long Agos and Worlds Apart"   McLagan 2:35
4. "Rene"   Marriott, Lane 4:29
5. "Song of a Baker"   Marriott, Lane 3:15
6. "Lazy Sunday"   Marriott, Lane 3:05
Side two (titled "Happiness Stan")
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Happiness Stan"   Marriott, Lane 2:35
2. "Rollin' Over"   Marriott, Lane 2:50
3. "The Hungry Intruder"   Marriott, Lane, McLagan 2:15
4. "The Journey"   Marriott, Lane, McLagan, Jones 4:12
5. "Mad John"   Marriott, Lane 2:48
6. "Happydaystoytown"   Marriott, Lane, McLagan 4:17

Personnel[edit]

  • Steve Marriott − vocals, guitar, harmonica
  • Ronnie Lane − bass guitar, guitar, backing vocals, vocals on "Song of a Baker", "The Journey", and "Happydaystoytown"
  • Kenney Jones − drums, percussion
  • Ian McLagan − keyboards, guitar, bass guitar, backing vocals, vocals on "Long Agos and Worlds Apart"
  • Stanley Unwin – "looney links"
  • Glyn Johns – recording engineer

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Year Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[13] 1968 1
Preceded by
The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding
UK Albums Chart number-one album
29 June 1968 – 10 August 1968
Succeeded by
Delilah by Tom Jones

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Official UK Album Charts". The Official UK Charts Company. Archived from the original on 14 August 2007. Retrieved 4 September 2007. 
  2. ^ McDonough, Tony. "New homes plan for tobacco factory". Liverpool Daily Post. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 4 September 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Small Faces, Ogden's Nut Gone Flake". BBC. Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  4. ^ Hewitt, Paulo; Hellier, John (2004). Steve Marriott - All Too Beautiful... (1st ed.). London: Helter Skelter. p. 171. ISBN 1-900924-44-7. OCLC 56205257. 
  5. ^ Neill, Andy 'The Faces: Had Me a Real Good Time, Omnibus Press , 2011, isbn = 1849380732
  6. ^ Hewitt, Paulo; Jones, Kenney (1995). Small Faces: The Young Mods' Forgotten Story. London: Acid Jazz. p. 125. ISBN 0-9523935-0-6. OCLC 34676493. 
  7. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake – Small Faces". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  8. ^ Pomeroy, James (12 October 1968). "Records". Rolling Stone. 
  9. ^ Snow, Matt (February 1990). "Ogdens Nut Gone Flake – The Reviews". Q magazine (41). 
  10. ^ "1001 Albums You Must Hear – 2008 Edition". RockList.net. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Pomeroy, James (12 October 1968). "Small Faces: Ogden's Nut Gone Flake". Rolling Stone (Straight Arrow) (RS 19). ISSN 0035-791X. Archived from the original on 13 March 2007. 
  12. ^ Totilo, Stephen (2 November 2011). "The GTA V Trailer Song is a 1968 Tune by The Small Faces". Kotaku. 
  13. ^ "The Small Faces UK chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 

External links[edit]