A Nod Is As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse

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A Nod's As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse
Faces-A Nod Is as Good as a Wink...To a Blind Horse (album cover).jpg
Studio album by Faces
Released 17 November 1971[1]
Recorded March–September 1971 at Olympic Studios, London
Genre Rock & roll, boogie rock, blues-rock, hard rock, country rock
Length 36:28
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Faces and Glyn Johns
Faces chronology
Long Player
(1971)Long Player1971
A Nod's as Good as a Wink... to a Blind Horse
(1971)
Ooh La La
(1973)Ooh La La1973
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau A−[3]
Rolling Stone mixed [4]

A Nod's As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse was the third album by British rock group Faces, and their second album of 1971. Bolstered somewhat by lead singer Rod Stewart's recent solo success with his Maggie May single, it was their most successful album, peaking at #6 in the US,[5] and reaching #2 in the UK. Artistically however, the album stands on its own merits, notwithstanding Stewart's burgeoning solo stardom. It contains their biggest hit, the swaggering "Stay with Me" (#6 in the UK, #17 in the US), and the album itself would be certified gold by the RIAA in 1972.[6]

Generally regarded as the Faces' definitive statement, this is the most balanced album of the group's career in terms of songwriting and of mood, thanks largely to the decision to share production duties with Glyn Johns. Johns' judicious production decisions here ensure that not a single one of the nine tracks on the album outstays its welcome. The album also features two very sensitively-sequenced ballads and an endearingly ramshackle Chuck Berry cover among its cast of bluesy rockers and rollicking bar-room swing-alongs. Bassist Ronnie Lane, often left frustrated by the division of vocal duties in the band, gets to sing lead on three of his own contributions (one co-written with Keyboardist Ian McLagan), including the moving examination of father-son relationships, 'Debris'.

Put simply, this is the first (and sadly only) occasion where the Faces' signature 'good time' is accurately captured for the length of an entire album.

The original issue of the album came with a poster consisting of a picture collage, including images of pills and pharmaceutical capsules, as well as photos apparently taken on tour of band and crew members reveling with naked groupies in hotel rooms. Within weeks of release, the record company had second thoughts and re-issued the album without the poster, making original copies with the poster into collectors' items.[7]

On 28 August 2015, the album was reissued in a remastered and expanded form, with the bonus tracks being two songs from a previously unreleased BBC session. The new vinyl reissue even replicated the poster included with the first-pressing vinyl release.

Track listing[edit]

All lead vocals by Rod Stewart except where noted

Side One

  1. "Miss Judy's Farm" (Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood) – 3:42
  2. "You're So Rude" (Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan) – 3:46 (lead singer: Ronnie Lane)
  3. "Love Lives Here" (Lane, Stewart, Wood) – 3:09
  4. "Last Orders Please" (Lane) – 2:38 (lead singer: Ronnie Lane)
  5. "Stay with Me" (Stewart, Wood) – 4:42

Side Two

  1. "Debris" (Lane) – 4:39 (lead singer: Ronnie Lane, with Rod Stewart on chorus harmony)
  2. "Memphis, Tennessee" (incorrectly titled on original U.S. pressings of the album as simply "Memphis") (Chuck Berry) – 5:31
  3. "Too Bad" (Stewart, Wood) – 3:16
  4. "That's All You Need" (Stewart, Wood) – 5:05

2015 Reissue bonus tracks

  1. "Miss Judy's Farm" [BBC Session] (Stewart, Wood)
  2. "Stay With Me" [BBC Session] (Stewart, Wood)

Personnel[edit]

Reissues[edit]

Year Label Cat. number Edition
2005 Audio Fidelity AFZ 026 24 Karat Gold HDCD

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Random Notes". Rolling Stone. Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. (96): 4. 25 November 1971. 
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. A Nod Is As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse at AllMusic. Retrieved 28 November 2005.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (30 December 1971). "Consumer Guide (22): Faces: A Nod's As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse". The Village Voice. Retrieved 7 April 2012.  Also posted in a revised version with a lower rating at "Faces: A Nod's as Good as a Wink . . . to a Blind Horse > Consumer Guide Review". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Landau, Jon (6 January 1972). "Faces A Nod's As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse > Album Review". Rolling Stone (99). Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Faces > A Nod's as Good as a Wink . . . to a Blind Horse > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums at AllMusic. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  6. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Faces-A-Nod-Is-As-Good-As-A-Wink To-A-Blind-Horse/release/4847644
  7. ^ "Random Notes". Rolling Stone (99). Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. 6 January 1972. p. 4.