First Step (Faces album)
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|Studio album by Faces|
|Recorded||August 1969-January 1970 at De Lane Lea Studios, London|
|Genre||Blues rock, hard rock, country rock|
|Singles from First Step|
First Step was the first album by the British group Faces, released in early 1970. The album was released only a few months after the Faces had formed from the ashes of the Small Faces (from which Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan hailed) and The Jeff Beck Group (from which Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood hailed.) The album is credited to the Small Faces on all North American issues and reissues, while record labels for initial vinyl printings give the title as The First Step.
The album cover shows Ronnie Wood holding a copy of Geoffrey Sisley's seminal guitar tutorial First Step: How to Play the Guitar Plectrum Style.
On 28 August 2015, the album was reissued in a remastered and expanded form, including two previously-unreleased bonus tracks recorded shortly after the album's release, "Behind the Sun" and "Mona the Blues" (although the latter was remade by Lane and Wood in 1972 for their Mahoney's Last Stand film soundtrack).
The album was recorded at De Lane Lea Studios in London very soon after the group's official formation (although the band members had been performing together in various combinations since April 1969). At 47:13 it is the band's lengthiest original release and many critics regard it as promising, but sprawling and unfocused - their least cohesive and most undisciplined offering. Accordingly the album reached no higher than #119 on the Billboard charts. 
It is perhaps the most democratic of the Faces releases, affording as it does each member of the group at least one composer credit. Highlights include Ronnie Lane's folksy "Stone", the hard-rocking "Shake, Shudder, Shiver", "Three Button Hand Me Down" (on which both Lane and Wood play the bassline, affording the track a unique sonic quality in the Faces catalogue), and the soulful "Flying".
All lead vocals by Rod Stewart except where indicated
- "Wicked Messenger" (Bob Dylan) - 4:05
- "Devotion" (Ronnie Lane) - 4:54 (lead vocals: Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane)
- "Shake, Shudder, Shiver" (Lane, Ronnie Wood) - 3:14 (lead vocals: Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane)(duet)
- "Stone" (Lane) - 5:38 (lead vocals: Ronnie Lane)
- "Around the Plynth" (Rod Stewart, Wood) - 5:56
- "Flying" (Lane, Stewart, Wood) - 4:15
- "Pineapple and the Monkey" (instrumental) (Wood) - 4:23
- "Nobody Knows" (Lane, Wood) - 4:05 (lead vocals: Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane)(duet)
- "Looking Out the Window" (instrumental) (Kenney Jones, Ian McLagan) - 4:59
- "Three Button Hand Me Down" (McLagan, Stewart) - 5:44
2015 Reissue bonus tracks
- "Behind The Sun" (Jones, Lane, McLagan, Stewart, Wood)
- "Mona The Blues" (instrumental) (Lane, Wood)
- "Shake, Shudder Shiver" [BBC Session] (Lane, Wood)(lead vocals: Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane)(duet)
- "Flying" [Take 3] (Lane, Stewart, Wood)
- "Nobody Knows" [Take 2] (Lane, Wood)
Note: The 2015 reissue replicates the US edition of the LP, containing minor edits not present on the UK original [most noticeably, Stewart's cry of 'That's yer lot!' at the end of track 5 has been omitted].
- Rod Stewart - lead and backing vocals, harmonica, banjo (track 4)
- Ronnie Lane - bass, rhythm and acoustic guitars, backing vocals, lead vocal (track 4), co-lead vocal (tracks 2,3 & 8)
- Ronnie Wood - lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars, second bass guitar (track 10), backing vocals
- Ian McLagan - Hammond organ, Wurlitzer electric and acoustic pianos, backing vocals
- Kenney Jones - drums and percussion
- Martin Birch - engineer
- Faces - producer
- "Small Faces* – First Step". discogs.com. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- Detail of record label from first UK pressing, Faces' The First Step (1970).
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Faces: First Step > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- "First Step > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums" at AllMusic. Retrieved 10 August 2014.