Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake
|Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake|
|Studio album by|
|Released||24 May 1968|
|Recorded||October 1967 – April 1968|
|Studio||Olympic and Trident, London|
|Small Faces chronology|
|Singles from Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake|
Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake is the third studio album, and first 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. It ultimately became the group's final studio album during their original incarnation, and their last album containing solely new material until Playmates was released in 1977. The title and the design of the distinctive packaging was a parody of Ogden's Nut-brown Flake, a brand of tobacco that was produced in Liverpool from 1899 onwards by Thomas Ogden.
Side one of the album is a mix of early heavy rock, with "Song of a Baker";[note 1] 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", 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 by Stanley Unwin in his unique "Unwinese" gobbledegook, who picked up modern slang from the band and incorporated it into the surreal narrative.
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.
Because of 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. 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.
The recording of Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake spanned over approximately five months, with most of its work done in the spring of 1968 at Olympic Studios in Barnes, London. The earliest recording aimed at an album release was the track "Call It Something Nice", which was recorded on 21 October 1967 at Olympic, making this the earliest session for this particular album. This track, however, did not end up on its release, later being issued for the first time on the compilation The Autumn Stone in 1969. Recording panned over through the remainder of 1967, with two known tracks started either in November or December and intended for a single but ultimately not released in this format: an original, "Rollin' Over" (initially titled "Bun in the Oven") as the A-side, and a cover, "Every Little Bit Hurts", as the B-side, written by Ed Cobb and made famous by Brenda Holloway. The latter track features Steve Marriott on piano instead of his usual guitar, and Ian McLagan on Hammond organ; it was, again, not released on the final album and did not appear until the early 1990s. The former track was worked on further into the spring of 1968, with Marriott tracking two attempts at a new lead vocal, one ending up on the mono release and one on the stereo (he duets with himself on the verses, singing both harmonies). After the group returned from their ill-fated tour of Oceania with The Who in January 1968, they started heavy recording sessions on the album, most being done through February and March. One of the only songs not recorded at Olympic Studios was the track "The Journey", recorded at Trident Studios, London in February, which reversed the roles of Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott who played guitar and bass, respectively. Sessions wrapped on 3 April (two days before the release of the "Lazy Sunday" / "Rollin' Over" single) at Olympic with the recording of "Mad John" and the out-take "A Collibosher" (which was released again on the posthumous compilation The Autumn Stone). Mixing was completed by Marriott and Lane through April and May.
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 five connected paper circles with pictures of the band members. This proved too expensive and not successful as the tins tended to roll off of shelves and it 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.
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 Mclagan called The Muleskinners. Early pressings of XTC's The Big Express (1984) were similarly packaged in a round sleeve in tribute to the Small Faces album. It was ranked number 21 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Album Covers in 1991.
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 anger. It read:
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
Regarding 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."
Vinyl and CD versions
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 US Immediate vinyl LP looked the same as the British original, but was printed on flimsy paper stock. The CBS/Immediate issue was always sold in a plastic bag with a foldover snap. The sound on the US release was not as bright as the UK release or most subsequent CD issues.
In 1989, Castle Communications released a single disc commemorative "tobacco tin" version that included a 'live' version of Tin Soldier as well as several table coasters replicating the cover.
The 2006 Castle Music/Sanctuary Records 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 on Charly Records, 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 alternative 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.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
In 2000 Q magazine placed Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake at number 59 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. The album was featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Rolling Stone gave the album a positive review.
In other media
Discs one and three of the deluxe edition contain the original album in stereo and mono, respectively.
|1.||"Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake"||Marriott, Lane, McLagan, Jones||2:26|
|3.||"Long Agos and Worlds Apart"||McLagan||2:35|
|5.||"Song of a Baker"||3:15|
|Side two (titled "Happiness Stan")|
|3.||"The Hungry Intruder"||Marriott, Lane, McLagan||2:15|
|4.||"The Journey"||Marriott, Lane, McLagan, Jones||4:12|
|6.||"HappyDaysToyTown"||Marriott, Lane, McLagan, Jones||4:17|
|Immediate Deluxe edition disc 2|
|1.||"Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake" (early session version)||2:29|
|2.||"Afterglow" (alternate USA mix)||3:01|
|3.||"Long Agos and Worlds Apart" (alternate USA mix)||2:33|
|4.||"Rene, the Docker's Delight" (early session mix)||4:28|
|5.||"Song of a Baker" (alternate USA mix)||2:58|
|6.||"Lazy Sunday" (alternate USA mix)||3:04|
|7.||"Happiness Stan" (backing track)||2:58|
|8.||"Bun in the Oven" (early session mix)||2:12|
|9.||"The Fly" (take 4 instrumental version)||2:00|
|10.||"Mad John" (take 7 session version)||2:18|
|11.||"HappyDaysToyTown" (alternate USA mix)||4:17|
|12.||"Kamikhazi" (take 7 backing track)||2:15|
|13.||"Every Little Bit Hurts" (early session mix)||3:56|
|14.||"Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake" (alternate take phased mix)||2:25|
|2007 Charly Records re-release bonus tracks|
|13.||"Here Comes the Nice"||3:02|
|14.||"Talk to You" (Marriot, Lane, O'Sullivan)||2:05|
|15.||"My Way of Giving"||1:57|
|17.||"Donkey Rides, a Penny a Glass (Alternate mix with brass)" (Marriott, Lane, McLagan)||3:08|
|19.||"I'm Only Dreaming"||2:23|
|20.||"(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me"||2:12|
|21.||"The Autumn Stone" (Marriott)||3:56|
|22.||"Wham Bam, Thank You Mam" (with guide vocal)||3:21|
|23.||"(If You Think You're) Groovy" (with P.P. Arnold)||2:56|
|24.||"Don't Burst My Bubble"||2:24|
|25.||"All or Nothing" (Live)||3:43|
|26.||"Tin Soldier" (Live)||3:22|
- Small Faces
- Steve Marriott − lead, harmony, and backing vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, harmonica, piano on "Happiness Stan" and "Every Little Bit Hurts", Hammond organ on "Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake", bass guitar on "The Journey", shared lead vocals on "The Hungry Intruder" and "HappyDaysToyTown"
- Ronnie Lane − harmony and backing vocals, bass guitar, electric guitar on "The Journey", upright bass on "Mad John", lead vocals on "Song of a Baker" and "The Journey", shared lead vocals on "The Hungry Intruder" and "HappyDaysToyTown"
- Kenney Jones − drums, percussion
- Ian McLagan − backing vocals, keyboards, Mellotron, electric guitar and bass guitar on "Long Agos and Worlds Apart", lead vocals on "Long Agos and Worlds Apart"
|UK Albums Chart||1968||1|
|Offizielle Deutsche Charts||1968||6|
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