Ooh La La (Faces album)

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Ooh La La
Oohlala.jpg
Studio album by Faces
Released March 1973 (1973-03)
Recorded September 1972 – January 1973
Studio Olympic Studios, London
Genre Hard rock, blues rock, country rock
Length 30:22
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Glyn Johns
Faces chronology
A Nod Is as Good as a Wink...To a Blind Horse
(1971)
Ooh La La
(1973)
Coast to Coast: Overture and Beginners
(1974)

Ooh La La is the fourth and final studio album by the English rock band Faces, released in March 1973.

Background and story[edit]

With his career in the stratosphere due to successes from his solo albums, Rod Stewart became increasingly distanced from his band mates who were, by the time of the album's recording, little more than his backing group in concerts. As a result, according to Ian McLagan, Ooh La La was "Ronnie [Lane]'s album", Stewart distracted enough to have missed the first Two weeks of sessions (Five Guys, p. 30). The album's recording would be plagued by Stewart's absence. Nonetheless, producer Glyn Johns held the group together, helping to placate tensions as he had with the Beatles during their Get Back sessions and helping the group to record a strong album in the style of its predecessor as opposed to the group's first two releases, which were self-produced and rather lengthy. Johns's contribution is acknowledged in the album's credits with the comment "Produced by Glyn Johns (see you in a year)," suggesting that the Faces intended to work again with Johns on their next studio album – one that ultimately would never be made.

Shortly after the album's release, Stewart reported to New Musical Express that he felt that Ooh La La was a "stinking rotten album", later making things worse by telling Rolling Stone that what he had actually said was that the group was capable of "doing a better album than we've done" (Five Guys, p. 32). The rest of the group was understandably hurt by the comments. Lane, especially hurt and not looking forward to being even more increasingly relegated to the sidelines, quit in June and was replaced shortly thereafter by former Free bassist Tetsu Yamauchi. The group recorded three subsequent singles, but never again recorded an album, disbanding in late 1975.

The cover is a photo of "Gastone", a stage character of Ettore Petrolini, an Italian comedian of the 1920s. The original LP cover was designed in such a way that when the top edge was pressed down Gastone's eyes would discolour and move to the side, while his jaw dropped into a leering smile.

On 28 August 2015, the album was reissued in a remastered and expanded form, including early takes of 3 of the album's tracks. The vinyl reissue even replicated the original LP cover with the animated Gastone.

The tracks[edit]

There was one composition by the full band except for Stewart, the instrumental "Fly in the Ointment"—the only composition by the four to make it onto any of their albums, as usually they were relegated to the b-sides of singles. Stewart's compositions were written mostly in tandem with Wood and McLagan, although unusually for the band two were written in sole partnership with Lane. The title track by Wood and Lane featured the only-ever solo lead vocal from Wood, because neither Lane nor Stewart were said to be satisfied with their own attempts to sing it. Stewart claimed at the time that the song was in the wrong key for him, but he would later cover the song on his 1998 album When We Were the New Boys. Lane himself would later perform the song he co-wrote on many occasions during his own subsequent solo career.

The title track "Ooh La La" is featured at the end of Wes Anderson's film Rushmore (1998), and comedy film Without a Paddle (2004). The song "Glad and Sorry" is featured in the film Blow (2001)

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars link
Robert Christgau B link

Track listing[edit]

Side One

  1. "Silicone Grown" (Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood) – 3:05
  2. "Cindy Incidentally" (Ian McLagan, Stewart, Wood) – 2:37
  3. "Flags and Banners" (Ronnie Lane, Stewart) – 2:00
  4. "My Fault" (McLagan, Stewart, Wood) – 3:05
  5. "Borstal Boys" (McLagan, Stewart, Wood) – 2:52

Side Two

  1. "Fly in the Ointment" (Kenney Jones, Lane, McLagan, Wood) – 3:49
  2. "If I'm on the Late Side" (Lane, Stewart) – 2:36
  3. "Glad and Sorry" (Lane) – 3:04
  4. "Just Another Honky" (Lane) – 3:32
  5. "Ooh La La" (Lane, Wood) – 3:30

2015 Reissue bonus tracks

  1. "Cindy Incidentally" [BBC Session] (McLagan, Stewart, Wood)
  2. "Borstal Boys" [rehearsal] (McLagan, Stewart, Wood)
  3. "Silicone Grown" [rehearsal] (Stewart, Wood)
  4. "Glad and Sorry" [rehearsal] (Lane)
  5. "Jealous Guy" [Live at Reading Festival, Reading, UK 8/25/73 with Tetsu Yamauchi on bass] (John Lennon)

Personnel[edit]

  • Ronnie Lane – bass, rhythm and acoustic guitars, percussion, lead vocal (tracks 3 & 8)
  • Ronnie Wood – lead, slide, acoustic and rhythm guitars, co-lead vocal (track 4 & 8) lead vocal (track 10)
  • Ian McLagan – piano, organ, harmonium, backing vocals, co-lead vocal (track 8)
  • Kenney Jones – drums, percussion
  • Rod Stewart – lead vocal (tracks 1,2,4,5,7 & 9) banjo (track 3) not present on tracks 6, 8 & 10
Preceded by
Houses of the Holy by Led Zeppelin
UK number-one albums
28 April 1973
Succeeded by
Aladdin Sane by David Bowie