Ooh La La (Faces song)

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"Ooh La La"
Ooh La La - Faces.jpg
Single by Faces (band)
from the album Ooh La La
B-side"Borstal Boys"
ReleasedMarch 1973 (1973-03)
Format7-inch single
RecordedJanuary 1973
GenreFolk rock[1]
Length3:35
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Glyn Johns
Faces (band) singles chronology
"Cindy Incidentally"
(1972)
"Ooh La La"
(1973)
"Pool Hall Richard"
(1973)
Audio sample
"Ooh La La"

"Ooh La La" is a 1973 song by the band Faces, written by Ronnie Lane and Ronnie Wood. It was the title song for the band's last studio album, titled Ooh La La.

The lead vocals were provided by Wood, a rarity in the band's catalog as lead vocals were usually performed by Rod Stewart and less often by Ronnie Lane. Stewart and Lane both recorded lead vocals for the song but neither were reportedly satisfied by their attempts. Their producer Glyn Johns then suggested that Wood give it a try, and this version was used for the track on the album.

Lane soon recorded his own version after leaving the Faces in 1973 with his new group Slim Chance, featuring lyrics slightly altered from those he wrote for the Faces. Although Lane's studio version was never released during his lifetime, it appeared as the title track of the 2014 Slim Chance compilation Ooh La La: An Island Harvest. Lane did however regularly perform the song at concerts and on radio shows throughout his solo career, until he retired from the music business through ill-health circa 1993.

Wood also performed the song in his solo concerts, from 1987 to 2012.

Content[edit]

The lyrics describe a dialogue between a grandfather and grandson, with the elder man's warning the younger about the perils of relationships with women: "Poor old granddad, I laughed at all his words / I thought he was a bitter man; he spoke of women's ways." The chorus laments, "I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger."

Personnel[edit]

Releases[edit]

In addition to being the closing title track of the Faces' final studio album, the Faces version of the song appeared as a U.S. single in May 1973. The first compilation the Faces version appeared was on the album Snakes and Ladders / The Best of Faces, and it was one of the few songs on that collection that fairly represented Ronnie Lane's songwriting for the band. It appeared again on the 1999 Faces retrospective Good Boys... When They're Asleep and then also on the 2004 four-disc box set Five Guys Walk into a Bar.... It appeared on the Ronnie Wood greatest hits compilation Ronnie Wood Anthology: The Essential Crossexion, where Wood stated in the liner notes that he always thinks of Lane when he plays it.

Ronnie Lane versions[edit]

In addition to the studio and live BBC recordings that appear on "Ooh La La: An Island Harvest", a unique BBC studio version and two other live versions appear on the "You Never Can Tell (The BBC Sessions)" compilation. Two other distinct versions appear on the "Live In Austin" compilation of Lane's 1980s/90s US radio sessions.

Rod Stewart version[edit]

"Ooh La La"
Single by Rod Stewart
from the album When We Were the New Boys
Released18 May 1998
Format
Recorded1998
GenreFolk rock
Length4:15
LabelWarner
Producer(s)Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart singles chronology
"Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?"
(1997)
"Ooh La La"
(1998)
"Cigarettes and Alcohol"
(1998)

Rod Stewart covered the song on his 1998 solo album When We Were the New Boys in tribute to the recently deceased Lane. It was released in May 1998 as the lead single from the album and became a top 40 hit in the U.S. and top 20 in the UK.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1998) Peak
position
Canada Adult Contemporary Tracks (RPM)[2] 1
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[3] 29
Germany (Official German Charts)[4] 73
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[5] 92
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[6] 8
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[7] 16
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[8] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 39

Other covers[edit]

Indie roc band Silkworm covered the song for their 2000 LP Lifestyle.[9] Banjo player Danny Barnes covered the song on his 2003 release Dirt on the Angel.[10] The song was covered by Counting Crows as a B-side for their 2003 single "If I Could Give All My Love (Richard Manuel Is Dead)" and re-released on their 2012 studio-album "Underwater Sunshine". In late 2012,, punk rocker Tim Armstrong, best known as front man of Rancid, recorded a ska-flavored cover of the song under the moniker Tim Timebomb and Friends. Included in the recording, and featured in the video, were drummer Travis Barker of Blink-182, bassist J Bonner, and keyboardist Kevin Bivona of The Transplants.[11] American indie rock band Manchester Orchestra performed a version of the song in July 2013 for The A.V. Club's Undercover series.[12] Canadian band Hey Rosetta! recorded a version in 2014. Folk act Redbird included a version on their album Live at the Cafe Carpe.[13]

In popular culture[edit]

"Ooh La La" was featured in the 1998 film Rushmore, played over the film's final shot and closing credits. It was included in the film's 1999 soundtrack album. It was used as the theme song for the 2003 BBC sitcom Grass. It was also featured in the 2004 movie Without a Paddle. "Ooh La La" was performed live by Ronnie Wood at the 50th birthday celebration of the Fender Stratocaster in 2004. Episode 4 of the 2004 BBC miniseries Blackpool featured the Faces recording, accompanied on screen by the singing and dancing of the characters as part of the story. The song is used in the HBO series Entourage in the fifth-season episode "ReDOMption". It is used in the Showtime series Californication in the third-season finale "Mia Culpa". It is the favorite song of Red Hot Chili Peppers' vocalist Anthony Kiedis.[14] It was played at the funeral of FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen on the NBC series The Blacklist, season 3, episode 20 "The Artax Network". It was used as background music during the "fish" scene of season 1 episode 20 Young Sheldon. It is featured in a sentimental television ad in 2019 for the Amazon Alexa, where the storyline is about a father and his daughter as she grows from a young child, whose father plays it for her as his favorite song, to a college student, who listens to the song after a tearful goodbye drop off at her dorm.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Uli Twelker; Roland Schmitt (December 1, 2010). The Small Faces & Other Stories. Bobcat Books. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-85712-451-7.
  2. ^ Canada Adult Contemporary Tracks peak RPM Magazine
  3. ^ peak Canada Top Singles peak RPM Magazine
  4. ^ "Musicline.de – Rod Stewart Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  5. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Rod Stewart – Ooh La La" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  6. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  7. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  8. ^ a b "Rod Stewart awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  9. ^ Kellman, Andy. Ooh La La at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
  10. ^ "Dirt on the Angel". Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  11. ^ Sterling, Scott. "Rancid's Tim Armstrong Releases New 'Tim Timebomb' Video Featuring Travis Barker". KROQ. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  12. ^ "Manchester Orchestra covers Faces". Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  13. ^ Ruhlman, William. "Redbird > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  14. ^ MyTunes: Kiedis's Top 5 tracks, Mojo

External links[edit]