Ooh La La (Faces song)

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"Ooh La La"
Ooh La La - Faces.jpg
Single by Faces
from the album Ooh La La
B-side"Borstal Boys"
ReleasedMarch 1973 (1973-03)
RecordedJanuary 1973
GenreFolk rock[1]
Length3:35
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Glyn Johns
Faces singles chronology
"Cindy Incidentally"
(1972)
"Ooh La La"
(1973)
"Pool Hall Richard"
(1973)
Official audio
"Ooh La La" (2004 Remaster) on YouTube

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

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

In 2021, it was listed at No. 246 on Rolling Stone's "Top 500 Best Songs of All Time".[2]

Content[edit]

The lyrics describe a dialogue between a grandfather and grandson, with the elder man 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 US single in May 1973. The first compilation on which the Faces version appeared was the album Snakes and Ladders / The Best of Faces. 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.

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[3] Silver 200,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Ronnie Lane versions[edit]

Lane recorded his own version with his new group Slim Chance soon after leaving Faces in 1973; it featured lyrics slightly altered from those he wrote for the Faces version. Although his 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 regularly performed the song at concerts and on radio shows throughout his solo career until he retired from the music business in 1993, due to bad health.

Rod Stewart version[edit]

"Ooh La La"
Single by Rod Stewart
from the album When We Were the New Boys
Released18 May 1998 (1998-05-18)
Length4:15
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)
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]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
Europe 11 May 1998 Radio Warner Bros. [15]
United Kingdom 18 May 1998
  • CD
  • cassette
[16]
United States 19 May 1998 Contemporary hit radio [17]

Other covers[edit]

Indie rock band Silkworm covered the song for their 2000 LP Lifestyle.[18] Banjo player Danny Barnes covered the song on his 2003 release Dirt on the Angel.[19] 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.[20] American indie rock band Manchester Orchestra performed a version of the song in July 2013 for The A.V. Club's Undercover series.[21] Canadian band Hey Rosetta! recorded a version in 2014. Folk act Redbird included a version on their album Live at the Cafe Carpe.[22]

In popular culture[edit]

"Ooh La La" was featured in the 1998 film Rushmore, played over the film's final shot and closing credits, and was included on the film's 1999 soundtrack album. It was used as the theme song for the 2003 BBC sitcom Grass. It was used as the theme for the 2004 film Without a Paddle.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Twelker, Uli; Schmitt, Roland (1 December 2010). The Small Faces & Other Stories. Bobcat Books. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-85712-451-7.
  2. ^ "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 15 September 2021. Retrieved 18 July 2022.
  3. ^ "British single certifications – Faces – Ooh La La". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 13 November 2019.Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Ooh La La in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  4. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 7903." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 3649." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  6. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles". Music & Media. Vol. 15, no. 23. 6 June 1998. p. 14.
  7. ^ "Rod Stewart – Ooh La La" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Rod Stewart – Ooh La La" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  9. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  10. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  11. ^ "Rod Stewart Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  12. ^ "Rod Stewart Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  13. ^ "RPM's Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks of '98" (PDF). RPM. Vol. 68, no. 12. 14 December 1998. p. 28.
  14. ^ "1998 The Year in Music". Billboard. Vol. 110, no. 52. 26 December 1998. p. YE-95. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  15. ^ Flick, Larry (16 May 1998). "Stewart Revisits His Roots". Billboard. Vol. 110, no. 20. p. 14. Radio promotion for 'Ooh La La' in the U.K. and throughout much of Europe begins on Monday (11).
  16. ^ "New Releases: Singles". Music Week. 16 May 1998. p. 35.
  17. ^ "New Releases". Radio & Records. No. 1248. 15 May 1998. p. 41.
  18. ^ Kellman, Andy. Ooh La La at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
  19. ^ "Dirt on the Angel". Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  20. ^ Sterling, Scott. "Rancid's Tim Armstrong Releases New 'Tim Timebomb' Video Featuring Travis Barker". KROQ. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  21. ^ "Manchester Orchestra covers Faces". Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  22. ^ Ruhlman, William. "Redbird > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 30 June 2018.