Album of the Day
When vocalist Steve Marriott left to form Humble Pie, his three Small Faces bandmates regrouped with Jeff Beck Group axeman Ron Wood and singer Rod Stewart. With the name shortened to Faces, the U.K. quintet made an auspicious debut in 1970 with FIRST STEP, a title that made sly reference to the beginner's guide to guitar that Wood holds in the cover photo. But there was nothing inexperienced about any of these musicians, and their chemistry and superb performances are evident on each of the 10 tracks. After an ace cover of Dylan's “Wicked Messenger” the material is all original, with songwriting duties spread fairly evenly among the members; with a pair of instrumentals and such fine tracks as “Around the Plynth” and “Three Button Hand Me Down,” it's a consistently enjoyable collection. Faces were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, and the journey that brought them there begins with FIRST STEP.