The Faces were an English hard-rock/soul band that released four studio albums on Warner Bros. between 1970 and 1973. They came together in 1969 when vocalist Rod Stewart and guitarist Ron Wood, both fresh off their stint in the Jeff Beck Group, stepped into the Small Faces to fill the guitar/vocal talents of the Steve Marriott, who moved on to Humble Pie. The band dropped “Small” from the name since the two new members exceeded the short heights of band elders Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones, and Ian McLagen.

The Faces’ five-year run overlapped with Stewart’s rise to international superstar status.

Members: Rod Stewart (lead vocals, 1969-75), Ron Wood (guitar, vocals), Ronnie Lane (bass, vocals, 1969-73), Kenney Jones (drums), Ian McLagan (keyboards), Tetsu Yamauchi (bass, 1973-75), Glen Matlock (bass, 2010-present), Mick Hucknall (lead vocals, 2010-present)

The Faces resulted from a gap left by Steve Marriott, the guitarist and vocal belter of pop-rockers the Small Faces. After his departure to Humble Pie in January 1969, the remaining band — bassist/singer Ronnie Lane, drummer Kenney Jones, and keyboardist Ian McLagen — needed to fill his double-roll.

That May, the three Small Faces partook in Quiet Melon, a blues-rock-soul project headed by former Artwoods singer Art Wood and bassist Kim Gardner of Ashton Gardner & Dyke. Also present was Wood’s younger brother, guitarist Ron Wood, a former bandmate of Gardner’s in The Birds and The Creation; plus Ron’s current bandmate in the Jeff Beck Group, singer Rod Stewart.

Stewart emerged earlier that decade as a blue-eyed-soul singer on London’s nascent R&B/beat scene. In 1964, he cut a single under his own name and one with Long John Baldry and the Hoochie Coochie Men. The following year, he and Baldry formed the unrecorded blues-rock septet Steampacket with future members of Trinity. In 1966, he cut two singles with the similar Shotgun Express, featuring the nucleus of the soon-to-be Fleetwood Mac.

In February 1967, Stewart joined the Jeff Beck Group, which the guitarist formed after his dismissal from the Yardbirds. The group also featured guitarist Ron Wood, who played bass on the 1968/69 albums Truth and Beck-Ola.

Tension mounted between the Beck and Stewart/Wood camps just as the pair partook in Quiet Melon, which generated three songs: “Diamond Joe,” “Engine 4444,” and “Instrumental” (unreleased until 1995).

Weeks later, Stewart and Wood left Beck to jointly fill Marriott’s vacated role in the Small Faces. Before they commenced with band activities, Stewart recorded his first solo album during June–August 1969 at Lansdowne and Olympic Studios, London, with help from Wood, McLagen, Keith Emerson, and members of Steamhammer.

Since Stewart (5’10”) and Wood (5’9″) exceeded the maximum height (5’6″) of the preexisting band, they dropped “Small” from the name. As Faces, they sought to distinguish their newfound blues-rock-soul approach from the beat-mod-psych style and image of the prior band.


  • First Step (1970)
  • Long Player (1971)
  • A Nod Is as Good as a Wink… to a Blind Horse (1971)
  • Ooh La La (1973)


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