I was more of a Faces fan growing up and I liked the Small Faces singles I could get my hands on; namely "Itchycoo Park." I got a re-issue of Ogdens' probably 1981 or so? It's very British and as usual, Kenney Jones plays great. What an underrated drummer. –Stan Demeski, The Feelies
I never appreciated Hammond organs until I heard that glorious moment in the chorus of "Afterglow" where the organ plays the perfect cadence and Mac slows down the Leslie speaker. Before that I thought those organs mostly sounded old and slightly depressing! I also was completely turned on by the sheer exuberance of the whole record! For all I know, they did a million takes of everything. But it doesn't sound like that, it sounds like a band at the height of its powers, where every take is just... killer. – Mitch Easter
"I would hesitate to say that any album of its era truly 'has it all,' but then there's this one. It's psychedelic and heavy and whimsical and funky, and very deeply British. Heroic vocals by Steve Marriott. Kenney Jones is on fire. (I love how the drums on this record are twice as loud as everything else!) And it's got flashes of the World's Greatest Pub Band vibes that would take them into the Rod-and-Woody era. I hear its immediate influence in Free, Badfinger, even Harry Nilsson, and those are three of my favorite things." —John Brodeur, Bird Streets
Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake is one of those treasures, like Odessey and Oracle by the Zombies, that were important albums in their day but are mostly known today for selected breakthrough oldies radio hits rather than as the masterful, complete works that they are. A must for music cognoscenti. A mix of high concept and just general tomfoolery (at least we know what they were smoking!), ONGF contains, among other ingredients, the powerful "Song of A Baker," which was a staple of The Posies live shows — I kind of feel the blueprint for the Screaming Trees is contained in this song and indeed I swear we might have seen them cover it as well. And "Afterglow"...well, this is epic to a degree that "led" the way for Mssrss Plant & Page*, and really all the heavy soulful rock of the '70s...
*see what I did there... - Ken Stringfellow
Ian McLagan would have celebrated his 73rd birthday just a few days ago, so all of us in Austin (where he lived for many years and until his passing) were already sharing stories and photos and how much he was loved. Revisiting this album here on its 50th Anniversary, I'm reminded of how Small Faces hit such a incredibly high mark creatively on this album, and of Mac's brilliance throughout. Especially so on "Long Agos and World's Apart." This will forever be one of the greatest albums in my collection. – Jeff Plankenhorn
Crazily psychedelic, irresistibly tuneful and sometimes completely hilarious. I've always loved the music hall aspects of the record in particular. That combo of soul, psych, music hall and rock has been a huge inspiration and influence on my own work, especially on my album Third. Marriott's vocals are so fantastic on this record, '60s British soul at its finest. I love the entire record, but side two is absolute magic. It's a cockney fairy tale, a psych-soul spiritual predecessor of Harry Nilsson's The Point. The story's told with great economy—many bands would have turned a concept album like this into a bloated mess, but the band wisely kept it compact, distilling the best parts onto one side of the record. There's so much charm in it, and you can feel the goofy fun they had in making it. Stanley Unwin's narration is so weird and so brilliant that you kind of expect him to turn up in your kitchen mumbling bedtime stories in his unique Unwinese dialect. There's nobody quite like him.
The amazing soul singer P.P. Arnold doesn't get enough credit for her influence on the Small Faces and on Marriott in particular. He and Ronnie Lane backed her on several of her songs, and she and Steve were romantically involved for a bit around the time they made the album. He originally wrote "Afterglow Of Your Love" for her, and then decided it was too good to share, so he kept it for Ogdens' and sang it himself with more than a little bit of her vocal style. She should be as well remembered as the Small Faces are, but I think the fear of being in an interracial relationship and having to keep it secret was too much, and she kind of got pushed to the side for years. It's a shame. - Cait Brennan
I first heard Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake when I was riding in Low Cut Connie's tour van as we were driving through southern Ohio late at night. I had been listening to another concept album that was also released in 1968, The Pretty Things' S.F. Sorrow. What stood out to me was the tangible roughness and swagger that seemed to be blossoming into new era of The Faces. As a songwriter and guitarist, albums like Ogdens' Nut serve me like a handbook to proper garage music. In Low Cut Connie, I've found us constantly borrowing ideas from how the guitars interact with a central keys instrument like McLagan's organ or the piano of Steve Marriott.