The Faces – Stay With Me – the Anthology (Rhino / Warner) review
The first-ever collection to truly capture the essence of the Faces
Compiling the Faces has always seemed like trying to give the town wino a managerial position – kind of a waste of time. One disc was too little and didn’t give enough of the band’s personality (judging by Good Boys…When They’re Asleep). The 4-disc You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything (which we reviewed here) is good for some, but is certainly too much as an introduction. Enter Stay With Me – The Anthology, a two-disc set that finally sums up this mercurial band’s career.
Leading with their greatest achievement, the careening rocker, “Stay With Me,” it sets the bar pretty high. Yet, things stay rockin’ with “Miss Judy’s Farm,” the melodic “Cindy Incidentally,” and the tongue-in-cheek “You’re So Rude.” By the time track nine comes around, we’re ready for a break – and we get it in the acoustic Ronnie Laine number “Richmond,” and the ballad “Love Lives Here.” Things cool off a little near the end, with the goofy “On the Beach” and the instrumental “Real Wheel Skid,” before ending with their ragged cover of Robert Johnson’s “Love in Vain.”
Disc two opens with the band’s other “hit,” the acoustic, conversation-between-the-ages “Ooh La La.” The Faces outdid McCartney’s original on “Maybe I’m Amazed,” here, in it’s mono single version. Other highlights include the balls-out rocker, “Pool Hall Richard,” the very poppy “You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything,” which even has strings, the incredible slide-guitar workout of “Around the Plynth,” the rousing “Three Button Hand Me Down,” and the gorgeous “Glad and Unhappy.”
For those wanting the backstory, Rolling Stone writer David Fricke pens an essay, complete with new interviews with former band members. But, the real focus here is the Faces’ incredible music. By picking only the good stuff and discarding the rest, Stay With Me – The Anthology is one helluva good time. —Tony Peters