Thursday, July 14, 2011

Small Faces Covers On Immediate: Chris Farlowe

CHRIS FARLOWE-My Way Of Giving/You're So Good For Me U.K. Immediate IM 041 1967
Chris Farlowe had been slogging away for a good many years before scoring his first and only massive U.K. hit, a version of The Rolling Stone's "Out Of Time" in June of 1966.  Unfortunately the hits failed to materialize for him again but that did not deter his workman-like dedication to keeping the records coming.

Upon signing up with Andrew Loog Oldham and Tony Calder's Immediate label in late 1965 he benefitted like many others on the rooster, from the in house song writing talents of Oldham's charges Mick Jagger and Keith Richards as well as labelmates The Small Faces and Twice as Much (a duo comprised of David Skinner and Andrew Rose).  Though Farlowe's 2nd Immediate LP ("The Art Of Chris Farlowe" Immediate IMLP 006, 1966) was full of some horrendous soul covers his singles usually managed to have a certain spark thanks to both the producers and the composers. "My Way Of Giving" benefitted from two of these camps, it was written by Small Face's Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane and produced by Mick Jagger (who produced 2 of his previous singles and his 2nd Immediate LP).

This was Farlowe's fifth single for Immediate and was released in January 1967. "My Way Of Giving" would not air by The Small Faces until June 1967 on their unititled Immediate debut LP.  Farlowe's version is somewhat bombastic in both it's delivery (his vocals seem at times to be a tad over the top in the efforts to sound soulful) and the orchestration (by Arthur Greenslade who provided the over the top arrangement on his hit version of "Out Of Time").  That's not to say it's bad, I enjoy over the top production jobs (which leads me to wonder how much did Mick actually do?). If you listen carefully you can hear P.P. Arnold on backing vocals as well as Marriott and Lane.  Whether Immediate just took a Small Face's version and put Farlowe's vocals overlapped with Greenslade's arrangements  is anyone's guess, but it certainly does sound that way at times! "You're So Good To Me" was written by Twice As Much and had previously seen a release as Immediate IM 039 in November 1966 as the flipside to their stunning "True Story", a double sided amazing slice of orchestrated pop if ever there was one!  Once again it seems like old Chris is giving it a bit too much, but it somehow works thanks to the immaculate backing and orchestration.

Farlowe and bored friend on "Ready Steady Go" 1966
"My Way Of Giving" has seen a release on a variety of oft licensed Immediate era Farlowe recordings, the least dubious of which is "Handbags & Gladrags (The Immediate Collection)" or "Out Of Time", but I've yet to see "You're So Good To Me" on any of these, however it on the "Pop Goez Immediate: The Immediate Singles Story Episode Two" CD collection.

Hear "My Way Of Giving":

Hear "You're So Good To Me": (ignore the weird film that it's tacked onto)


diskojoe said...

I think that "My Way of Giving" is probably the only song that was done by the Small Faces & The Faces. There's also a version by Johnny Halliday. I like them all.

Swiss Adam said...

Nice bit of blogging synchronicity