Friday, November 5, 2010

Nonsense: Ooh La La

Faces: Ooh La La


Poor old Granddad, I laughed at all his words...

Confession time: the first time I heard this song, I thought it was a Rod Stewart cover. And I suppose that's true, in an odd sort of way, though not in the way I meant it. Because 25 years before Rod Stewart turned this song into a cheesy pop hit, his band Faces recorded it as the title track to their last album.

Or perhaps I should say that it was technically his band. Because ironically, Rod's not on the track at all. Indeed, though the Wikipedia page for the song claims that both Stewart and songwriter Ronnie Lane laid down vocals for the track, there's a distinct possibility that Rod was missing during the original recording session, as he was for the vast majority of the sessions for this last-gasp record from a band that was, for all intents and purposes, already splintered to the core, primarily due to the way Stewart had alienated his bandmates, thanks to a bit of smugness from a rising-star solo career.

Instead, we get a one-shot combo that turned stress and disaster into gold: co-writer Ronnie Wood in his first-ever turn on vocals, sweet seventies folk-rock bass and drums, barrelhouse piano flourishes, and Ronnie Lane jammin' on an acoustic guitar. And though I claim age for my original error - after all, I was born in '73 - and though the song has been covered by plenty of others in its long life, in this case, at least, it turns out there's nothing like the a number of commercial-producing advertising agencies, and the producers of Rushmore, who used it as a credit roll, know well.

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