In light of the recent announcement of the 2012 nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I've been exploring the various 15 nominees, searching for '80s connections. It goes way beyond the obvious, as it turns out, as just a brief consideration of solid classic rock nominees Small Faces/Faces led me to Ian McLagan, keyboard player for both of those bands and later an intriguing but uncelebrated solo artist in his own right. This is a fine artist who released a couple of well-received records in 1979 and 1981, respectively titled Troublemaker and Bump in the Night. McLagan affectionately if somewhat unofficially called his seasoned backing group the Bump Band, and that connection to the later record leads me to this week's feature, a rollicking little number, "Told a Tale on You," that is credited to McLagan and the band's other three members as songwriters.
Having worked as a member of the justly Rock Hall-nominated Small Faces/Faces alongside rock luminaries such as Humble Pie frontman Steve Marriott, eventual long-term Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood and later solo superstar Rod Stewart, McLagan prepared himself well to lead his own band. This track is pure rock and roll fun, perhaps a touch out of step with the new wave, electronically influenced early '80s. On the other hand, it has a strong roots rock feel to it that should have attracted more attention at the time, when throwback rock music did have some interested admirers. McLagan's clearly British, rough-edged lead vocals project an excitement matched by the backing efforts of his bandmates, particularly guitarist Johnny Lee Schell. A song like this certainly filled a void left by the '60s and '70s rock bands that had either slowed down or faded away by 1981. But then and still for now, at least, "rock and roll will never die" feels like a confidently true statement precisely because of talents like McLagan and his cohorts.
- Sample or download "Told a Tale on You" here.
- Compare prices on Small Faces CDs here.
- Compare prices on Faces CDs here.
- Top Rod Stewart Songs of the '80s
Album Cover Image Courtesy of Maniac Records