Faces were a British rock band formed in 1969 by members of the group ‘Small Faces’.
Comprising of Ian McLagan (keyboards), Ronnie Lane (electric bass, vocals), and Kenney Jones (drums and percussion), Ronnie Wood (guitar) and Rod Stewart (lead vocals). The latter were both from the Jeff Beck Group.
Rod Stewart simultaneously pursued a separate solo recording career and band members often contributed to Stewart’s solo albums as contract players. Faces live shows featured much of Stewart’s solo material.
The group lacked a single main songwriter so Stewart and Wood most often wrote together as a duo, as did Lane and Wood and Lane would usually contribute at least one solo composition per album. While Stewart was the primary lead singer, both Lane and Wood would also sing lead vocals on several tracks.
Their first two albums, First Step (1970) and Long Player (1971), lacked a hit single, but their third album, 1971’s A Nod Is As Good As a Wink… to a Blind Horse, bolstered by the success of Stewart’s solo work, became a worldwide hit, peaking at number 2 on the UK Albums Chart and number 6 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart and spawning the band’s first hit single, “Stay with Me”.
Ronnie Lane, who was a founder member of Small Faces, left the band in 1973, and was replaced by Tetsu Yamauchi on bass. The band continued to tour throughout 1974 and 1975, releasing a live album, Coast to Coast: Overture and Beginners, in 1974.
Ronnie Wood also began to drift from the group over this period, releasing two solo albums of his own eventually joined The Rolling Stones.
A greatest hits collection, Snakes and Ladders / The Best of Faces, appeared in 1976, and additional retrospective albums would appear over the subsequent decades.
Stewart would continue his successful solo career, while Ronnie Wood would formally join the Rolling Stones as a permanent member in 1975. Kenney Jones joined the Who as a replacement for the deceased Keith Moon in 1978. Ian McLagan would go on to work as a session and touring musician with a number of acts until his eventual retirement by the early 1990s.
The original Small Faces would have a reunion during the mid to late 1970s with Marriott, Jones, and McLagan joined by Rick Wills on bass guitar.
Faces and Small Faces were jointly inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.