Near complete round-up of Ronnie’s post Faces career. Four complete albums and more: Anymore For Anymore (with 10 bonus tracks), Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance (with 9 bonus tracks), One For The Road (with 10 bonus tracks), See Me (with 8 bonus tracks) plus Rockpalast 1980 with 10 bonus tracks from various sources. Final disc contains recordings from his later years in Texas. With hardback book, lyrics and poster. There is also a single CD or double vinyl distillation.
Finally, more than 20 years after his death comes the first solo career anthology of the former Small Faces / The Faces bass player, singer and songwriter. After bursting onto the scene with the Small Faces in 1965, for the next three years Lane, in collaboration with lead singer and guitarist Steve Marriott co-wrote a clutch of classic 1960s hits and recorded three albums along the way including the ground-breaking ‘Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake’ in 1968.
Following Marriott’s departure the remaining Small Faces brought Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood into the band from the Jeff Beck Group. Re-named The Faces, they were one of the top rock bands of the early 1970s recording four albums and scoring more hits. By 1973, Lane had grown tired of the group and Stewart’s solo career taking precedence over band activities. It was time to go solo and lead his own band: Slim Chance. This new box set / best of picks up his story from here and about time too as his post Faces legacy has been haphazardly handled over the years, not helped by the recordings having numerous owners.
The bulk of the set is taken up with Ronnie’s four albums dating from 1974-1979 which all come with copious bonus tracks. Especially pleasing is the re-emergence of his debut solo album ‘Anymore For Anymore’ which has been out of print for many years. It came out on a small label at the time and has not been ‘in the racks’ for over ten years - it’s last reissue was in 2001! The next two Slim Chance albums came out on Island (now owned by Universal) and this period was anthologised in 2014 on the 2CD set ‘Ooh La La: An Island Harvest.
Following an attempt to reform the Small Faces in 1976 Lane instead teamed up with Pete Townshend for a duo album in 1977. By now Lane had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and playing would start to become difficult for him. For now, he continued and released another solo album in 1979: ‘See Me’. A live recording for the German ‘Rockpalast’ show in 1980 is featured in the box. Some recordings with his old mate Steve Marriott followed in 1981 before Lane bowed out with a benefit show at the Royal Albert Hall in 1983 to raise money for Action for Research into Multiple Sclerosis (ARMS).
Lane moved to the United States in the mid-80s and settled in Texas where it was hoped the warmer weather would make life a little easier for him. he returned to recording and even performing and tracks from this final period are featured on the sixth and final disc.
As Pete Townshend surmises, “Here, in these songs, collected with such love and care, he is found again. Probably at the height of his rebellious and chaotic powers, where music had to be immediate and uplifting, or else heart-breaking – but always real.”