A Nod Is As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse

A Nod's As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse is the third album by British rock group Faces, and their second album of 1971. Bolstered somewhat by lead singer Rod Stewart's recent solo success with "Maggie May", it was their most successful album worldwide, peaking at No. 6 in the US,[2] and reaching No. 2 in the UK. It also contains their biggest US hit, the swaggering "Stay with Me" (No. 6 in the UK, No. 17 in the US), and the album itself would be certified gold by the RIAA in 1972.[3]

A Nod's As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse
Faces-A Nod Is as Good as a Wink...To a Blind Horse (album cover).jpg
Studio album by
Released17 November 1971[1]
RecordedMarch–September 1971 at Olympic Studios, London
GenreRock & roll, boogie rock, blues-rock, hard rock, country rock
Length36:28
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerFaces and Glyn Johns
Faces chronology
Long Player
(1971)
A Nod's As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse
(1971)
Ooh La La
(1973)

The album is generally regarded by critics and fans[citation needed] as the Faces' definitive statement; the most consistent, balanced album of the group's career in terms of songwriting and of mood, thanks in no small part to the decision to share production duties with Glyn Johns (Johns' association with the group stretched back as far as their original iteration as the Small Faces). As a result of Johns' involvement the album is a more focused and concise offering than the two previous Faces LPs, clocking in at 36.28, where both of its predecessors exceeded the 45 minute mark.

The album features two tasteful original ballads and a cover of Chuck Berry's "Memphis Tennessee" alongside the usual Faces' trademark raucous bluesy rockers and rollicking bar-room swing-alongs. Bassist Ronnie Lane, usually confined to backing vocals and the occasional sole lead vocal on previous Faces records, sings lead on three of his own compositions here (one co-written with keyboardist Ian McLagan). Of these, 'Debris', an elliptical but profoundly emotional examination of father-son relationships (in London slang, a 'debris' is a market stall selling odds and ends and second-hand goods) was chosen as b-side to their hit "Stay With Me".

The original issue of the album came with a large poster consisting of a picture collage, including images of pills and pharmaceutical capsules, as well as polaroid photos apparently taken on tour of band and crew members reveling with naked groupies in hotel rooms. Within weeks of release, the record company had second thoughts about the poster and re-issued the album without it, turning original copies with the poster into collectors' items overnight.[4]

On 28 August 2015, the album was reissued in a remastered and expanded form, with the bonus tracks being two songs from a previously unreleased BBC session. The new vinyl reissue even replicated the poster included with the first-pressing vinyl release.

ReceptionEdit

The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[5]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic     [6]
Rolling Stonemixed [8]
The Village VoiceA−[7]

Track listingEdit

All tracks written by Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood unless noted.

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Miss Judy's Farm" Rod Stewart3:42
2."You're So Rude"Ronnie Lane3:46
3."Love Lives Here"
  • Lane
  • Stewart
  • Wood
Stewart3:09
4."Last Orders Please"LaneLane2:38
5."Stay with Me" Stewart (with Lane and Wood backing)4:42
Total length:17:57
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Debris"LaneLane (with Stewart on harmony vocal)4:39
2."Memphis"Chuck BerryStewart5:31
3."Too Bad" Stewart (with Lane, McLagan and Wood backing)3:16
4."That's All You Need" Stewart5:05
Total length:18:31

2015 Reissue bonus tracks

  1. "Miss Judy's Farm" [BBC Session] (Stewart, Wood)
  2. "Stay With Me" [BBC Session] (Stewart, Wood)

PersonnelEdit

Track numbering refers to CD and digital releases of the album.

ReissuesEdit

Year Label Cat. number Edition
2005 Audio Fidelity AFZ 026 24 Karat Gold HDCD

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Random Notes". Rolling Stone. Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. (96): 4. 25 November 1971.
  2. ^ Faces > A Nod's as Good as a Wink . . . to a Blind Horse > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums at AllMusic. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  3. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Faces-A-Nod-Is-As-Good-As-A-Wink To-A-Blind-Horse/release/4847644
  4. ^ "Random Notes". Rolling Stone (99). Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. 6 January 1972. p. 4.
  5. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.
  6. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. A Nod Is As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse at AllMusic. Retrieved 28 November 2005.
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert (30 December 1971). "Consumer Guide (22): Faces: A Nod's As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse". The Village Voice. Retrieved 7 April 2012 – via robertchristgau.com.
  8. ^ Landau, Jon (6 January 1972). "Faces A Nod's As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse > Album Review". Rolling Stone (99). Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2012.