Title - 'In The Beginning: Deluxe Edition'
Artist - Small Faces
In truth, From The Beginning was released in 1967 as a spoiler by Decca, the Small Faces' old label, to coincide with the release of their new album on the Immediate label entitled Small Faces (confusingly, the only album they made for Decca was also self-titled).
The Small Faces did not especially appreciate the gesture, and made a point of specifically discouraging people from buying From The Beginning in the advertising for their new album!
Also, and before we delve into this 2-CD release, the Small Faces had one line-up change while they were with Decca. In October 1965, Jimmy Winston left and was replaced on keyboards by Ian McLagan. Although the Decca album Small Faces depicted Ian McLagan on the cover when it was released in May 1966, Jimmy Winston played on five or six of the tracks, recorded before his departure, and largely comprising their stage act of the time.
Now digitally remastered and expanded for this deluxe edition of the British quartet's early album, the crisp, raw cover of 'Runaway' (Del Shannon) is up first. That is backed by the sing-along 'My Mind's Eye,' a vibrant Beatles-esque 'Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow,' 'That Man' and the hard-edged 'My Way Of Giving' all following quickly, and close behind. The fast-paced 'Hey Girl' is up next, with '(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me,' the fantastic 'Take This Hurt Off Me,' the pulsating classic 'All Or Nothing' and 'Baby Don't You Do It' coming thereafter.
The slow-funk organ-fused instrumental 'Plum Nellie' is next, with the highly-addictive 'Sha La La La Lee' being followed by the dynamite 'You've Really Got A Hold On Me' and the vibrant 'What'Cha Gonna Do About It.'
The highly-funky instrumental 'Almost Grown' is next, with the drum-fused sing-along tale of 'Understanding,' the harder 'I Can't Dance With You,' and side one of this two disc set is brought to a close with both 'I Can't Make It (Session Version)' and the sweet 'Just Passing.'
The second disc kicks off with 'Runaway (Alternate Mix),' which doesn't seem to be that much different from the one that opens up the first disc, and is followed by both 'That Man (Alternate Mix)' and 'Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow (Alternate Mix).' The brilliantly-funky, harmonica-driven instrumental 'Picanniny' is next, with 'Hey Girl (Alternate Version),' and both 'Take This Hurt Off Me (Different Version)' and 'Baby Don't You Do It (Different Version)' coming next.
A cleaner sounding 'All Or Nothing (Alternate Mix - Electronically Processed Stereo)' is next and sounds fantastic, with an energy-packed 'Understanding (Alternate Mix - Electronically Processed Stereo)' following behind. The instrumental 'Talk To You' is followed by another instrumental in the form of 'All Our Yesterdays,' which in turn is backed by both the full-throttle vocal approach of '(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me (Alternate Take 2)' and a short intrumental cut entitled 'Show Me The Way.' Bass-fused instrumental 'I Can't Make It (Take 11 Backing Track)' is up next with the light-hearted affair of 'Things Are Going to Get Better' bringing the whole beast of a double album to a close.