Thursday, October 21, 2010

RONNIE LANE A&M 1974 Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance

A&M White Label Promo U.S. 1975

He was a Face, both small and large. His talents are often overlooked, not to mention his influence on fashion and coolness in swinging London in the 1960s. He later split the band when it was starting to become Rod’s band and lived on a farm and in Townshend’s driveway in order to finance his own touring unit. Some time around this time he released his second album called “Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance” which is a very musical collection of folk songs and rockers alike sung by that familiar voice and ‘plonked’ by that musical magician, Ronnie Lane.

This is the rare U.S. version of the LP with “The Poacher” as the opening track (in the UK it was the string heavy “Little Piece Of Nothing”) which would’ve been great slowed down and sung by Rod with the Faces. “Stone” WAS done by the Faces and sung by Ronnie Lane on their debut album, but it’s done here with a uptempo arrangement and in a higher key.

The UK Island Records version also swapped “Brother Can You Spare A Dime” (which was a 1975 single in the UK) with “Single Saddle” (nowhere to be found on the U.S. version) at the end of the album.

Though the album spotlights Ronnie’s strengths, the eclectic batch of tunes demand attention to truly realize how deep Ronnie goes. There’s not a whole lot of rock & roll here (although he turns in a few well done but lowdown covers with Fats Domino’s “Blue Monday” and Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell”) but “Anniversary” is beautiful, classic Ronnie Lane and “Give Me A Penny” is another highlight.

Ronnie Lane was a giant in music.

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