Steve Marriot & Ronnie Lane – Together Again – The Lost Magic Midgets Recordings (1996)

FrontCover1Stephen Peter Marriott (30 January 1947 – 20 April 1991) was an English musician, songwriter and frontman guitarist of rock bands Small Faces (1965–1968 and 1975–1978) and Humble Pie (1969–1975 and 1979–1983), spanning over two decades. Marriott was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Small Faces.

In Britain, Marriott became a popular, often-photographed mod style icon. Marriott was influenced from an early age by his heroes including Buddy Holly, Booker T & the MG’s, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Muddy Waters and Bobby Bland. In later life Marriott became disillusioned with the music industry and turned his back on the big record companies, remaining in relative obscurity. He returned to his music roots playing the pubs and clubs around London and Essex.

Marriott died on 20 April 1991 when a fire, which was thought to have been caused by a cigarette, swept through his 16th century home in Arkesden, Essex. He posthumously received an Ivor Novello Award in 1996 for his Outstanding Contribution to British Music, and was listed in Mojo as one of the top 100 greatest singers of all time.

Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne named Marriott the fourth greatest singer ever[6] and Clem Burke of Blondie ranked him the sixteenth. Paul Stanley of Kiss called Marriott “unbelievable” and a hero of his, while Steve Perry of Journey named him one of his favourite singers.

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Ronald Frederick Lane (1 April 1946 – 4 June 1997) was an English musician, songwriter, and producer who is best known as the bass guitarist and founding member of two prominent English rock and roll bands: Small Faces (1965–69) and subsequently Faces (1969–73). With Small Faces he was nicknamed “Plonk”. After their breakup and re-formation as Faces, he acquired the nickname “Three-Piece”.

In 1973, Lane quit Faces. Subsequently, he collaborated with other musicians, leading his own bands and pursuing a solo career, while remaining close to his former bandmates. In 1977, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He was supported by charity projects and financial contributions from friends, former bandmates and fans. After living with the disease for 21 years, he died in June 1997, aged 51.

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For his work in both Small Faces and Faces, Lane was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. (wikipedia)

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Finally surfacing nearly 20 years after the fact, the great lost “Majik Mijits” album project is a duo recording made in the early ’80s by the creative forces from Small Faces, Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane. (The Majik Mijits moniker is yet another reference to their diminutive size.) Marriott at the time was fresh out of reunions with Small Faces (a gathering that had initially included Lane) and Humble Pie; Lane, most recently a solo artist, was just starting to suffer the physical limitations associated with multiple sclerosis. They organized a band featuring bassist Jim Leverton, guitarist Mick Green, drummer Dave Hynes, and keyboardist Mick Weaver, and used Lane’s mobile recording studio to cut an LP democratically sequenced with six songs each by Lane and Marriott (no collaborations), alternating one after the other.

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The result, not surprisingly, has moments when it sounds like Small Faces. In particular, Marriott’s “How Does It Feel” could have been a Small Faces single of the 1980s. Typically, Lane’s songs are sturdy, well-constructed efforts, while Marriott’s are more varied, sometimes (“Toe Rag”) even being comic throwaways. And why was the album not released in, say, 1982? Apparently, record companies either passed on it or required that the band tour to support it, which Lane was incapable of doing. So, instead, the tapes ended up in the possession of Small Faces drummer Kenney Jones before emerging in the new millennium. Now, they constitute a worthy footnote in the Small Faces story. (by William Ruhlmann)

Not only a nice, but a necessary adition to every serious Steve Marriott or Ronnie Lane collection.

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Personnel:
Mel Collins (horns)
Mick Green (guitar)
Dave Hynes (drums)
Ronnie Lane (guitar, vocals)
Jim Leverton (bass, background vocals)
Steve Marriott (guitar, vocals)
Mick “Wynder K Frog” Weaver (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Chicken If The Cap Fits (Lane) 3.28
02. Lonely No More (Marriott) 2.12
03. Bombers Moon (Lane) 2.35
04 Toe Rag (Marriott) 1.21
05 That’s The Way It Goes (Lane) 2.46
06 All Or Nothing (live) /Mariott/Lane) 5.28
07. Last Tango In Nato (Lane) 3.12
08. Ruby Jack (Lane) 3.09
09 Shut Your Mouth () 2.40
10 Please Be The One () 2.19
11 Birthday Girl (Marriott) 2.41
12 Son Of Stan (Lane) 2.18
13. You Spent It (Marriott/Leverton) 4.00

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More Steve Marriott:
MoreMarriott

Steve Marriott
(30 January 1947 – 20 April 1991)

Ronnie Lane
(1 April 1946 – 4 June 1997)

1 thought on “Steve Marriot & Ronnie Lane – Together Again – The Lost Magic Midgets Recordings (1996)

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