Not to take anything away from the vocal pipes of Rod Stewart or the other rooster-do'd newcomer to the previous Small Faces, but the real star of this band was the late Ronnie Lane.
His rollicking "Last Orders Please" and the heartbreaking "Debris" were classic Faces (and songs that would stay in Lane's solo repertoire until MS finally claimed him in 1997).
Ron Wood's no-frills guitar playing helped propel rockers like "Miss Judy's Farm," "Too Bad," "That's All You Need" and the band's only Top 40 hit "Stay with Me" (#17). The band also does a nice turn on Chuck Berry's "Memphis."
This album, along with Long Player--both released in 1971, show why this was one of the few bands that really mattered in the wake of the dissolution of the Beatles. This is plain and simple rock 'n' roll, and nobody could rock like the Faces. If you weren't around to hear it when this album was first released, you owe to yourself to get it now to find out what you missed. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
on March 20, 2005
This album has been around for a long time. What makes this one different?
It's the sound quality. Steve Hoffman of DCC fame has continued his legacy of audiophile quality remastering.
It's like you've never really heard this lp before. It's that well done. The sound quality will blow you away.
on August 14, 2006
...what are you reading this for? You know what to expect when you buy a disc produced by Rod Stewart's Faces: at least four or five hard-rocking party numbers ('Miss Judy's Farm', 'Stay With Me', 'Memphis', 'Too Bad', and 'That's All You Need') featuring Rod's raspy vocals, and heavy, pulsing guitar and bass lines courtesy of Ron Wood and Ronnie Lane; two or three irresistible love ballads ('Love Lives Here', 'Debris'); and to top it all off, some honky-tonk or boogie numbers ('You're So Rude', 'Last Orders Please'). 'A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse...', released in November of 1971, charged up to number six on the US album charts, and stands as the most commercially successful of the bands' four albums.
While there isn't always great depth to the lyrics offered up by the three R's... Rod, Ron, and Ronnie, no one can deny that they often cut straight to the chase. On 'Miss Judy's Farm', Rod paints vivid scenario's such as "I was just eighteen and all I needed was to get my way". Ironically, on 'That's All You Need', Stewart sings, "...my kind of music... you knew it wasn't gonna be simple..." when "simple" is exactly the form of music this band revels in. That particular song drifts along on a masterful lead guitar riff that makes it one of the most under-appreciated epic rock tracks. The second side of 'A nod...' (on the original vinyl version) opened with one of the bands' most successful single releases, 'Stay With Me', which climbed to number eight on the national charts in January of 1972. Despite being mercilessly overplayed on both the AM and FM frequencies, 'Stay With Me' has proven powerful enough to overcome overexposure. Stewart's barroom delivery takes lines like "I hear you're a mean old Jezebel" and transforms them into terms of endearment. A honky tonk piano track and grinding rhythm guitar propel the number into a fantastic instrumental coda embracing several faux finishes. 'Too Bad' chimes in with a tale involving a twelve foot tall butler, a colored queen, and sweaty girls over an up-tempo, party-rock beat. Their cover of Chuck Berry's 'Memphis' plods along in the beginning, but confidently gains intensity as Rod tells the familiar tale about a phone call from southside Memphis Marie, all of six years old.
Among the better ballads are 'Love Lives Here', offering a melodic combination of guitars, piano, and organ, and Ronnie Lane's 'Debris', supported by more solid guitar and piano interaction. While less entertaining than the surrounding fare, 'You're So Rude' blends a rocking rhythm guitar riff with a tight electric lead guitar, and tops it off with a harmonica in the coda. Perhpas the weakest track among the nine performed is the side one closer, 'Last Orders Please', a break-up tale dropping some worn cliche's such as "you've got yours and I've got mine".
I was a senior in high school the year that 'A nod...' hit the shelves, and the disc proved to be one of the first to hit the platter at each and every party that brought closure to that most important of all years. Whenever I see that cover (which always made me think of this as a live disc, which it isn't), surrounded by that distinct dark brown border, waves of memories and emotions from my youth surround me. For that reason, my own perception of the quality of this disc may be biased, but with each subsequent listen I feel vindicated that it isn't just my associations to it that make 'A nod...' a rock and roll classic. As many good times as this album must have witnessed in the early 1970's, it remains vital enough to produce many more to come.
on March 29, 2005
That Ron Wood slide guitar on the last track, That's All You Need, so big and beefy, you can hear every nuance. Just great guitar, another wonderful example of classic Ron Wood guitar licks on some of the best classic rock 'n roll of all time.
The whole ablum is filled with great vocals, and great instrumental tone. Really a treat.
The great mastering, cutting, production- it lets you get swept away by the great music! Audio Fidelity 24K Plus is a success, if you love this album you must hear this version!
on March 24, 2005
The Faces were underappreciated in their time, so much that their records were allowed to fall in and out of print. This album is arguably their best. It includes their biggest hit, "Stay With Me," but tracks like "You're So Rude" and "Memphis" are every bit as good.
This was a great, rollicking band, with a reputation built on raucous, sloppy, and fun rock n' roll; the Faces often backed Rod Stewart on his own solo albums, particularly Rod's first four classic albums, but on their own records, they cut loose even more. On A NOD IS AS A GOOD AS A WINK...TO A BLIND HORSE, their playing is actually a bit tighter compared to other Faces albums, but it's still got the right amount of slop, and they play GREAT.
Ronnie Lane does a fine job singing lead on some of the tracks, but Rod is even better. In the early days, his singing was described as the male-equivalent of Janis Joplin, and this album is further proof of what he could accomplish before turning to mainstream, adult contemporary pop.
This gold CD is better than WEA's budget CD issue, and at $19.98 retail, it's not a bad deal (most gold CD's run about $30). The CD is HDCD encoded, so if you have an HDCD decoder in your CD player, it'll sound ever better, but even if you don't, this disc will sound GREAT. It sounds even better than Rhino's remastered box set, FIVE GUYS WALK INTO A BAR..., and like I said, this is a great album.
on March 8, 2005
If you like this album, you'll love this 24 karat audiophile gold disc. My original LP pales in comparison to this disc! You can crank up your stereo and enjoy the perfectly balanced EQ on this release. Kenny Jones' drums pack a punch, Ron Woods' bluesy guitar riffs come across in fine detail, and the low end of Ronnie Lane's bass playing stands out (I'd never noticed what great playing he did on this album). Of course, Ian McLagen's electric piano and organ fills in the spaces nicely. And it goes without saying that Rod Stewart is one of the best rock vocalists EVER (What happened, Rod??). The Faces never sounded so good. Even if you own the "Five Guys Walk Into A Bar" box set, you should buy the Audio Fidelity gold disc. You will NOT regret it... trust me.
on March 27, 2005
"A Nod Is As Good As A Wink...To A Blind Horse" is the Faces' third album in just two years, and it is their most consistent record alongside 1973's "Ooh La La".
Filled with crunchy electric guitars, blooze-n-boogie piano, and deep, bluesy grooves, it boasts the group's only significant hit, the superb, fiery rocker "Stay With Me". But there are numerous other highlights, including the strutting "Miss Judy's Farm", a rollicking cover of Chuck Berry's "Memphis", and the piano-driven hard rock of "Too Bad"...everything is worth a listen, actually.
"A Nod Is As Good As A Wink..." rocks like very few other records of the early seventies, and this fine record proves what a great, underrated rock n' roll outfit the Faces were.
on August 20, 2006
Here's another great Steve Hoffman mastering job. This is a CD that leaves its vinyl versions in the dust. The bass will give your subwoofer a workout and literally shake your teeth. The drums are crisp and the snares rattle. Rod Stewart sounds amazingly rough and Ronnie Woods guitars cut like a knife. This is definitely a must buy.
on May 7, 2001
This is one of those albums that I played so many times when I was in highschool, that I not only wore out the vinyl, the album cover was constantly getting scotch taped together, and somehow that darn album sleeve was always missing. But I loved every snap, crackle, and pop of this classic album. What's not to like when you get a generous helping of country rock, R&B, blues, and some good ole rock and roll. These guys had the whole package. The stinging slide guitar playing of Ron Wood (check out "That's All You Need"). The surging B3 organ and rock boogie piano playing of Ian Mclagan. The drumming of Kenny Jones, who later when on to replace Keith Moon of the Who. The singing of Rod Stewart, with his throaty Sam Cooke type voice, and that hairdew that looked like a cross between a shetland pony and a rooster. And the most special player of all Ronnie Lane. This guy could write some very special songs and offer his unique voice that seems to fit his music like a glove. He gave us the best song on this album "Debris". Is there a better country rock song out there? I think not! It doesn't get any better than this, and I can't think of anybody more suitable to sing this than Lane. For all you country rock bands out there, don't try to remake this tune. It won't work! Ronnie Lane broke the mold on this one. Other standout tracks here are "Stay With Me", which was their lone hit off this. "You're So Rude", which features Ian Mclagan's always great B3 organ playing. "Last Orders Please", another classic Ronnie Lane tune. And Chuck Berry's "Memphis Tennessee", or as Stewart sings it "Tennerrsee". It was great to finally get the CD version of this record. It was the first time in 20 years I've heard "Debris" and "You're So Rude" without the needle skips. This record easily makes it in my top 10 list of best 70's albums. 5 snaps up!
on June 4, 2001
A Nod Is As Good As A Wink is a GREAT album!! "Miss Judy's Farm", "Stay With Me", and "Too Bad" rock HARD! Ron Wood's Guitar intro to "That's All You Need" is AMAZING! The intro to the song "Too Bad", is a great Rock moment! Legendary Band, Classic Album! You Should Hear It! Not one weak song here. I would easily recommend this album to fans of Rod Stewart's masterpiece "Every Picture Tells A Story". I hope this album is REMASTERED in the near future. It deserves it.