Mick Taylor's homage to Stevie...

God bless you Steve, still miss you - this is for you ...


Way back in 1966 the Small Faces had begun work on their second Decca album to follow up the "Small Faces" album. New material had been written which included the first version of " [Tell Me] Have You Ever Seen Me which had a previous working title of "Mystery". But before the band had chance to release a second Decca album the band shelved it and up and left for the Immediate label. SO, with more studio time to themselves the Small Faces once again began work on new material including material first started at Decca. This included different take on a new polished version of " [Tell Me] Have You Ever Seen Me" as their first single for Immediate but then had to change their mind's because of Decca's disapproval and legal problems and released "Here Come The Nice/Talk To You" instead. Not to be outdone by Decca, Marriott stuck two fingers up to the Decca label and in a smart and crafty move gave " [Tell Me] Have You Ever Seen Me" away to Jerry Shirley's old band 'Apostolic Intervention' for their first single release [also on Immediate Records].

If you think 'Apostolic Intervention' sounds like a weird band name well other weird band names that covered "Tell Me Have You ever Seen Me" include - Gumball, Stillroven, and Incase.
Steve Marriott & Ronnie Lane went in to the studios with Apostolic members Peter 'Dino' Dines [vocals, keyboards], Angus Shirley [guitar], his younger brother Jerry Shirley [drums] and Bob Argent [bass]. Unfortunately, because Bob was surrounded by his heroes he lost his nerve and was unable to perform so Steve Marriott leapt at the chance to play bass on the session and besides also adding backing vocals Steve also produced the record for the band. Although Ronnie Lane was at the sessions early on and may have been the right person to play bass on the track he didn't stay long with Steve because he didn't like the idea of Steve giving the song away as a single for another band when he felt the song could have been a hit for the Small Faces instead. The track was released 7th April 1967 but failed to chart. On the same day [2nd June 1967] the Small Faces released "Here Come The Nice" on Immediate, Decca Records also released the album "From The Beginning" [LK4879] with the first version of " [Tell Me] Have You Ever Seen Me" on it. The battles was on! The small Faces were finally triumphant when 'From The Beginning' reached number 17 and 'Here Come The Nice' number 12. Even the first new Immediate album IMLP/IMSP 008] released 24th June 67, was more successful than Decca and reached number 12 also.

Although Decca had got there album "From The Beginning" out first on 2nd June with their version of 'Tell Me' on, Immediate pulled out all the stops and threw a lot of promotion in to the band's first album "Small Faces which included a give-away promo only 7" single album sampler [AS-1] featuring DJ Tommy Vance announcing "There are but four Small Faces, BUT only one Immediate LP" and also featured excerpts from the Immediate album tracks "Talk To You", "Get Yourself Together", "Green Circles", "All Of Our Yesterdays" and "Up The Wooden Hills". It's interesting to note as well that the excerpts sounds like a different mix plus is timed at 2.53 mins - worth a listen! .... As a bonus to this story - if you send me your email address I'll send you the promo sampler :0) - other than that you can get the sampler which was later reissued on vinyl [NEMLP 7415] with the re-release of the 1st Immediate album [also vinyl] by Sequel Records [Castle Music] [NEMLP 415] in 1999, plus you can hear the sampler on the cd reissue on the 35th Anniversary edition. The new Immediate album was a great mix of Psychedelia, soul, rock, acoustic and even folk. I remember buying the first album from the shops when I was a kid and "Tell Me" was one of my favourite tracks on the album right from the beginning of Kenney's beating drum being faded in followed by Marriott's lung bursting vocals off "I'veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeve - a feeling that I know you" and certainly had me throwing my arms up in the air and shouting "Hey Hey, Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey" excellent! All in all as far as I am aware and what i have heard there is now 5 versions of the song, although like I have said before in other write-ups there are versions that have been re-mixed and remastered but these are the blatant different versions best to collect in my opinion ...

1/ The Decca version known as the '1st version' is a rawer vocal version with slightly different lyrics and found on the 1967 vinyl LP "from The Beggining". This version is timed at 2.17 mins.
2/ Version 2 [Immediate] in "mono" : Released on original 'mono' vinyl LP 1967: By the time the Small Faces came to release this version on Immediate, Steve Marriott's vocals had matured immensely and his vocals had more range than Texas letting Steve sing this track in a much higher note than the 1st version. Timed at 2.15 mins
3/ Version 2 [Immediate] in "stereo": Released on original 'stereo' vinyl LP 1967: Timed at 2.14 mins and my favourite version for crystal clear quality and stereo separation.
To hear the original album's stereo and mono versions of version 2 I recommend you buy the 35th Anniversary Edition of the 1st Immediate album released in 2002 which was also remastered.
4/ Alternate take [also known as version 3]: This version was first released in 'mono' on the 1984 U.S.A 2 LP set "Small Faces-Big Music" and the 'stereo' alternate take was first heard in 1991 on the UK sequel label CD "Small Faces - Green Circles" plus the Sony Music U.S.A CD "There Are But Four Small Faces". Timed at 2.04 mins and shorter than the other versions, this version has Ronnie more up in the mix and at times singing along with Steve side by side especially on the mix on the 4-cd box set "The Immediate Years" [Charley Records]

5/ Studio outtake/Acetate: Timed at 2.05 mins this version can be found on the J60 cd "All Or Nothing". It's a slower version with less backing and is more like a guide vocal mix.
Below I have transcribed the Immediate lyrics from the "Stereo" version plus detailed the variations in lyrics from the other Immediate versions thereafter. [bonus Decca lyrics below].

Once again I must mention the accent in the song. Like us Northerners Steve uses the word "A" instead of "I" in the line "I seen flowers a-breaking through the concrete" [pronounced like "Ah"]. Steve sings "A seen flowers a-breaking through the concrete". Also after each line the band are using a cross between "hey" and "yeah" so I've compromised and put "Heah".

A few people have asked me in the past as well is it right Steve sings "Acid flowers breaking through the concrete", but no it's not.
After listening to all the versions of the Small Faces [and various cover versions] you can quite clearly hear Steve sing "I seen" on version 3.

Stay cool............Mick

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