Thursday, 4 December 2014

Vale Ian MacLagan

As time gets on more of those who have shaped our musical thinking and direction start to leave us.

It is with sadness that I report that Small Faces (and later Billy Bragg) keyboardist Ian MacLagan has passed on.

The Small Faces were a band who, along with the Who, closely steered the 1960s British "Mod" movement into legendary status. With a rough-hewn R&B sound they created a number of great singles and a few classic LPs that still hold up well now.

Ian joined the Small Faces at the behest of their manager Don Arden (father of Sharon Osbourne) right before they became famous in 1965 with their single "Whatcha Gonna Do About It".

The band lasted four years until Steve Marriot left and Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood joined, shortening their name to Faces. The faces released four unimpeachable studio records before calling it a day in 1975. Mac, as he was known to his friends and hardcore fans, then started on a sporadic solo career before doing session work, most notably in albums by Billy Bragg such as "Talking with the Taxman About Poetry".

Mac's playing was always subtle and he never overplayed anything. He was always complimentary to the song, having an uncanny knack of knowing exactly the right note or sound to play at the right spot. His playing on his most famous records can be overlooked but it was a joy to hear.

Vale Ian, you will be missed.

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