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Afterglow of your Love - the Small Faces

Two days off, daughter nicked the computer. As usual (should I stop saying this?) you should play this loud. In this case, to your wife / girlfriend / boyfriend and ask them to hang on in there. It's worth the wait.

It starts off like a bunch of tramp buskers in a doorway. These are normal guys. Then almost immediately it kicks into the sublime. Marriott plays and sings:

"Love is all around me everywhere

love has come to touch my soul with someone who really cares

no-one can deny us,

people who once passed me by

will turn their heads round..."

His love for this woman is so completely transcending that he is seen as someone where he wasn't before and, what's more, feels it physically throughout his body and mind. This is the high romanticism of Keats or Byron. Even higher, totally invading everything. Totally immersive.

The Small Faces were unusual in that they were working class Londoners whose rock music was truly original and inspirational. It's that old Oscar Wilde thing about being in the gutter but looking at the stars. This is their best track which is a special thing to say considering they produced so many good songs.

It's the extraordinary humbleness of lead singer Steve Marriott that makes this song so brilliant, which is all the more extraordinary when we (now) know what a conceited son of a bitch he was. But they were a real band - not just Marriott, and in this track they all contribute significantly, Ian McLagan's bone infusing hammond organ personifying the strength of his love, Kenney Jones' bullying drumming forcing home the point (listen to those drumrolls, it's no wonder that he replaced Keith Moon in the Who) And that's what this song is all about: the strength of his love, in real, raw terms. She cannot possibly doubt it.

"Love is like a voice in my head...."

And as the song progresses, the vocals surrender to the power of the music as though his love isn't something he can articulate, but is as as elemental as the music itself. Never has the all consuming effect of love been better expressed.

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