Ron Wood and Ronnie Lane
Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1977)
- Ronnie Lane (RIP 1997) -- vocals, bass, guitar, banjo, percussion
- Ronnie Wood -- vocals, guitar, bass, harmonica
- Benny Gallagher -- bass
- Ric Grech -- bass, violin, drums
- Glyn Jones -- vocals
- Kenny Jones -- drums
- Bobby Keys -- sax
- Ian McLagan -- piano, harmonium, keyboards
- Billy Nicholls -- vocals
- Jim Price -- trumpet
- Bruce Rowlands -- drums
- Ian Stewart -- piano, keyboards
- Pete Townshend -- guitar, percussion
- Micky Waller -- percussion
- The Jeff Back Group (Ronnie Wood)
- The Faces (Ronnie Lane and Ronnie Wood)
- Ronnie Lane (solo efforts)
- The Rolling Stones (Ronnie Wood)
- The Small Face (Ronnie Lane)
- Ronnie Wood (solo efforts)
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: Mahoney's Last Stand
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Catalog ID: 6334
In the 1971/72 timeframe Faces bass player Ronnie Lane was apparently approached to write a soundtrack for a film. Originally entitled Mahoney's Estate and starring Alexis Kanner and Sam Waterston, the film seemingly disappeared in a heartbeat (no, I haven't seen it and judging by the movie poster I'm not sure I want to see it). Written and performed by Lane and fellow Face Ronnie Wood, the resulting soundtrack got tangled up in various legal disputes and didn't actually get released until 1976. In spite of an all-star cast and strong reviews from the critics, hardly anyone actually heard the Glyn Jones produced "Mahoney's Last Stand" when it finally saw the light of day. I can actually recall seeing stacks and stacks of the heavily discounted album at my local record store (showing my age here).
As mentioned, Lane and Wood were still in The Faces when they agreed to record material for this soundtrack album. The Faces association was pretty clear via the all-star cast including Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan and by the collection's easy-going, slightly sloppy feel. If you've every heard any of Lane's Faces-era solo sides, or Wood's solo material, you'll be familiar with the collection's blend of country, English folk, and rock moves. Not meant as a criticism, but listening to the instrumental heavy collection you got the distinct impression that neither Lane, nor Wood felt the need to come to the table with their A-team song catalog. That wasn't meant to imply the collection was a complete throw-away. Tracks like 'From the Late to the Early' and the instrumental 'Just a Moment' had an easy-going charm that should hold consider appeal to Faces aficionados. Moreover, you probably didn't buy this album to hear Lane and Wood's ragged vocals ...
Last Stand" track listing:
1.) Tonight's Number (instrumental) (Ronnie Lane - Ronnie Wood) - 3:10 rating: *** stars
The leadoff instrumental 'Tonight's Number showcased Wood's laconic lead guitar and some big horns. To my ears the song actually sounded kind of like an incomplete Faces demo (which it may well have been). Nothing special.
2.) From the Late to the Early (Ronnie Lane - Ronnie Wood) - 3:36 rating: **** stars
A raw and rustic, country-tinged number 'From the Late to the Early' was one of the few vocal performances, with Lane and Wood pulling a page from Dylan's catalog and mumbling their way through the lyrics. The song highlights actually came from the nifty acoustic guitar accompaniment.
3.) Chicken Wire (instrumental) (Ronnie Lane - Ronnie Wood) - 2:00 rating: *** stars
A country-blues number with some fantastic acoustic slide guitar from Woods while Lane clunking away on banjo, 'Chicken Wire' was another track that sounded very much like a rollicking Faces throwaway tune.
Chicken Wired (Ronnie Lane -
Ronnie Wood) - 3:45
rating: *** stars
5.) I'll Fly Away (traditional - arranged by Ronnie Lane - Ronnie Wood) - 0:31 rating: *** stars
The lone non-original, 'I'll Fly Away' was a beautiful slice of a cappella work by the pair. Hard to imagine it was Lane and Wood. rating: *** stars
6.) Title One (instrumental) (Ronnie Lane - Ronnie Wood) - 3:42 rating: *** stars
Complete with an elaborate horn arrangement, the instrumental 'Title One' was side one's most commercial (e.g. rock) oriented performances. The song almost had a funky edge to it, but it was also one of the tracks that felt the most like a piece of incidental film music.
7.) Just for a Moment (instrumental) (Ronnie Lane - Ronnie Wood) - 2:55 rating: **** stars
Sporting the album's prettiest melody, 'Just for a Moment' was a wonderful acoustic ballad - just the two Ronnies along with drummer Bruce Rowlands. As good as the instrumental was, Lane's vocal version which closed the LP was even better.
An acoustic blues number, ''Mona' the Blues' wasn't particularly inspiring, but it had two interesting facets: 1.) Wood turned in a staggering blues-guitar solo, and 2.) Handling lead vocals, Wood actually sounded pretty good on this one.
2.) Car Radio (instrumental) (Ronnie Lane - Ronnie Wood) - 4:59 rating: *** stars
Probably the most polished track on the album, in spite of Bobby Keys' extended sax solo, the instrumental rocker 'Car Radio' actually had some radio potential.
3.) Hay Tumble (instrumental) (Ronnie Lane - Ronnie Wood) - 2:55 rating: * star
Complete with fiddle (blame Rick Grech), 'Hay Tumble' sounded like a throwaway demo tune. Totally forgettable.
4.) Woody's Thing (Ronnie Lane - Ronnie Wood) - 1:45 rating: ** stars
As you may have gathered from the title, the instrumental 'Woody's Thing' was a Wood solo effort - well he was accompanied by drummer Rowlands and sometimes Stones keyboardist Ian Stewart.
5.) Rooster Funeral (Ronnie Lane - Ronnie Wood) - 3:55 rating: ** stars
'Rooster Funeral' offered up more country-tinged work with another challenging Wood vocal ... enough already.
6.) Just for a Moment (Ronnie Lane - Ronnie Wood) - 2:55 rating: ***** stars
The closer 'Just for a Moment' was my pick for the album's standout performance. Yeah, technically Lane didn't have what you'd call a great voice, but on this one he just sounded so vulnerable and this was the one track where the pair's harmonies really hit a homerun. You simply had to listen to the song again and again. Wood also used the song to turn in his prettiest lead guitar.
Certainly not something I'd want to hear all the time, but it is an album I've held on to since the mid-1970s that I still occasionally slap on the turntable.
The collection's been reissued a couple of times; for some strange reason with different cover art and with a couple of bonus tracks:
- 1976's Thunderbolt label (catalog number CDTB 067P)
- 1998 on the New Millennium Collection label (catalog number pilot 29)
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