While the Small Faces get the deluxe treatment as one of the classic 60s outfits, late singer Steve Marriott’s follow-up band have sometimes been overshadowed. Pie drummer Jerry Shirley’s engaging autobiography, Best Seat In The House, has reclaimed some of the spotlight. A loving tribute to his best mate, it’s also a behind-the-scenes account of the group’s rapid rise to stadium fame in the US, before band-buckling struggles took over as cocaine wreaked escalating havoc on the volatile singer.
Humble Pie dissolved in 1975, when the Mariott undertook an ill-fated Small Faces reunion. The Pie reformed in 1979 with Jeff Beck Group guitarist Bobby Tench and bassist Zantony Jones joining Shirley and Marriott, announcing their return with a dynamic live broadcast from Reseda Country Club (here as a bonus disc).
The group cut two albums before splitting again: 1980’s On To Victory and the following year’s Go For The Throat. Displaying Marriott’s desire for a greater soul element, female backing singers spice up their patent power-boogie on potent outings such as Fool For A Pretty Face and Infatuation – even a roaring new version of The Small Faces’ Tin Soldier. A rare, poignant highlight is Marriott’s heart-wrenching treatment of Otis Redding’s My Lover’s Prayer, letting fly one of the best soul voices this country has ever heard.