#969: ‘Itchycoo Park’ – Small Faces

Despite the immense popularity that Small Faces had back in their day, only a small handful of their songs really made it into my consciousness.

While ‘Tin Soldier‘ was almost completely unknown to me (despite my hearing of its classic status), I mainly heard the song ‘Lazy Sunday‘ more than anything. That track is also quite brilliant, and I’m somewhat pained to not be able to place it on this list, especially due to my love of the track and the fact I’ve always treated it as somewhat of a precursor to Blur’s ‘Parklife‘.

The Small Faces track that I did manage to fall in love with though, was ‘Itchycoo Park’. The track follows along the experiences of the Small Faces’ members Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane and the park they used to visit while skipping school. Contrary to what some believe, the park isn’t called ‘Itchycoo Park’, but was instead most likely Little Ilford Park in London, given a nickname that relates to the number of stinging nettles in the park.

It’s a psychedelic little pop number that manages to incorporate nostalgia, drug references, and childlike freedom into a three minute journey of ’60s musical expressionism. While I believe this to be the better of Small Faces’ tracks, I do strongly recommend giving ‘Lazy Sunday’ a listen, if only for its Cockney accent-laden absurdity.

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