Thursday, April 22, 2010

Faces: Ooh La La

Every Thursday I feature a song that has a connection to American television. Some songs are themes to television shows and other songs are featured in commercials. The title cut to the Faces’ 1973 “Ooh La La” album has been used in at least two TV commercials and two promos in America; there are numerous other examples elsewhere in the world.

Co-written by Ron Wood and Ronnie Lane, “Ooh La La” features Wood on the lead vocals. The song was originally intended for Rod Stewart to sing; however; producer Glyn Johns felt Wood’s voice was better suited for the song. While the song was released by Warner Brothers as a promo copy for radio, it was not available commercially in a 45 rpm format.

Like yesterday’s song “Itchycoo Park,” “Ooh La La” is another example of a song with an obscured title. The hook line, which is not “ooh la la,” but “I wish that I knew what I know now . . . when I was younger,” is a perfect bed for commercials dealing with the coming of age and the ignorance that normally accompanies youth.

Mitsubishi Commercial

In 2001, the song was used in a Mitsubishi Galant commercial that features a young boy learning how to drive.

Nike’s “Kid Tiger” Ad

While I’m definitely not a Tiger Woods’ fan, Nike used the song to promote Tiger’s endorsement of their products in a unique look at him as a young boy on the golf course. I’m sure back in November, he was probably thinking “I wish that I knew what I know now” as he was in a self-imposed exile after his, uh, accident. Perhaps if Tiger would have followed "Old Grandad's" advice about women, he may have a larger fan base today.

Men of a Certain Age promo

Last year, “Ooh La La” was used for two TV promos: Major League Baseball and for TNT’s “Men of a Certain Age.” Like Tiger Woods, I don’t have much use for this show. While it had two of my favorite TV stars, Andre Braugher and Ray Romano, I anticipated its arrival. Unfortunately, I barely made it through the pilot. Being a man of that certain age, I thought it portrayed us as buffoons. Well, we might be buffoons at times, but we certainly don’t want to be reminded of it constantly as this show seems to do. Anyway, “Ooh La La” was used for many of the promos for the show.

Faces Related Covers

“Ooh La La” was the final studio LP by the Faces; and in little over a year following its release, the band broke up. Ronnie Lane, who felt the Faces had been relegated to being Rod Stewart’s back-up band and not their own unit, left in 1973. Lane was replaced by Tetsu Yamauchi who was the final bassist for Free. In 1975, Ron Wood began touring with the Rolling Stones which precipitated the Faces’ demise.

The song was performed by several ex-Faces members including its co-authors.

Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance

Recorded in April 1974, Ronnie Lane with the ever changing line-up of his band Slim Chance. Ronnie is playing a Zemaitis resonator guitar.

Tony Zemaitis took the resonator from Ronnie Lane's
Gretsch Sho-Bro model to make this custom guitar

Ron Wood

Thirty years after Wood sang the original, he performed it in the accompanying video. His voice is not a strong as it was in 1973 – he has become the “Old Grandad” as referenced in the song. This video was recorded for “Strat Pack” a concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster.

It is ironic that Wood is not playing a Fender instrument, but rather a guitar made by their American competitor Gibson. Similar to the “Gibson Ron Wood Signature J-200” model, the guitar is a J-180, which originally was sold under the “Everly Brothers” model name. The differences between Wood’s J-180 and an original “Everly Brothers” model are as follows: the body is red and not black, it has the abalone flame inlays as found on his signature model and not mother of pearl stars, and it has white and not tortoiseshell pick guards.

Gibson Everly Brothers Model (now J-180)

Rod Stewart & the Corrs

In 1998, Rod recorded the song for his “When We Were the New Boys” album. As a single, the song charted at #16 in the UK and #39 in the US. From May 1998, Rod performs on stage with the Corrs who contributed as session musicians on the album.


Poor old Granddad
I laughed at all his words
I thought he was a bitter man
He spoke of women's ways

"They'll trap you, then they use you
Before you even know
For love is blind and you're far too kind
Don't ever let it show"

I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was younger.
I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was stronger.

The Can Can's such a pretty show
They'll steal your heart away
But backstage, back on earth again
The dressing rooms are grey

They come on strong and it ain't too long
Before they make you feel a man
But love is blind and you soon will find
You're just a boy again

When you want her lips, you get a cheek
Makes you wonder where you are
If you want some more and she's fast asleep
Then she's twinkling with the stars.

"Poor young grandson, there's nothing I can say
You'll have to learn, just like me
And that's the hardest way

Ooh la la, Ooh la, la, la
Ooh la la, Ooh la, la, la”

I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was younger.
I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was stronger.

No comments:

Post a Comment