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Album: Tin SoldierReleased: 1967Charted:
After the cod psychedelia of "Itchycoo Park
," Small Faces were worried it might typecast them so they reverted to the bluesy feel that had bought most of their chart success. Released on the Immediate label, with "I Feel Much Better" on the flip side, it was the group's first top ten entry in Germany but it only made #73 in the USA, a disappointment following Itychoo's breakthrough on the American charts.
Marriott wrote the song to woo model Jenny Rylance. They first met in 1966 and the singer was immediately smitten, but Rylance was dating Rod Stewart so the pair became friends. When Rylance and Stewart split up Marriott pursued her relentlessly, leading him to pen "Tin Soldier." Rylance and the singer were married at Kensington Register Office, London, on 29 May 1968.
P.P. Arnold sang backing vocals on the song. "Steve and I were lovers around that time," said Arnold to Mojo, "but I think he wrote 'Tin Soldier' about Jenny Rylance. She was the love of Steve's life."
Marriott intended to give the song to P.P. Arnold, but once it was finished, he liked it so much that he decided to keep it for Small Faces and gave Arnold "If You Think You're Groovy" instead. (thanks, Fintan - Cheltenham, England)
Marriott's post-Small Faces band Humble Pie released a cover of this song on their 1980 album Go For The Throat. This new version reached #58 in the US single charts.