All Or Nothing

Album: Rock Roots (1966)
Charted: 1

Songfacts®:

  • Not to be confused with a later song of the same title, "All Or Nothing" was recorded by the Small Faces in 1966. In his 2004 autobiography Mr Big, their manager at the time, Don Arden, said this was "top-drawer...[and] still gets played on the radio today". Arden produced the record. Co-written by guitarist Steve Marriott and bass player Ronnie Lane, it was backed by "Understanding" and was written either about Marriott's break up with his with ex-fiancée Sue Oliver, or for his first wife who once dated Rod Stewart. It is possible that both these explanations may be true.

    For Marriott it was very much all or nothing; he married three times and appears to have sired at least two children out of wedlock. He died in a fire in April 1991, apparently after lighting a cigarette in bed and falling asleep. Prior to his death, he had taken cocaine as well as Valium and alcohol. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England
  • Here are two quotes about the song from 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh.

    Drummer Kenney Jones: "It was us getting to where we wanted to be musically. It wasn't as poppy as our previous hits, but still commercial enough and better than anything we'd done before."

    Steve Marriott in 1984 said: "I think 'All Or Nothing' takes a lot of beating. To me, if there's a song that typifies that era, then that might be it."
  • Kenney Jones recalled to Uncut magazine: "We were on tour and staying in the Station Hotel, Leeds, when Steve suddenly run down the corridor screaming, 'I've got it! I've just written our next hit!"'
  • Jones based his opening drum fill on the intro of Wilson Pickett's "In The Midnight Hour."

Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1966 {August 26th} the Small Faces performed "All or Nothing" the British ITV network television program, 'Ready Steady Go!'...
    At the time the song was at position #9 on the United Kingdom's Official Top 50 Singles chart, three weeks later it would peak at #1 {for 1 week} and it spent twelve weeks on the Top 50 chart...
    Between 1965 and 1976 the London-based quartet had fourteen records on the Top 50 Singles chart, seven made the Top 10 with one* reaching #1, the above "All or Nothing"...
    * They just missed having a second #1 record when their "Lazy Sunday" peaked at #2 {for 1 week} in 1968, the week it was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "What A Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong, and their fourteenth and final Top 50 record was a re-release of "Lazy Sunday" in 1976, for it's second time around it reached #39...
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