The Godly Stephen
When the dictionary added the word “powerhouse” there wasn’t a suitable example to go off of so it was stated that such a person is: “one having great drive, energy, or ability.” Otherwise, the “powerhouse” definition would have had a photo of Steve Marriott- and that’s all. The British rock icon, could sing so hauntingly his voice would resonate in your gut. Here are 10 performances that are heart-dealt, heart-felt, and gut resonating.
10. The Small Faces with P.P. Arnold- “Tin Soldier”
Steve Marriott was definitely the most underrated part of the British Invasion (on the US side). After the height of “Itchycoo Park,” Small Faces and P.P. Arnold released “Tin Soldier.” Marriott was high energy- proving that mod-rock could also be hard-hitting. The track was released in in 1967 off of I Feel Much Better and reached #9 in the UK. Here “Tin Soldier” is performed in France, on the Bouton Rouge Program.
9. The Small Faces- “Itchycoo Park”
It’s truly hard to put together that Steve Marriott was only 20 when he performed “Itchycoo Park” with Small Faces (which he founded), and was already responsible for some of rock’s most prolific music. Released in 1968 off of Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake, the band performed a live version at Germany’s Beat-Club. Steve screamed some of the most in your face lyrics at the time:
“What did you do there? / I GOT HIIIGHHH/ What did you feel there? / WELLL, I CRIIIIED”
8. The Small Faces- “Rollin’ Over”
Also off of Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake (1968), the band headed over to France to perform an amplified show on Surprise Partie, during New Years Eve. This performance was starkly different from the mod-rock shows that The Small Faces had been performing. This was more real, grittier, and more energized. “Rollin’ Over” debuted the start of Steve Marriott out-growing the mod-rock introduction.
7. Humble Pie- “Rolling Stone”
Oh. My. God. You have to hear that vocal reach in your gut. Steve Marriott was reaching deep with Humble Pie, his vocals took a bluesy turn- and it hurt so good to hear him sing like that. Being a rolling stone in the 1960s and 1970s was sorta– a common occurrence. But Steve Marriott flipped the whole vibe over and made it hurt. His harmonica playing in the track mimics his voice perfectly- they almost have the same range. Just watch him sing it in 1971.
6. Humble Pie- “I Don’t Need No Doctor”
Humble Pie hopped the pond in 1973 to the LA Forum in California. This was a Nick Ashford cover (1966) but damn the British rock band crushed it! Just look at Steve handle that guitar during this show. That instrument IS his doctor- he’s healing some part of himself on stage. The performance was sweaty, bluesy, hard-rock, and raw.
5. Humble Pie- “Honky Tonk Women”
This man just kicks so much ass. This is a cover from their contemporaries, The Rolling Stones. In fact, Steve Marriott was an icon to icons. Reportedly, Marriott was due to replace Mick Taylor in 1975, but Mic Jagger felt upstaged by Marriott and blocked the move. And it’s true watch him perform “Honky Tonk Women.” Steve Marriott would have owned that band too.
4. Humble Pie- “The Sad Bag of Shaky Jake”
Off of the legendary Town and Country (1969), “The Sad Bag of Shaky Jake” included most of the band singing. It’s hard though, not to stand out when you’re Steve Marriott… remember he is the definition of a powerhouse. Peter Frampton is amazing but Steve Marriott can carry a whole band on his vocals alone.
3. Humble Pie- “30 Days In The Hole”
Live in 1974 at the Rainbow Theatre in London, Humble Pie performs “30 Days In The Hole,” introduced with a fantabulous harmonica solo from Steve Marriott. “Everbody feeling aAAaalllrriIIiiIght?” he melodically harmonizes to the crowd. Of course, look at the audience sing unaccompanied every lyric to the track. Geez, Marriott’s energy could power the sun!
2. Humble Pie- “Black Coffee”
This is the jaaam! There’s nothing like a band circling around each other, harmonizing, jamming, and sounding bad as hell- in the best way imaginable. There is so much soul here. Every bit of soul in that room is emulated in Steve Mariott’s vocals in “Black Coffee.” Even his face and reactions are their own show. He performs with Humble Pie and backing soul singer on The Old Grey Whistle Test.
Humble Pie- “For Your Love”
Steve Marriott is one of those people who covers a song and then makes it so “his own” that the song passes down ownership to it’s new master. Yeah, dramatic but true. Humble Pie performed a completely stripped down version of “For Your Love” and it haunts the crud out of you. It’s a desperate sounding hopeless song of heartbreak. Watch the band perform it on the Beat Club in 1970.
Since you made it this far… look below for a bonus performance involving a ukelele!