The Faces’ third album, A Nod Is as Good as a Wink…to a Blind Horse, finally gave the group their long-awaited hit single in “Stay with Me,” helping send the album into the Billboard Top Ten, which is certainly a testament to both the song and the album, but it’s hard to separate its success from that of Rod Stewart’s sudden solo stardom. In the mere months that separated Long Player and A Nod, Rod had a phenomenal hit with “Maggie May” and Every Picture Tells a Story, his third solo album, something that would soon irreparably damage the band, but at the time it was mere good fortune, helping bring them some collateral success that they deserved. Certainly, it didn’t change the character of the album itself, which is the tightest record the band ever made. Granted that may be a relative term, since sloppiness is at the heart of the band, but this doesn’t feel cobbled together (which the otherwise excellent Long Player did) and it serves up tremendous song after tremendous song, starting with the mean, propulsive “Miss Judy’s Farm” and ending with the rampaging good times of “That’s All You Need.” In between, Ronnie Lane serves up dirty jokes; the exquisitely funny “You’re So Rude” and heartbreaking ballads; the absolutely beautiful “Debris,” the band reworks a classic as their own; Chuck Berry’s “Memphis”, and generally serves up a nonstop party. There are few records that feel like a never-ending party like A Nod — the slow moments are for slow dancing, and as soon as it’s over, it’s hard not to want to do it all over again. It’s another classic — and when you consider that the band also had Long Player to their credit and had their hands all over Every Picture in 1971, it’s hard to imagine another band or singer having a year more extraordinary as this.