"The Face Of 69" starts off the album as an autobiographical story told in song. It details the adventures of Tokyo local scene maker and resident foreign celebrity Alan Merrill's side trip to London in 1969. An effort to be a pop star in the UK when still only 18 years old. Inspired by teen idol - guitarist Peter Frampton being dubbed by Rave Magazine as the Face Of '68, Merrill thought he'd try to be the face of '69. He did a few recordings with London icon Michael Aldred (host of 1960s UK TV pop show "Ready Steady Go!") producing some tracks. But things didn't move quickly enough, so after a month or so residing in London’s Kensington, Merrill returned to his career in Japan where he continued recording and performing on both his own projects and other artist's recordings.
The second song on the album "Hard Road" is similarly autobiographical, detailing the pitfalls and prizes along the uncertain trail that is the music business. There are 20 songs on the album, which include tunes Alan Merrill has performed and recorded along the way, both solo and with bands he has toured with. For example The Arrows, Derringer, Meat Loaf and Vodka Collins. There are some new songs and also previously unreleased unique mixes of songs on “The Face Of ‘69.” Also included on the album are several numbers which have only appeared on Merrill’s solo extended play singles.
A variety of well known musicians lend their talents to this recording, including a duet with vocal goddess Antonique Smith, plus superb cameo apeearances by Steve Winwood, Mick Taylor, Rick Derringer, Tommy Mandel, Terry Taylor, Peter Phipps, Dave Glover and Sandy Genarro. The tracks go back as far as 1977 with a previously unreleased mix of "Always Another Train" (which Alan Merrill co-produced with Jimmy Miller) right up to present day recent 2009 cuts like “Long Shot” "The Face Of '69" and "Hard Road."
Alan Merrill is an artist who has had a long and interesting career. This album contains a wide variety of tracks, and is the first of several collections of his recorded works that will be released in the near future. The songs on "The Face Of '69" were recorded in New York, Tokyo, London and Paris.