Face the Face

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For the comic book, see Batman: Face the Face.
"Face the Face"
Single by Pete Townshend
from the album White City: A Novel
Released 1985
Recorded 1985 at Eel Pie Studio, Twickenham; Eel Pie Studio, Soho, London; A.I.R. Studios, London
Genre Rock
Length 5:51
Label Atco
Writer(s) Pete Townshend
Producer(s) Chris Thomas
Pete Townshend singles chronology
"Uniforms (Corps d'Esprit)"
"Face the Face"
"Give Blood"

"'Face the Face'" is a song by Pete Townshend. The song is the third track on Townshend's fourth solo album a concept album titled White City: A Novel and was released as a single.

In the US the single had a different take which had bad sound compared to the UK release and on the promo for the single "Face the Face" it said:
"Dear Programmer: Enclosed is a reservice of the Pete Townshend single "Face the Face". While Pete was visiting us here in the States, He remarked to us that the British single sounded a bit hotter. we checked ...He was right. Same edit. Same mix. Hotter sound. Maybe you wouldn't notice. Maybe you would. Time to re-cart the record. Happy Holidays, Atco Records"[1]

Geoffrey Giuliano in his book, Behind Blues Eyes: The Life of Pete Townshend (2002), described "[T]he highlight of the video is the poolside staging of the electric 'Face the Face', in which director Richard Lowenstein effectively captures the excitement of a big-band performance and Townshend's joyous jitterbugging ... in a gold lamé, forties-style tuxedo Lowenstein reveals more story line in these five minutes than the entire video".[2] It was released with Townshend's concept album, White City: A Novel, and included him discussing the music.[3]

When Pete Townshend was asked about the song he said in length:
"'Face The Face' was done on a new keyboard, which was a form of DX7, and I was very keen to get something very, very fast and upbeat knocked out, and I knocked out a few sections that I couldn't play all together. I could play bits of it, but try and do it all together and it confounded me, so I did a bunch of building blocks and said to Rabbit, "I want forty of them"-this is a Mozart technique-"five of those, six of these, seven of those," and he wrote it all out and played it to a drum loop that we got from a box, and that became the beginning of the track. This was very much a new age type of recording, and that's why it sounds pretty modern, I think. Simon Phillips overdubbed the drums, we later overdubbed the brass, we overdubbed backing vocals, we overdubbed everything. It was all overdubbed onto Rabbit's synthesizer playing."[4]

The single reached number 26 in the US (sharing the same chart position as the album itself) and number 3 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Charts, But did not share the same success in the UK reaching number 89.

The UK and US single edit features Pete Townshend's daughter Emma Townshend singing some parts on the song.


  1. ^ http://www.thewho.info/images/FTF-USA-Pro-Insert-Pete_Townshend.jpg
  2. ^ Giuliano, Geoffrey (2002). Behind Blues Eyes: The Life of Pete Townshend. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-81541-070-6. 
  3. ^ Mousoulis, Bill. "Richard Lowenstein". Melbourne Independent Filmmakers. Innersense. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.thewho.net/petetownshend/bestofln.htm

External links[edit]