Have You Seen Her Face

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"Have You Seen Her Face"
1967 U.S. picture sleeve.
Single by The Byrds
from the album Younger Than Yesterday
B-side "Don't Make Waves"
Released May 22, 1967
Format 7" single
Recorded November 28 – November 30, December 1, 1966, Columbia Studios, Hollywood, California
Genre Folk rock,[1] power pop[2]
Length 2:25
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Chris Hillman
Producer(s) Gary Usher
The Byrds singles chronology
"My Back Pages"
(1967)
"Have You Seen Her Face"
(1967)
"Lady Friend"
(1967)

"Have You Seen Her Face" is a song by the American rock band The Byrds, written by the group's bass player Chris Hillman and included on their 1967 album, Younger Than Yesterday.[3] The song was released as the third single to be taken from that album on May 22, 1967 and reached #74 on the Billboard Hot 100.[4][5] Although "Have You Seen Her Face" was issued as a single in most international markets, it was not released in the United Kingdom.[4]

The song was written following a recording session for trumpet player Hugh Masekela that Hillman had attended during 1966, a year that saw the bassist blossoming as a songwriter.[6] On The Byrds' previous album, Fifth Dimension, Hillman's only songwriting contribution had been a shared writing credit for the instrumental "Captain Soul".[7] On Younger Than Yesterday, however, he is credited as the sole songwriter of four tracks, as well as the co-writer of "So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" with Jim McGuinn.[6]

"Have You Seen Her Face" has a strident structure and melody, reflecting the British Invasion groups of the mid-1960s and complemented by Hillman's melodic, Paul McCartney-esque bass playing.[8][9] The song features a prominent counterpuntal harmony between Hillman and rhythm guitarist David Crosby, along with an overdriven guitar solo played by Roger McGuinn on Crosby's Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar.[9]

Despite its relatively poor showing on the U.S. charts, critical reaction to the song was positive, with Record World describing it as a "Pretty contemporary love song" and Billboard magazine commenting "the quartet has a strong commercial entry in this easy-beat folk-rocker with a compelling lyric."[1] In recent years, Thomas Ward of the Allmusic website has described the song as "magnificent" and "one of The Byrds' great songs."[10] Ward also noted that "the song distils the groups' many influences, from Indian music (in McGuinn's wondrous guitar solo) to folk to rock and roll."[10] Ward concluded his review by stating that "Have You Seen Her Face" was "one of the most outstanding songs of the period, by anyone."[10]

The Byrds performed "Have You Seen Her Face" on the television programs The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and American Bandstand, as well as featuring it in their performance at the Monterey Pop Festival.[11][12] The Byrds' performance of the song at Monterey is included on the 1992 The Monterey International Pop Festival CD box set.[13]

A remixed and extended version of the song, lasting 2:40 and featuring a longer fade-out than the original album and single version, was released on The Byrds box set in 1990.[14] This extended version was later incorporated into the 1996 Columbia/Legacy reissue of the Younger Than Yesterday album, replacing the original 2:25 version as the second track on the album.

"Have You Seen Her Face" was covered by Southern Culture on the Skids on their 2007 album, Countrypolitan Favorites and Marshall Crenshaw also included a version of the song on his Live...My Truck Is My Home album.[15] Additionally, a version of the song by the underground indie rock band Sex Clark Five was included as a bonus track on the 1996 reissue of their Strum and Drum! album.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hjort, Christopher. (2008). So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star: The Byrds Day-By-Day (1965-1973). Jawbone Press. p. 131. ISBN 1-906002-15-0. 
  2. ^ Menck, Ric. (2007). The Byrds' The Notorious Byrd Brothers. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 1441106758. 
  3. ^ "Younger Than Yesterday review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  4. ^ a b Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited (2nd ed.). Rogan House. pp. 541–546. ISBN 0-9529540-1-X. 
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel. (2008). Top Pop Singles 1955-2006. Record Research Inc. p. 130. ISBN 0-89820-172-1. 
  6. ^ a b Rogan, Johnny. (1996). Younger Than Yesterday (1996 CD liner notes). 
  7. ^ Rogan, Johnny. (1996). Fifth Dimension (1996 CD liner notes). 
  8. ^ Fricke, David. (1996). Younger Than Yesterday (1996 CD liner notes). 
  9. ^ a b Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited (2nd ed.). Rogan House. p. 196. ISBN 0-9529540-1-X. 
  10. ^ a b c "Have You Seen Her Face review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  11. ^ Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited (2nd ed.). Rogan House. p. 616. ISBN 0-9529540-1-X. 
  12. ^ Hjort, Christopher. (2008). So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star: The Byrds Day-By-Day (1965-1973). Jawbone Press. p. 135. ISBN 1-906002-15-0. 
  13. ^ "The Monterey International Pop Festival box set review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  14. ^ "The Byrds box set". ByrdWatcher: A Field Guide to the Byrds of Los Angeles. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  15. ^ "Have You Seen Her Face - List of recordings". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-12-30. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Sex Clark Five album reviews". Trouser Press. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 

External links[edit]