|Studio album by The Who|
|Released||16 March 1981|
|Recorded||July – December 1980|
|Studio||Odyssey Recording Studios, London|
|Label||Polydor, Warner Bros.|
|The Who chronology|
|Singles from Face Dances|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Face Dances is the ninth studio album by the English rock band The Who. It was released in 1981 on Warner Bros. Records in the United States (it was the band's first release on that label) and on Polydor Records in the United Kingdom. It was one of two Who studio albums with drummer Kenney Jones, who joined the band after Keith Moon's death three years earlier.
The album peaked at #4 on the US Billboard album charts and #2 on the UK album charts.
The album cover features paintings of the members by many British painters, who were commissioned by Peter Blake, designer of the cover of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Artists include Tom Phillips, Richard Hamilton, Allen Jones, David Hockney, Clive Barker, R. B. Kitaj, Howard Hodgkin, Patrick Caulfield, and Blake himself.
In 1992, Sincer Records re-released the album on CD. It only held the songs from the original LP.
In 1997, the album was re-mixed, remastered and re-released by MCA Records with three outtakes as well as two live tracks. The live track "How Can You Do It Alone" is an edited version of the live performance.
"You Better You Bet" was the first single from the album; its music video was one of the first music videos aired on MTV in 1981, and was the first to be repeated on the channel.
Every song on this album, with the exception of "Daily Records", has been performed live by either The Who or one of its members' outside bands.
On the band's 1981 tour supporting the album, five songs were performed live: "You Better You Bet", "Don't Let Go The Coat", "The Quiet One", "Did You Steal My Money", and "Another Tricky Day". However, only "You Better You Bet", "The Quiet One" and "Another Tricky Day" were played after the tour.
"You Better You Bet" is one of the band's more famous live songs, being played in almost every tour following 1981, namely 1989, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, and 2015. Live performances of this song did not differ much from the studio arrangement, save for the guitar solo, which was usually played differently.
"Don't Let Go The Coat" was played in every concert of the 1981 tour, but did not last past it.
"Did You Steal My Money" was only played four times on the 1981 tour, three of those times as an encore, and usually leading into another song.
"How Can You Do It Alone" was first performed live much earlier than the release date of the album. In fact, all of its live performances came before its release. In 1979, Townshend introduced this song with a different, faster arrangement with different lyrics during the encores of the US/Canada leg of the tour. It was played once more in 1980. A version more similar to the studio version (though still quite different) was played at a concert at the Cornwall Coliseum in St Austell on 30 January 1981. By that time, the lyrics had been more or less set in stone. However, it was never played again after that concert.
"Another Tricky Day" was also performed live first before 1981. Townshend introduced some lyrics of the song during a jam of "Dance It Away" in Los Angeles on the 1980 tour. 1981 performances of this song featured a lengthy jam at its conclusion, and these versions could reach as long as eight minutes. In 2002, this song was brought back for the North American tour as a tribute to Entwistle, who died right before the start of the tour. The song was played a few more times in 2004 as well.
"Cache Cache" and "You" were never performed live by The Who, but Daltrey performed the former once on his 2009 Use It or Lose It tour, while the John Entwistle Band sometimes played the latter during their concerts.
All tracks written by Pete Townshend except where noted.
|Side one - Original LP Release and Sincer Records 1992 CD re-release|
|1.||"You Better You Bet"||5:36|
|2.||"Don't Let Go the Coat"||3:44|
|4.||"The Quiet One"||John Entwistle||3:10|
|5.||"Did You Steal My Money"||4:11|
|1.||"How Can You Do It Alone"||5:26|
|4.||"Another Tricky Day"||4:55|
1997 reissue bonus tracks
|1.||"I Like Nightmares"||3:09|
|2.||"It's In You"||4:59|
|3.||"Somebody Saved Me" (Also found on Pete Townshend's 1982 solo album All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes)||5:31|
|4.||"How Can You Do It Alone" (Live, 8 December 1979 at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago)||5:24|
|5.||"The Quiet One" (Live, 13 October 1982 at Shea Stadium in New York City)||4:28|
- Roger Daltrey – lead vocals
- Pete Townshend – guitars, keyboards, backing vocals, lead vocals on "I Like Nightmares", "Somebody Saved Me" and live edit of "How Can You Do It Alone"
- John Entwistle – bass guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on "The Quiet One"
- Kenney Jones – drums
- Allen Blazek – engineering
- Chris Charlesworth – executive producer
- Bill Curbishley – executive producer
- Greg Fulginiti – mastering
- Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, NYC – mastering
- Bob Ludwig – remastering
- Jimmy Patterson – assistant engineering
- Teri Reed – assistant engineering
- Robert Rosenberg – executive producer
- Bill Szymczyk – production, engineering
- Jon Walls – Demos at AIR Studios, engineer
Artwork and design
- Michael Andrews – paintings
- Brian Aris – photography
- Clive Barker – paintings, photography, paintbox bronze on rear cover
- Peter Blake – album cover design, concept, paintings
- Patrick Caulfield – paintings
- Gavin Cochrane – photography
- Richard Evans – graphic design
- Richard Hamilton – paintings
- David Hockney – paintings
- Howard Hodgkin – paintings
- David Inshaw – paintings
- Bill Jacklin – paintings
- Allen Jones – paintings
- R. B. Kitaj – paintings
- Tom Phillips – paintings
- Patrick Procktor – paintings
- Colin Self – paintings
- Joe Tilson – paintings
- David Tindle – paintings
In the order they are presented on the sleeve (left to right, top to bottom), the pictures are painted by:
Pete Townshend: Bill Jacklin, Tom Phillips, Colin Self and Richard Hamilton
Roger Daltrey: Michael Andrews, Allen Jones, David Inshaw and David Hockney
John Entwistle: Clive Barker, R. B. Kitaj, Howard Hodgkin and Patrick Caulfield
Kenney Jones: Peter Blake, Joe Tilson, Patrick Procktor and David Tindle
Sales chart performance
|1981||The Billboard 200||4|
|1981||UK Chart Albums||2|
|1981||Canada RPM 100 Albums||1|
|1981||"Another Tricky Day"||Billboard Mainstream Rock||6|
|"Daily Records"||Billboard Mainstream Rock||36|
|"Did You Steal My Money"||Billboard Mainstream Rock||38|
|"Don't Let Go The Coat"||The Billboard Hot 100||84|
|"How Can You Do It Alone"||Billboard Mainstream Rock||50|
|"You Better You Bet"||Billboard Mainstream Rock||1|
|The Billboard Hot 100||18|
|UK Singles Chart||9|
|"You"||Billboard Mainstream Rock||51|
Certifications and sales
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||60,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- Face Dances at AllMusic
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