|Studio album by|
|Released||16 March 1981|
|Label||Polydor, Warner Bros.|
|The Who chronology|
|Singles from Face Dances|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Face Dances is the ninth studio album by English rock band the Who. It was released in 1981 by Warner Bros. in the United States (it was the band's first release on that label) and on Polydor 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 cover features 16 paintings of the band members by 16 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, David Inshaw, Mike Andrews, Joe Tilson, Patrick Procktor, David Tindle and Blake himself.
Photographer Gavin Cochrane took a reference photo of each of the four members of the band (Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle and Kenney Jones) which the 16 artists used to paint on 6" x 6" canvases the portraits of each member of the band for the front cover of Face Dances. Roger Daltrey was painted by Mike Andrews, Allen Jones, David Inshaw and David Hockney. Kenney Jones was painted by Peter Blake, Joe Tilson, Patrick Procktor and David Tindle.
R. B. Kitaj did a charcoal portrait on Ingres paper of John Entwistle. Kitaj (1932-2007) was a Jewish American from Chagrin Falls, Ohio but made his home in England for many years and was elected to the Royal Academy in 1991 – the first American to do so since John Singer Sargent in the 1890s.
David Inshaw painted a portrait of Roger Daltrey which features on the cover of Face Dances. David Inshaw was a member of the Brotherhood of Ruralists along with Peter Blake and Jann Howarth and Graham and Annie Ovenden in the 1970s. In 1973, his painting 'The Badminton Game' was exhibited at the ICA Summer Exhibition and was subsequently acquired by the Tate.
The late Richard Hamilton, RA (1922-2011) did a portrait of Pete Townshend for the cover of Face Dances. Hamilton was one of the first British Pop artists renowned for his painting and collage work. Richard Hamilton was the cover designer of The Beatles' White Album and its iconic poster insert, and for his painting 'Swinging London 67 (f)' which depicted Mick Jagger and art dealer Robert Fraser in handcuffs following their arrest on drug charges.
In 1993, Polydor re-released the album on CD. It only held the songs from the original LP.
In 1997, the album was remixed, remastered and re-released by MCA 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 released 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. "Don't Let Go the Coat" was the second single to be released from the album, and it also had its own music video. While a video was shot for "Another Tricky Day" it was not released as a single.
Face Dances celebrates its 40th anniversary with the release on Saturday 12 June 2021 on Record Store Day 1 of a 2-LP expanded coloured vinyl version (LP1 is blue and LP2 is yellow). Both discs have been mastered by Jon Astley at Close To The Edge and cut at half speed by Miles Showell at the Abbey Road Studios.
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, 2015, and 2019. 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 are written by Pete Townshend except where noted.
|1.||"You Better You Bet"||5:36|
|2.||"Don't Let Go the Coat"||3:43|
|4.||"The Quiet One"||John Entwistle||3:09|
|5.||"Did You Steal My Money"||4:10|
|1.||"How Can You Do It Alone"||5:26|
|4.||"Another Tricky Day"||4:55|
|10.||"I Like Nightmares"||3:09|
|11.||"It's In You"||4:59|
|12.||"Somebody Saved Me" (Also found on Pete Townshend's 1982 solo album All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes)||5:31|
|13.||"How Can You Do It Alone" (Live, 8 December 1979 at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago)||5:24|
|14.||"The Quiet One" (Live, 13 October 1982 at Shea Stadium in New York City)||4:28|
- Roger Daltrey – lead vocals
- Pete Townshend – guitar, keyboards, backing vocals, lead vocals on "I Like Nightmares", "Somebody Saved Me" and "How Can You Do It Alone"
- John Entwistle – bass, backing vocals, lead vocals on "The Quiet One"
- Kenney Jones – drums
- John "Rabbit" Bundrick – keyboards
- Allan 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 – AIR Studios, recording 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 and cassette cover 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^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
- Face Dances at AllMusic
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- The Who Facebook page > "One of the reference photos (of Pete Townshend) taken by photographer Gavin Cochrane..." post on 7 June 2021
- The Who Facebook page > "...Here's Roger photographed by Gavin Cochrane..." post on 8 June 2021
- The Who Facebook page > "Meanwhile, here's one of the reference photos of John Entwistle taken by photographer Gavin Cochrane..." post on 9 June 2021
- The Who Facebook page > "...here's the photograph of Kenney Jones taken by Gavin Cochrane..." post on 10 June 2021
- The Who Facebook page > "A charcoal portrait on Ingres paper of John Entwistle by R B Kitaj..." post on 9 June 2021
- David Inshaw website
- The Who Facebook page > "Here's a portrait of Roger Daltrey painted by David Inshaw which features on the cover of Face Dances..." post on 8 June 2021
- The Who Facebook page > "A portrait of Pete Townshend from the cover of Face Dances by the late Richard Hamilton, RA (1922-2011)..." post on 7 June 2021
- RSD 2021 UK
- RDS 2021 US
- Close To The Edge studio website
- The Who Facebook page > "We're kicking off the week leading up to Record Store Day on Saturday 12 June with The Who's first single off their 1981 album, Face Dances. Face Dances is The Who's official release for Record Store Day 2021..." post on 7 June 2021
- "Illustration to the cover of 'Face Dances'". Retrieved 6 January 2013.
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- "British album certifications – The Who – Faces Dance". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Faces Dance in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- "American album certifications – The Who – Faces Dance". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.