Have You Seen Her Face
|"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|
|Recorded||November 28 – November 30, December 1, 1966|
|Studio||Columbia Studios, Hollywood, California|
|Genre||Folk rock, power pop|
|The Byrds singles chronology|
"Have You Seen Her Face" was written following a recording session for trumpet player Hugh Masekela, which Hillman attended in 1966. Byrds biographer Johnny Rogan has commented that the bassist blossomed as a songwriter during that year. On the Byrds' previous album, Fifth Dimension, Hillman's only songwriting contribution had been a shared writing credit for the instrumental "Captain Soul", but on Younger Than Yesterday 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.
Critics have made mention of the song's strident structure and melody, which was greatly influenced by the British Invasion groups of the mid-1960s and complemented by Hillman's melodic, Paul McCartney-esque bass playing. The song also features a faux country and western lead guitar solo played by McGuinn on rhythm guitarist David Crosby's Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar.
Release and reception
"Have You Seen Her Face" was released as the third single to be taken from the Byrds' Younger Than Yesterday album on May 22, 1967. It reached number 74 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was issued as a single in most international markets, but not in the United Kingdom.
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 that "the quartet has a strong commercial entry in this easy-beat folk-rocker with a compelling lyric." In recent years, Thomas Ward of the Allmusic website has described the song as "magnificent" and "one of the Byrds' great songs." Ward also commented that "the song distills the groups' many influences, from Indian music (in McGuinn's wondrous guitar solo) to folk to rock and roll." Ward concluded his review by stating that "Have You Seen Her Face" was "one of the most outstanding songs of the period, by anyone."
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. The Byrds' performance of the song at Monterey is included on the 1992 The Monterey International Pop Festival CD box set.
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. 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. 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.
- 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.
- Menck, Ric. (2007). The Byrds' The Notorious Byrd Brothers. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 1441106758.
- "Younger Than Yesterday review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
- Rogan, Johnny. (1996). Younger Than Yesterday (1996 CD liner notes).
- Rogan, Johnny. (1996). Fifth Dimension (1996 CD liner notes).
- Fricke, David. (1996). Younger Than Yesterday (1996 CD liner notes).
- Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited (2nd ed.). Rogan House. p. 196. ISBN 0-9529540-1-X.
- Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited (2nd ed.). Rogan House. pp. 541–546. ISBN 0-9529540-1-X.
- Whitburn, Joel. (2008). Top Pop Singles 1955-2006. Record Research Inc. p. 130. ISBN 0-89820-172-1.
- "Have You Seen Her Face review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
- Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited (2nd ed.). Rogan House. p. 616. ISBN 0-9529540-1-X.
- 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.
- "The Monterey International Pop Festival box set review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
- "The Byrds box set". ByrdWatcher: A Field Guide to the Byrds of Los Angeles. Archived from the original on 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
- "Have You Seen Her Face - List of recordings". Allmusic. Archived from the original on March 10, 2010. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
- "Sex Clark Five album reviews". Trouser Press. Retrieved 2009-12-30.