Take That Look Off Your Face

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"Take That Look Off Your Face"
Take that Look off.jpg
Single by Marti Webb
from the album Tell Me on a Sunday
B-side "Sheldon Bloom"
Released January 1980
Format 7" single
Recorded 1979
Genre Pop, MOR, Theatrical
Length 3:27
Label Polydor
Writer(s) Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black
Producer(s) Andrew Lloyd Webber
Marti Webb singles chronology
Take That Look Off Your Face
Tell Me on a Sunday

"Take That Look Off Your Face" is the title of a hit song by musical theatre composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. Collaborating with lyricist Don Black, it was written for the song cycle show Tell Me on a Sunday in 1978. It was sung and released by Marti Webb in 1980, and became a No.3 hit in the UK charts.[1] The song was also popular in Ireland, and spent six weeks at number one. Later, Tell Me on a Sunday was combined with another Lloyd Webber work, Variations, to form an entire new show, Song and Dance.

The song is about a woman being told of her boyfriend's infidelity. The woman denies this initially, before rebuking her newsbearer (a girlfriend) with the revelation that she "knew before" and had done for some time. She also spends much of the song criticising her friend for rushing to break the "bad news" to her.

Despite having been written during the creative process for Tell Me on a Sunday, the song wasn't recorded during the album's principal sessions. Black reminded Lloyd Webber that they had missed a track, then entitled "You Must Be Mistaken". John Mole, the bass guitar player, improvised a part reminiscent of the arrangement style of Phil Spector, inspiring the rest of the orchestration. The track was recorded in one take, apart from a double tracking of the orchestra.

A briefer 3:02 edit of the song is included on the album, however, a longer 3:29 version remixed with greater dynamic range compression was released as the single.

Track listing[edit]

  • Side A: "Take That Look Off Your Face"
  • Side B: "Sheldon Bloom"


The lyrics were substantially rewritten by Richard Maltby, Jr for the original Broadway production of Song and Dance. The British productions of the show have always used the lyrics written by Black.

Black himself amended the line, "He's doing some deal up in Baltimore now" after realising that Baltimore is south of New York. In subsequent versions, the song's protagonist is said to be "down" in Baltimore.

For the 2003 production of Tell Me on a Sunday, the storyline instead placed the action in England prior to an emigration to New York, requiring some further revision of the lyrics to reference London instead.