Face Dances (The Who) – Album Review (Part 2)

(Check out the introduction to this review here)

Face Dances is a record which can be described very easily: it is an album of rock songs that have been produced and treated as if they were pop tunes. That certainly posed a problem for many fans that were expecting another Who’s Next, yet they were more or less appeased by the lead single, “You Better You Bet”. That song alone revived a lot of interest in the band, and it was to be their last stronghold in terms of chart performance. The other single was “Another Tricky Day”, and both the two singles and the poppy “Don’t Let Go The Coat” had some weird accompanying promos where the tempos were all sped up (!). I am not kidding:

Ah, “Don’t Let Go The Coat”. That was one of the very first Who tracks I listened to, actually, and I must say that it has an incredible catchy quality. The song deals with Pete’s faith on Meher Baba – the Avatar had once instructed his followers to “grab to the hem of my robe”. It is traditionally regarded as one of Pete’s most charming songs on the subject (and he wrote quite a few tunes about that), and while some have misgivings about Roger’s interpretation I couldn’t disagree more. He does the song splendidly, reaching the climax during the middle eight and ad libbing excellently during the fade. If you want to listen to Pete’s own take you have to go for the first album devoted to rarities he released, “Scoop”. Different interpretations, same great song and same great way to communicate faith on life in general, not just faith when it comes to a single person or leader. Continue reading

Face Dances (The Who) – Album Review (Part 1)

The Cover Of The Who's Face Dances Was Devised By Peter Blake (He Who Designed The Cover Of Sgt. Pepper's). He Approached 15 DIfferent Artists To Paint The Canvasses.

The Cover Of The Who's Face Dances Was Devised By Peter Blake (He Who Designed The Cover Of Sgt. Pepper's). He Approached 15 DIfferent Artists To Paint The Canvasses You Can See.

After the loss of Keith Moon, The Who decided to take the one gamble that was left and carry on the best way they could, in loving memory of Keith and in loving memory of all the ideals they had stood for. Was “the best way” recruiting former Faces compadre Kenny Jones? That is debatable ad infinitum, of course. On the one hand, Jones was a strict time keeper. He was the polar opposite of Keith, and that was one of the reasons he was chosen as his successor, actually. Pete declined Ginger Baker’s offer to be their new drummer if only because he was as troublesome a character as Moon. Also, John relished having the chance to have a less frantic drummer setting the beat for a change. They first had worked with Kenny during the Tommy soundtrack, and they had gotten along with him well professionally. And they had known him on a personal level for much longer, obviously.

The one person that definitely opposed to Kenny’s addition as a full-time member of the band was Roger. He was keener on rotating drummers until arriving at the suitable one. Pete claimed that such a thing would turn everything into “a pilgrimage to find Keith”, and that is why Kenny was eventually instated as their new (and definitive) drummer. Continue reading