Face the Face

"Face the Face" is a song by Pete Townshend. The song is the third track on Townshend's fourth solo album, a concept album titled White City: A Novel, and was released as a single.

"Face the Face"
Townie Face the Face.jpg
Single by Pete Townshend
from the album White City: A Novel
Recorded1985 at Eel Pie Studio, Twickenham; Eel Pie Studio, Soho, London; A.I.R. Studios, London
Songwriter(s)Pete Townshend
Producer(s)Chris Thomas
Pete Townshend singles chronology
"Uniforms (Corps d'Esprit)"
"Face the Face"
"Give Blood"

In the US, the single had a different take which had bad sound compared to the UK release and on the promo for the single "Face the Face" it said:
"Dear Programmer: Enclosed is a reservice of the Pete Townshend single "Face the Face." While Pete was visiting us here in the States, he remarked to us that the British single sounded a bit hotter. We checked... he was right. Same edit. Same mix. Hotter sound. Maybe you wouldn't notice. Maybe you would. Time to re-cart the record. Happy Holidays, Atco Records"[1]

Geoffrey Giuliano in his book, Behind Blues Eyes: The Life of Pete Townshend (2002), described "[T]he highlight of the video is the poolside staging of the electric 'Face the Face', in which director Richard Lowenstein effectively captures the excitement of a big-band performance and Townshend's joyous jitterbugging ... in a gold lamé, forties-style tuxedo Lowenstein reveals more story line in these five minutes than the entire video".[2] It was released with Townshend's concept album, White City: A Novel, and included him discussing the music.[3]

When Pete Townshend was asked about the song he said in length:
"'Face The Face' was done on a new keyboard, which was a form of DX7, and I was very keen to get something very, very fast and upbeat knocked out, and I knocked out a few sections that I couldn't play all together. I could play bits of it, but try and do it all together and it confounded me, so I did a bunch of building blocks and said to Rabbit, "I want forty of them"-this is a Mozart technique-"five of those, six of these, seven of those," and he wrote it all out and played it to a drum loop that we got from a box, and that became the beginning of the track. This was very much a new age type of recording, and that's why it sounds pretty modern, I think. Simon Phillips overdubbed the drums, we later overdubbed the brass, we overdubbed backing vocals, we overdubbed everything. It was all overdubbed onto Rabbit's synthesizer playing."[4]

The single reached number 26 in the US singles charts and number 3 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Charts, along with achieving top 20 status in Australia, New Zealand and several European territories, but did not share the same success in the UK, only peaking there at number 89.

The UK and US single edit features Pete Townshend's daughter Emma Townshend singing some parts on the song.

Chart performanceEdit


  1. ^ http://www.thewho.info/images/FTF-USA-Pro-Insert-Pete_Townshend.jpg
  2. ^ Giuliano, Geoffrey (2002). Behind Blues Eyes: The Life of Pete Townshend. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-81541-070-6.
  3. ^ Mousoulis, Bill. "Richard Lowenstein". Melbourne Independent Filmmakers. Innersense. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-14. Retrieved 2014-04-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^ "ultratop.be" (ASP). Hung Medien (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 43, No. 22". RPM. 22 February 1986. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  8. ^ "germancharts.de/" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  9. ^ "dutchcharts.nl". Hung Medien. MegaChartsformat=ASP. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  10. ^ "charts.nz" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Pete Townshend – Face The Face". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  12. ^ "hitparade.ch > Pete Townshend in der Schweizer Hitparade" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  13. ^ "OfficialCharts.com". Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  14. ^ "Billboard: The Hot 100, 18 January 1986". billboard.com. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – 1986". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 May 2017.

External linksEdit