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OK,....FACE DANCES! Hmmm.....I don't remember when I actually bought
this album. (Hey, we can't *all* be Anna Mormacks!) It was probably sometime
between '82 & '85.
I remember the three black & white videos from the early days (the Golden Age)
of MTV. They were YBYB, ATD, & DLGTC. They were fascinating to some-
one like me, just getting into the Who. (I'm talking around 1982 here.)
Kenney Jones slipped seamlessly into my burgeoning Who fanaticism as I didn't
know about the band when Keith was alive, so I never formed any kind of heartfelt
bias for "the Keith years."
But enough about me. I'm boring. Let's talk about the songs on FACE DANCES.
"You Better, You Bet" - Love it. Always have. Not one of my favorites live, but
the studio version moves me. I like the hokey melody (sorry, I can't fight it). The
lyrics really make this song excel. Which one of you said the lyrics were lame?
Why, I oughta.... Nothing wrong with Jones, either. He plays an alternating snare/
tom beat! That's cool, in & of itself! Plenty of nice rolls & riffs that *fit the vocals.*
Very important. Love the tom rolls at the end! He throws in those two that aren't
even rolls - they just go "thoop thoop." Sure, nothing technically fancy, however,
it's the thought, the idea to include them, the freshness of approach which I dig.
And listen to the nifty, well-placed hi-hat releases! And the cymbal punches,
again which compliment Daltrey's phrasing. I could go on but that would make
this post way too long. I've got no problem with YBYB. That much should be
I want to pause here & say that Jim's comment about FACE DANCES - "Where's
the guitar?" - was spot on. This album, for the most part, lacks a real strong elec-
tric guitar presence. And parts of many songs seem like they contain *no* guitar!
This album really has the feel & tone of a Townshend solo album. I know, I know....
it's still The Who. But you know what I mean. It's light. Even more so than WHO
ARE YOU (but maybe not by much!). It *feels* like a Pete solo album. The
songs. The song structures. The subject matter. That's all I wanted to say.
"Don't Let Go the Coat" - I like this one. More today than I did years ago. I
like Daltrey's baritone reading. I like the backing vocals. It's got a nice groove
& the solo is beautifully understated. I like this better each time I hear it. Plus,
whenever any my friends ask that oft-asked question, "Where's my coat?" - I al-
ways follow with the perfunctory, "Don't let go the coat!" (I'm a riot to be around.)
"Cache Cache" - This is 90% good song. Unfortunately, the horrible 10% is the
chorus - "There ain't no bears in there - cache cache." It's like Pete hammered
a silly, head-scratching, tempo-lurching chorus into this otherwise beautiful song!
And that goofy chorus just ruins the song for me. I'm sorry. It does. I try not
to let it ruin the song for me.....but it always ends up beating me. I get pummeled
by its atrociousness every time. Let's move on.....
"The Quiet One" - Brilliant! Love it! Great OX tune. Great melody. Great lyrics.
And what's that other sound? Oh my gosh! It's Pete's electric guitar! It's Pete's
raunchy, attacking, searing, electric guitar! What a novel concept for a Who tune!
And listen to Jones! Nothing stuffy about his approach here! Some serious ping-
ride action, stuttered snare beats, more punchy cymbal shots, more snazzy hi-hat
releases, & cool mood enhancing tension-release snare & tom rolls! C'mon,
people! Fuck you! Jones rocks! Great soloing by Pete, as well.
"Did You Steal My Money" - Uh oh. I don't like this song much at all. I don't
like the subject matter. I don't like the melody. I don't like the whispered back-
ing vocals. I don't like the middle-eight. Daltrey tries to save it with an admirable
reading. He's the best part of this song. Alas, he can't save it. A very weak song.
"How Can You Do It Alone" - Ugh. Another poor song. Really awkward sub-
ject matter. A boring melody with only glimpses of anything interesting. And
another awkward middle-eight. Just so lumpish & bland. A song that screams,
"Skip me!" And on top of all that, it's too long! "Scratch my jeans?" Spare me.
"Daily Records" - After a promising first four songs, we're now well-entrenched
into the mediocre part of FD. This song is.....OK. The "Play in, play out. Fade in,
fade out." part reminds me of the Whos from Whoville in the Grinch cartoon singing,
"Wahoo glory, wahoo glory!" Ugh. Again, *parts* of this song are fun. And
Daltrey once more tries his best to breathe life into it.... I don't know. This song's
a microcosm of the entire record: only partly good.
"You" - I don't like this Entwistle song. I'm sorry. It has a "Trick of the Light"
feel to it - and I don't like that song, either. Jones does a good job. And again,
so does Daltrey. But the song just doesn't grab me. Entwistle's songs about ro-
mance make me feel uncomfortable. I don't know why that is.
"Another Tricky Day" - Maybe one of my Top Five all-time Who songs. On a
good day. Not a tricky one. Love it, love it, love it. And I'm pleased to see
that so many of you have picked it as your fave on the album. It has that Who-
ness to it. Outstanding lyrics - some of my favorite Pete lyrics. It speaks to
me. It's got that "things-are-going-bad-but they-might-get-better" QUAD feel
to it. Fucking Jones rocks....*again!* More killer hi-hat releases, superbly-
placed rolls, accenting cymbal punches, & crafty snare riffs. Fucking brilliant.
And those - what my friend Chris calls - "happy Entwistle bass lines" after the
middle-eight - when OX just explodes with those dancing bass runs. Lord, that's
good stuff. And Daltrey is simply fantastic. Perfect. And again, more of that
elusive, loud(er) Pete electric guitar. Chucka-chucka-chucka-chuuuu...... This
song puts bad days into perspective & just oozes strength & determination.
Like a splash of cold water on your face it brings you to your senses. This is
why I love The Who.
(The bonus songs on the re-release):
"I Like Nightmares" - I like this song better than some of the smellier duds on
the original album. It's kinda neat. I like Pete's vocals. Would've been nice to
hear Daltrey read this one. Not a bad song at all. Not great. But not bad.
"It's In You" - I love this song. Why it was left off the original album, I don't
know. Love the nasty, sarcastic, flippant lyrics. Daltrey is fabulous. Cool
bass lines, too. It's so much harder & catchier than some of the lamer stuff
on the album. More exquisite hi-hat work by Jones. And listen how he plays
with *the song,* & *the lyrics.* The staggered snare rolls at the end of the
main stanzas. The tom-tom build-ups. The breakdown part in the middle.
This is a damn good song. Pete empowering his fan(s).
"Somebody Saved Me" - A powerless power ballad? Nothing interesting here.
A boring meandering melody. A fair Townshend vocal track. Awkward lyrics.
Way too long. More blandness. Yuck.
(The rest of the bonus songs are just live tracks.)
Best song: "Another Tricky Day"
Worst song: "How Can You Do It Alone"
I thank you for your time....
- SCHRADE in Akron
The Council For Secular Humanism