For Record Store Day 2020, The Who expanded their 1974 rarities collection Odds and Sods for a 2-LP, 25-song deluxe presentation. This year, the band celebrates 40 years of 1981’s Face Dances with another double-disc, expanded presentation. It’s due on Drop 1, June 12, from Geffen Records in a limited edition of 6,500 copies.
Face Dances was the first of two Who studio albums recorded with drummer Kenney Jones following the 1978 death of Keith Moon. While many missed Moon’s explosive and unpredictable touch, interest remained high and the album (produced by Bill Szymczyk of Eagles fame) peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 on the U.K. Albums Chart. The shimmering lead single “You Better You Bet” showed that Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, and John Entwistle hadn’t missed a beat in a new decade. A tough but poppy tune with an irresistible call-and-response hook (“When I say ‘I love you,’ you say ‘You better!'”) and callbacks to both T. Rex and Who’s Next, “You Better You Bet” shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, peaking at No. 18 on the Hot 100 and No. 9 on the U.K. Singles Chart. Second single “Don’t Let Go the Coat,” a catchy ode to Meher Baba, was moderately successful. Both songs were bolstered by the emergence of MTV; “You Better You Bet” was one of the first videos aired on the channel and the first to be repeated.
The first LP in the RSD reissue is the original album with its nine tracks. The second album, cheekily entitled Face Dances Part 3, has another nine tracks beginning with a clutch of Session Rough Mixes. These encompass the previously-issued outtakes “I Like Nightmares,” “It’s In You,” and “Somebody Saved Me” as well as the previously-unreleased “Dance It Away” and a take of “Don’t Let Go the Coat” with Townshend on lead vocals. Side Four has a quartet of live performances of Face Dances songs as recorded for Rockpalast in 1981.
The album was remastered and cut at half speed by Miles Showell at Abbey Road. LP 1 will be pressed on blue vinyl and LP 2 on yellow. Four 12 x 12 art prints are also included within the jacket famously designed by Peter Blake. The expanded Face Dances will be released for RSD Drop 1 on June 12. Visit RecordStoreDay.com for a list of participating brick-and-mortar retailers, and remember, many stores will offer online events this year due to COVID-19.
The Who, Face Dances (Polydor WHOD 5037 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. HS 3516 (U.S.), 1981 – reissued Polydor/UMC, 2021)
1. You Better You Bet
2. Don’t Let Go The Coat
3. Cache Cache
4. The Quiet One
5. Did You Steal My Money
1. How Can You Do It Alone
2. Daily Records
4. Another Tricky Day
Face Dances Part 3
Side 3: Session Rough Mixes
1. I Like Nightmares
2. It’s In You
3. Somebody Saved Me
4. Dance It Away (previously unreleased)
5. Don’t Let Go The Coat (previously unreleased, with Pete on lead vocals)
Side 4: All tracks live at Grugahalle, Essen, 28 March 1981 and broadcast live for Rockpalast
1. Don’t Let Go The Coat (previously unreleased)
2. You Better You Bet (previously unreleased)
3. The Quiet One (previously unreleased)
4. Another Tricky Day (previously unreleased)