October 19, 2020

I’m The Face

From the "Odds & Sods" liner notes by Brian Cady.

"Quite simple, our first record release. Words by Pete Meaden mod miracle man with Desert Boots blue beating and randy female pop writer on every page of his address book. Superb jazz guitar solo from somebody I don’t recognize, fast piano from some pilled up lunatic who probably made more in session fees that day than we did from the ensuing year’s work. Best of all on this for me is Jack the Barber’s handclapping and John’s amazing ‘ZOOPS on the bass. Is this really The Who?"
–Pete Townshend

The melody is stolen outright from Slim Harpo’s "I Got Love If You Want It" which was covered by most of the London-based R&B bands and was very popular with the Mods. This was the second attempt to record the song. The Who recorded a version in May 1964 with the "zoops" on Pete’s guitar. The High Numbers intended "I’m The Face" as the A-side but, apparently, word did not get to their record label Fontana as they released it 3 July 1964 as the B-side to "Zoot Suit" (TF 480). Only 1,000 copies were pressed and, despite a letter-writing campaign by fan "Irish" Jack and other Mods, it failed to chart. "I’m The Face" was switched to the A-side when it was re-released in 1980 as Backdoor Records Door 4. It finally hit the British charts on 5 March 1980 going to #49 at the height of the Mod revival. In the U.S. it was included as a bonus single in copies of the non-Who compilation Thru The Back Door LP. In 1991 it was again reissued as a 45 and CD single with a boxset of Fontana singles.

Track 1 on the 1998 Odds & Sods remaster where it has a different mix and is faded out before the hard end on the original LP at 2’27.