In a Hand or a Face

The Who

Score: 8
Played: 75


The Who by Numbers

Released: 20 Jan 2010


The closing track on "The Who By Numbers" is why one critic thought the album could be considered Pete Townshend's suicide note. The last line of the first verse and the hook in the chorus are cries for help - caught up in the various travails of the rockstar life laid out in several of the other tracks ("However Much I Booze", "They Are All In Love", even "Success Story"), Pete is like Jimmy at the end of side two of Quadrophenia: He's had enough. The modulation after the second chorus elevates the tension to another level, as the chaotic interplay between guitar, bass and drums teeters closer and closer to the edge before a collapse ends the album on an unresolved, cautionary note.


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[Verse 1] Ain't it funny how they're all Cleopatra When you gaze into their past When you find out about their birth signs You realize there was no need to have asked All the history of a soul in torment Ingrained in a hand or face Ain't it funny how they all fire the pistol At the wrong end of the race [Chorus] I am going round and round[x3] I am going round Going round and round [Verse 2] There's a man going through your dust bin Only this time he's looking for food There's a tear in his eye, you don't know him Oh but you know what he's going through Ain't it funny that you can't seem to help him Feeling sick as he staggers away Is it weird that you hate a stranger Can a detail correct your dismay [Chorus]