The Byrds: “Have You Seen Her Face”

May 27, 1967 – The Byrds: “Have You Seen Her Face” b/w “Don’t Make Waves” (Columbia 4-44157) 45 single is released in the US.
“Have You Seen Her Face” is a song by the American rock band The Byrds, written by the group’s bass player Chris Hillman and included on their 1967 album, Younger Than Yesterday. The song was released as the third single to be taken from that album on May 22, 1967 and reached #74 on the Billboard Hot 100. Although “Have You Seen Her Face” was issued as a single in most international markets, it was not released in the United Kingdom.
The song was written following a recording session for trumpet player Hugh Masekela that Hillman had attended during 1966, a year that saw the bassist blossoming as a songwriter. On The Byrds’ previous album, Fifth Dimension, Hillman’s only songwriting contribution had been a shared writing credit for the instrumental “Captain Soul”. On Younger Than Yesterday, however, he is credited as the sole songwriter of four tracks, as well as the co-writer of “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” with Jim McGuinn.
Despite its relatively poor showing on the U.S. charts, critical reaction to the song was positive, with Record World describing it as a “Pretty contemporary love song” and Billboard magazine commenting “the quartet has a strong commercial entry in this easy-beat folk-rocker with a compelling lyric.” In recent years, Thomas Ward of the Allmusic website has described the song as “magnificent” and “one of The Byrds’ great songs.” Ward also noted that “the song distils the groups’ many influences, from Indian music (in McGuinn’s wondrous guitar solo) to folk to rock and roll.” Ward concluded his review by stating that “Have You Seen Her Face” was “one of the most outstanding songs of the period, by anyone.”


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