The Rolling Stones – I Just Want To See His Face – Masterpiece of the Early 70s

I Just Want To See His Face - The Rolling Stones

Exile On Main Street, released by The Rolling Stones in May of 1972, is one of rock history’s unprecedented masterpieces. Singer/songwriter Tom Waits called Exile “…a tree of life. This record is the watering hole.” A grand mix of multiple musical genres, notably Americana, the album is stamped with the band’s uncanny ability to inspire raw unleashed energy. It is seen as Keith Richard’s finest work, an opportunity during which he gave full voice to his vision for the integration between traditional American musical forms and his innate feel for pure rock and roll.

“I Just Want To See His Face,” a bluesy, gospel mix tinted with an opiated atmosphere, is one of the many fascinating classics from the album. Like watching a rare fish move mysteriously at the bottom of a murky pond, it offers pure musical magic. It’s title echoes the sentiment expressed by George Harrison who, two years earlier, in his epic “My Sweet Lord,” while contemplating the afterlife and the concept of God, implored, “I really want to see you.” Jagger said it was the result of a jam between him, Mick Taylor and Charlie Watts, “It was a complete jam. I just made the song up there and then over the riff that Charlie and Mick were playing. That’s how I remember it, anyway.” Jagger may also have been influenced by Sunday services he would attend with keyboardist Billy Preston. “I Just Want To See His Face” illustrates the determination of young British artists in the late 60s and early 70s to take established musical genres and reconstruct them to create strikingly innovative perspectives.

“That’s all right
That’s all right
That’s all right
Sometimes you felt the trouble
Sometimes you felt down
Let this music relax your mind
Let this music relax your mind
Stand up and be counted, yeah
Can’t get a witness
Sometimes you need somebody
If you have somebody to love
Sometimes you ain’t got nobody
And you want somebody to love, all right
Then you don’t want to walk and talk about Jesus
Just want to see His face
You don’t want to walk and talk about Jesus
Just want to see His face
Just want to see His face
Just want to see His face
Just want to see His face
Just want to see His face”