Face To Face

Album: The Chase (1992)

Songfacts®:

  • In this haunting country-rock number, Garth Brooks tells the stories of people who finally stood up to the demons that tortured them, including a kid who stands up to his bully, a woman who brings her rapist to justice, and a man who wards off the devil inside himself with prayer. "It is pretty damn scary," Brooks wrote of the song in his 2017 book, The Anthology Part 1: The First Five Years, "especially 'the Devil ain't in the darkness, he's a rattling around inside.' That's something that most of us can't admit. We just can't. We sure as hell don't want to, but it's like anything else, if you respect the snake, you aren't going to get bitten by him. It's when you don't is when he'll jump up and grab you."
  • This was written by Tony Arata, who also wrote Brooks' hit "The Dance." He came up with the date-rape scenario after Brooks requested another verse about the loss of innocence. Arata recalled in The Anthology Part 1: "He settled on the verse that he did because I remember talking to him, telling him that if you look at the verses, the way they're formatted, there's certain elements involving the hand that had to be in each one. The kid finally makes it good with the bully. The nonbeliever finally prays with his hands. And the added verse had something like, 'with a finger you can put his fists away.' Details, but important details to the song."
  • This is the closing track to Brooks' fifth studio album, The Chase, which opens with the protest anthem "We Shall Be Free." He noted: "From 'We Shall Be Free' to 'Face To Face,' there's a thread in there. I think it's self-discovery, I really do. I think the greatest battles that we will ever have are within, and what is the thing that can get there? Music."
  • By this time, Brooks was a bona fide superstar, having released two albums that debuted at #1 in America. He was also earning a reputation for his high-energy live shows that challenged the laidback norm of the average country concert of the era.

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