"I Just Want to See His Face" is credited to singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards. On the recording, Jagger said in 1992, "'I Just Want to See His Face' was a jam with Charlie [Watts] and Mick Taylor... I think it was just a trio originally, though other people might have been added eventually. 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..."
Of the recording, Bill Janovitz says in his review, "'I Just Want to See His Face' has the band exploring the music of America, specifically the country, blues, folk, and soul of the South... [it] sounds ancient and from another planet; a swampy, stompy gospel song that was recorded to intentionally sound as if it is a field recording document of a long-ago church basement revival meeting."
The song's murky atmosphere and chanelling of folk music has won great admiration from other artists. Singer/songwriter Tom Waits names it as one of his favorite recordings. "That song had a big impact on me, particularly learning how to sing in that high falsetto, the way Jagger does. When he sings like a girl, I go crazy," Waits says. "This is just a tree of life. This record is the watering hole.
The gospel elements to some songs on Exile have been attributed to the presence of Billy Preston during the final recording sessions in Los Angeles. Preston would take Jagger to sunday services. Initial recording took place in France at Villa Nellcôte. With Jagger on lead vocals, Richards provides piano while Taylor provides electric bass and Bill Plummer supports on stand-up bass. Charlie Watts performs drums with producer Jimmy Miller providing percussion. Clydie King, Vanetta Fields, Jerry Kirkland perform the backing vocals for the track.
"I Just Want to See His Face" is memorable for its unusual fade-in from previous track "Ventilator Blues". The song has never been performed by the Stones live and appears on no compilation albums.