Eminence Front

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"Eminence Front"
Single by The Who
from the album It's Hard
B-side "One at a Time" [1]
Released 25 December 1982
Recorded 1982
Genre Funk rock, art rock
Length 5:39
Label Polydor Records (UK)
Warner Bros. (US)
Writer(s) Pete Townshend
Producer(s) Glyn Johns
The Who singles chronology
"Athena"
(1982)
"Eminence Front"
(1982)
"It's Hard"
(1982)
It's Hard track listing
"Dangerous"
(5)
"Eminence Front"
(6)
"I've Known No War"
(7)

"Eminence Front" is a song written and sung by Pete Townshend of The Who. It appears as the sixth track on the group's 1982 studio album, It's Hard. The single reached number 68 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] It is the only song from the album that the band has opted to play live after the initial post-release tours. Lead singer Roger Daltrey, vocally critical of the album, described "Eminence Front" as the only song on it that he felt was worthy of being released[citation needed] (although he later sang "Cry If You Want" during their 2006 tour, incorporating the lyrics into an extended version of "My Generation.")

Writing and recording[edit]

In the song, Townshend sings about the delusions and drug use of the wealthy and hedonistic. The lyrics describe a party in which people hide from their problems behind a façade. Townshend has introduced the song in live performances with: "This song is about what happens when you take too much white powder; it's called Eminence Front".[2]

In the originally released version, there is a timing flaw or a syncopation in the first chorus, where Townshend sings "behind an eminence front" at the same time Daltrey sings "it's an eminence front," with Townshend one syllable behind. A more linear-sounding remixed version appears on the 1997 re-release of the CD (a live version, recorded on the band's final stop on their 1982 tour in Toronto, appears as a bonus track on the re-release). Additionally, the remix has Townshend's vocals panned centrally rather than hard right in the stereo field.

The song produced a video, shot at a rehearsal in Largo, Maryland, during their 1982 US tour, which enjoyed consistent airplay on MTV upon its release. Footage from the Who's 1982 concert at Shea Stadium was also used in the video.

"Eminence Front" was scheduled to be released as a single in the UK by Polydor Records in 1982; the catalog number was WHO 7 but the single was never released. The picture sleeve, by Richard Evans, depicted a 1930s Art Deco house in Miami.[2]

The song is in the key of F minor.

Use in other media[edit]

The Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Dallas Mavericks have used the introduction to the song as background music for player lineup introductions. However, the Dallas Mavericks uses a slightly modified version of the song's instrumental intro.

UFC fighter Stephan Bonnar is a Who fan and uses "Eminence Front" as his entrance music. Another UFC fighter, Nate Marquardt, also uses this song as an entrance song before his fights.

The instrumental intro of the song is used to close out the radio show of Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti on Boston sports station WBZ-FM.

The instrumental intro of the song was also used as news music package for WVTV-TV "Newswatch 18" of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the 1980s.[3]

In TV[edit]

The song is used in the opening of the 1982 PBS NOVA episode "Tracking the Supertrains", during which the Shinkansen, TGV, and various research trains are seen traveling at impressive speeds.

The song was used in the Miami Vice third season episode "Kill Shot".[4]

CBS had intended to use the song as the theme song for the London-based spin-off of its popular CSI franchise, but the show was ultimately scrapped.

In the first episode of HBO's Entourage, the song plays while the characters drive through during the red carpet scene.

The song appears in the Local on the 8s forecast music, January 2010 playlist[5] on the Weather Channel.

The song is used in commercials for the FX series, The Americans.

This song was also used in the second season of the TV series Person of Interest during episode 12 when John was released from FBI custody.

In film[edit]

The song was used in the trailer for the 2000 experimental film Time Code.

In the movie Law Abiding Citizen, character Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) enjoys a steak dinner in prison while listening to the song on iPod speakers.

In video games[edit]

The song is played on the radio station K-DST in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and was also used for one of the game's trailers. It is available for download in the music video game series, Rock Band and also appeared in Sleeping Dogs.

Covers[edit]

The progressive rock jam band Umphrey's McGee has covered the song live on several occasions, including shows on February 6, 2010 at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, Georgia [6] and November 6, 2010 and the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. [7]

Guitarist Michael Hedges covered the song during his 1990 broadcast "Live from The Bottom Line in New York."[8]

The rock band Matchbox Twenty covered the song during their 2000 Hamburg, Germany concert.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Discography - thewho.com
  2. ^ The Archivist (October 11, 2011). "Video Classics: Eminence Front". Wnew.com. Retrieved 2012-10-29.
  3. ^ "SouthernMedia's News Music Search Archive - News themes and news theme music". Southernmedia-nmsa.com. 
  4. ^ Arce, Manuael (Story); Ichaso, Leon (Director and Story); Kupfer, Marvin (Story and Teleplay) (October 10, 1985). "Kill Shot". Miami Vice. Season 3. Episode 47. NBC.
  5. ^ "The Weather Channel Music". 
  6. ^ "Umphrey's McGee - Setlists". Umphreys.com. 
  7. ^ "Umphrey's McGee - Setlists". Umphreys.com. 
  8. ^ Video on YouTube
  9. ^ Video on YouTube

External links[edit]