The lyrics to "It's Hard" were written long before the actual song. It was originally presented to the Who in 1981 for the Who's previous album, Face Dances, in the form of a demo called "Popular", but the band's reaction was cool towards it, as the album was nearly finished at the time. The music of "Popular" was later re-written and the lyrics slightly altered and the song, as "It's Hard", was shown to the Who again and this time featured on the album. The original demo of "Popular" is featured on the Pete Townshend solo compilation album Scoop, which was released in 1983. The original mix featured an error in Townshend's opening guitar solo, which was fixed in the 1997 remix.
"It's Hard" was only performed live on the tour promoting the album in 1982, featuring Roger Daltrey on rhythm guitar, which was a very rare occasion. It was played at every concert on the tour, and featured a short full-band jam at the end. The version from the tour's final show at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens on December 17 is included as a bonus track on the 1997 rerelease of It's Hard
The Who albums and videos featuring "It's Hard"