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Single by The Who
from the album Quadrophenia
B-side "Water"
Released September 1973
Format 7" single
Recorded June 27, 1973
Genre Rock
Length 5:00 (album version)
4:16 (single mix)
Label Track Records/MCA
Writer(s) Pete Townshend
Producer The Who
The Who singles chronology
"Love, Reign o'er Me"
Quadrophenia track listing
"I've Had Enough"
"Sea and Sand"

"5.15" is a song written by Pete Townshend of British rock band The Who from their second rock opera, Quadrophenia (1973). The song reached number twenty on the UK Singles Chart, while the 1979 re-release (along the film and soundtrack album) reached number seventy-nine on the Billboard Hot 100.

Role in the plot of Quadrophenia

In the song, the main character Jimmy has taken the titular train to Brighton, consumed a lot of drugs, recollecting his life with the Mods, the cultural movement to which he belongs (even if he has dropped out for now), and their duels with the Rockers. Jimmy's memories are extremely disjointed, consisting mainly of anger, confusion, violence, sexual frustration, and rootlessness.

"5.15", like many of the songs from Quadrophenia is self-referential - "M-m-m-my generation" is a line - and thus represents an angrily self-centered, teenage disconnection with society, family and the opposite sex. 'Jimmy' was "born in the war", that is, World War II and its aftermath, does not understand why he should care about it (or anything) in the context of his extravagant Mod values.

Style and variations

The studio recording shows off the originality of Keith Moon, whose drumming toward the end of the song mimics the rhythm of a train, slowing down as it enters a station. The simple power and drive of this song made it an extremely popular concert staple. The live performances of the song from 1996 to early 2002 were highlighted by an extended bass solo from John Entwistle that would push the song either toward or past the ten-minute mark (the version on Live at the Royal Albert Hall album clocks in at 11:40).

See also

  • "On the 5:15"


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