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"Eminence Front"
Song by The Who

from the album It's Hard

Released 1982
Genre Rock
Length 5:39
Label Polydor Records (UK)
Warner Bros. (U.S.)
Producer Glyn Johns
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 studio album, It's Hard. The single reached #68 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] It is the only song from the album that the band has opted to play live after its initial tours directly after releasing the album. 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 (although he later requested "Cry If You Want" during their 2006 tour, incorporating the lyrics into an extended version of "My Generation.")

Contents

Writing and recording

The song itself focuses on the hedonistic lifestyle that was prevalent during the 1980s. The lyrics concern a party in which people ignore their problems and merely try to hide behind a facade — an "eminence front." Townshend has introduced the song in live performances with the words, "this song is about what happens when you take too much white powder. It's called 'Eminence Front'."

Into the first chorus there is a major timing flaw, where Daltrey and Pete Townshend end the title term at slightly different times. That flaw was edited, and a corrected version appears on the 1997 re-release of the CD (a live version, recorded on the band's final date of their 1982 tour in Toronto, appears as a bonus track on the re-release). The song had a video, shot at a rehearsal in Landover, Maryland, during their '82 US tour, which enjoyed consistent airplay on MTV upon its release.

In addition to the previously mentioned flaw, the original mix of the song shunted Townshend's vocals to the right channel, similar to Roger's vocal on "Athena," which had been panned hard left. Both songs were re-mixed for the 1997 MCA remaster, and both vocals have been centered.

"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.

Use in other media

The song appears in the soundtrack to the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It is also a downloadable and playable song in the music video game series Rock Band.

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.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Fighter Stephan Bonnar uses the song as his entrance theme in his fights.

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

In the movie "Law Abiding Citizen," character Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) enjoys a steak dinner in prison while listening to the song out loud on Ipod speakers, and then uses the noise to cover over the murder of his cell mate[2] The lyrics "They're hiding... behind an eminence front... it's a put-on" hints that Clyde is not what he seems to be and forebodes what is to come.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have used the introduction to the song as background music for player lineup introductions.

References

External links

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