Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: The Who Sell OutReleased: 1967Charted:
Pete Townshend wrote this shortly after meeting his future wife Karen. It was a reminder that even though he was on the road, he could still keep an eye on her from miles away.
The song was inspired by the jealousy and suspicion that would well up inside him when he left to tour, but the song is written in character as a vindictive type who wants to get back at a girl. It's a little creepy:
Well, here's a poke at you
You're gonna choke on it too
You're gonna lose that smile
Because all the while
I can see for miles and miles
He's warning her that she can't get out of his sight.
In real life, Townshend married Karen Astley in 1968. They were together until their divorce in 2009.
Townshend's guitar was overdubbed in the studio. They rarely played this live because it was impossible to recreate the sound with one guitar.
The Who Sell Out is a concept album that makes fun of radio commercials. Fake ads were inserted between songs on the first side of the album.
Pete Townshend considered this some of his best songwriting, calling it "a remarkable song." He thought it would be a huge hit and was disappointed when it wasn't.
The word "Miles" is said 57 times in the song.
This was covered in a lighter, easygoing, and rather corny manner by Vegas lounge lizard Frankie Randall (who sang the lyric "There's magic in my eyes" as "There's magic in your eyes", thus rather confusing the song's meaning). It is included on the Golden Throats
Surprisingly, this was the only Who single to reach the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.
Townshend's played a one-note guitar solo on this song. According to an interview he conducted with his mate Richard Barnes for the book The Story of Tommy
, Townshend did this because he "couldn't be bothered." He later admitted that he felt very intimidated at the arrival of Hendrix on the London scene during that time and that he couldn't ever compete in the guitar solo stakes.
Paul McCartney set out to write "Helter Skelter
" shortly after reading a Pete Townshend interview, which described this track as, "The most raucous rock 'n' roll, the dirtiest thing they'd ever done."
This is the theme song for the TV series CSI: Cyber, which debuted in 2015. It's the fourth in the CSI franchise, with each series using a Who song as its theme. The song has some relevance to the show content, as the detectives use technology to investigate crimes that could be many miles away.