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Something In The Air


Thunderclap Newman

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Thunderclap Newman were a UK Rock group formed by Jazz pianist Andy "Thunderclap" Newman, singer/drummer John "Speedy" Keen and 16-year-old guitarist Jimmy McCulloch. Pete Townshend discovered them.
Townshend engineered, arranged and played bass on this song. The Who never had a #1 hit - this was the only song he worked on that went to the top of the charts.
The original title was "Revolution," but they had to change it when The Beatles came out with a song using that title.
This was used in the 1969 film The Magic Christian. It was also featured in the 2000 movie Almost Famous and the comedy movie Kingpin. (thanks, brent - Wooddale, IL)
Townshend also produced "Accidents," which was the follow-up single and went to to #46 in the UK. The group split up soon after. Newman took up the saxophone and returned to the pub circuit. and McCulloch joined Wings before dying of heart failure in 1979. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above)
This was used in a commercial television advertisement campaign for DirecTV. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
Thunderclap Newman
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Comments (13):

Something In The Air became my all time favourite when I was 12 - it still is now I'm 54...
- Laurence, Bognor Regis, United Kingdom
Speedy Keen wrote this song.
- Adam, West Palm Beach, FL
Songfacts does not mention Pete writing this song,which I believe he did.Can someone verify this?
- Rick, graysville, MO
Yes McCullough was in Wings and he supposedly killed himself around 1979.
- Charles, Charlotte, NC
This song I believed epitomised the state of British music at the time - 1969. Yes the Stones had found hard drugs and were on the wane some say. I say the elevation of such acts as Genesis and Yes during this time was timely. The WHO with Pete Townsend at the helm were also awesome and to see him producing this song at the peak of his powers is no surprise. Believe me, I rate Pete as the "man" when writing an opera like TOMMY which I performed a version of at hi school in 1975 - just as the film came out - wow- it rocked - Thanks Pete and the bigger T/C Newman- that song was it !!!
- Pete, Auckland, New Zealand
This is a great song from start to finish and the piano solo is rockin'. When I found out that this song and several other good songs (including "Have You Forgotten" by Red House Painters and "Take A Picture" by Filter) was on the Girl Next Door soundtrack, I was really surprised because I just assumed it was a dumb teen movie. Anyway...awesome song, although it's somewhat shockingly pro-violent revolution. Oh well, I don't really care. The vocals are interesting and are good in that they fit the somewhat dreamy atmosphere and yet are somewhat urgent at the same time- they still take a little getting used to at first though. It's interesting that Pete Townshend's apparent views on revolution would change considerably between the making of this song and The Who's "Who's Next."
- Paul, Cincinnati, OH
Regarding "The 'songfact' above about Pete Townshend isn't true: 'this was the only song he worked on that went to the top of the charts.' He produced "Fire" by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown in 1968 that was No. 1 in the UK"- I stand corrected. However 'Something In The Air was the only UK #1 that Pete Townshend or for that matter any member of The Who actually performed on.
- Edward Pearce, Ashford, Kent, England
The "songfact" above about Pete Townshend isn't true: "this was the only song he worked on that went to the top of the charts." He produced "Fire" by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown in 1968 that was No. 1 in the UK and No. 2 in the US. Both songs, by the way, are excellent.
- David, Youngstown, OH
this song is also in the movie the girl next door
- sam, Christchurch, New Zealand
Is Jimmy McCulloch the same one that played in 'Wings'?
- rob, vancouver, Canada
I just noticed that in the big orchestral "swirls" during the last refrains of "You know its right", there is a separate orchestration playing the first few notes of Marseillaise, the French National Anthem. Very cool.
- Tom, Salt Lake, UT
A little surprised that there is no mention of it also being on the soundtrack of 'The Strawberry Statement' (1970), possibly the only other movie besides 'True Grit' where Kim Darby had a starring role....Anyway, it was a MUCH better film than 'The Magic Christian'.
- Doug, Lake Mary, FL
Tom Petty sang the same song, it is towards the end of his Greatest Hits album.
- Brendon, Paxton, IL
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