Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: It's HardReleased: 1982Charted:
"Eminence" is high power or fame, so an "Eminence Front" is the illusion of such, as Pete Townshend indicates with the line, "It's a put-on."
He said the song is about "the absurdity of drug-fuelled grandiosity," possibly related to the Ativan detox program he went through shortly before writing the song. "Whether I was pointing the finger at myself or at the cocaine dealers of Miami Beach is hard to recall."
Townshend created the distinctive keyboard sound using a Yamaha E70 organ with the Auto Arpeggio setting turned on. He used the same effect on "You Better You Bet
This song criticizes the excess of the wealthy, including stockbrokers who work with other people's money("shares crash, hopes are dashed"). It foreshadowed how the 1980s progressed, becoming known as "The 'Me' Decade" or "The Decade of Greed."
Pete Townshend sang lead on this track. When they performed it live, Roger Daltrey played rhythm guitar.
This is the best-known song off of It's Hard
, the second album The Who released after the death of Keith Moon. Even though the album went to #11 on the charts in the UK and #8 in the US, it was poorly received by the critics. Roger Daltrey claimed he "hated" It's Hard
and considered this the only song worthy of release.
The song has a very long intro. Running 5:39 on the album, the vocal doesn't come in until 1:57.
This was used in a 2015 commercial for the GMC Acadia Denali.
The hip-hop group 3rd Bass sampled this on their 1991 track "Pop Goes the Weasel."