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In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine just after this song became a hit, Townshend referred to it as "Just a ditty." He went on to say that he preferred another song from Empty Glass, "A Little is Enough," which only reached #72 on the US charts.
Pete Townshend has been a follower of the Indian spiritual teacher Meher Baba (1894-1969) since 1968 and this appears to be a devotional love song to his religious guru. However in the liner notes of Townshend's Gold (Remaster) CD, he refers to this song as "Jesus sings."
Among the films this has been used in are Look Who's Talking (1989), Mr. Deeds (2002) and Along Came Polly (2004). A different version was recorded for Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), and It was also the end credit song for Jersey Girl (2004). The song played a prominent role in the 2007 movie Dan In Real Life, where Steve Carell and Dane Cook perform the song to Cook's girlfriend, who Carell has deep feelings for.
Two of the musicians on this track, the bass player Tony Butler and drummer Mark Brzezicki, became part of the Scottish Rock quartet Big Country a few years later.
The Christian rock-pop band Audio Adrenaline remade this song on their 1999 Underdog album. In their case the "my love" was referring to God's love.
This was Pete Townshend's only solo American Top 10 hit, but it charted as high as any Who song released in America - "I Can See For Miles
" also hit #9. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above)
According to the 1985 Pete Townshend "My Generation" radio special, Townshend's manager hated this track and felt it should be left off the album because it didn't sound like a Pete Townshend song. Weeks after the release, Pete's manager called to apologize when the song became the first hit single from Empty Glass.
Two different versions of the song were used on the season opener of Showtime's Californication on April 13, 2014. A re-mix from Los Angeles producer Philip Stier opened the show and Townshend's 1980 original version closed the episode.