Let My Love Open The Door

Album: Empty Glass (1980)
Charted: 46 9

Songfacts®:

  • 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."
  • The "love will set you free" message in this song is something Pete Townshend aspired to in his spiritual life, but wasn't able to sustain as he turned to drugs and alcohol around this time.

    When The Who drummer Keith Moon died in 1978, the band carried on, but with loads of tension. Townshend felt it acutely, as his whole life was tied up in the band, including his friendships and his finances. His creative output stayed strong - The Who released albums in 1981 and 1982, and he put out solo albums in 1980 and 1982 - but he nearly killed himself with his vices.

    After two stays in rehab, Townshend got clean in 1982 and was able to reflect on this time. He realized he was pushing his guru, Meher Baba, out of his life as a defense mechanism because he couldn't deal with his issues.
  • Among the films to use this song 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, whom Carell has deep feelings for.
  • Two of the musicians on this track, the bass player Tony Butler and drummer Mark Brzezicki, formed the Scottish rock quartet Big Country in 1981.
  • Townshend released a slower version of this song in 1996 that he called the "E. Cola mix," which he remixed with Jack Hues of Wang Chung along with Chris Hughes and Tim Oliver. This version was used in the 1997 film Grosse Pointe Blank and appeared on the soundtrack. In 2017, this version of the song was used in the "So Swayze It's Crazy" episode of The Goldbergs, and also in a Walmart commercial titled "Christmas Like a Rock Star," where families open the door to find items delivered by the store.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia covered this on her 2014 album Male. "Without sounding corny, this one connects to my heart," she told Entertainment Weekly.
  • 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.

Comments: 9

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 23rd 1980, a video tape of Pete Townshend performing "Let My Love Open the Door" was aired on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was in its 2nd of three weeks at #9 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    {See next post below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 27th 1980, a video of "Let My Love Open the Door" by Pete Townshend was aired on NBC-TV program 'The Midnight Special'...
    Nineteen days earlier on June 8th, 1980 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #69; and on August 10th, 1980 it peaked at #9 (for 3 weeks) and spent 19 weeks on the Top 100...
    Was track four on his debut solo album, 'Empty Glass', and the album reached #5 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart...
    Two other tracks from the album also made the Top 100; "A Little Is Enough" (#72) and "Rough Boys" (#89)...
    And on the same show a video of "Rough Boys" was also aired...
    Mr. Townshend celebrated his 69th birthday last month on May 19th, 2014.
  • Jef from Passaic, NjI heard it was about gay sex.
  • John from Honolulu, Hii saw an interview with Townshend and he said he was thinking about Jesus, when he wrote the song.
  • Gregg from East Rockaway, NyOne thing to note about Pete - he constantly contradicts himself from one interview to another, making the truth difficult to ascertain. Based on the lyrics, I'd guess "just a ditty" is the most likely answer, and he probably came up with "Jesus Sings" after someone pointed out to him how it could be interpreted that way.
  • Robin from Edmonton, CanadaOn his greatest hits, I he gives a detailed explanation of what this song is about. I don't have that CD with me, unfortunately. However, on wikipedia, it says that the song is not a message from a lover, but a message from God. Yes, as written above, Townshend is a follower of the Indian spiritual teacher Meher Baba. Cheers. Great song!
  • Rachel from Cleveland, OhI love this song and its been stuck in my head for a week now o_o
  • John from Hendersonville, NcI really love this song, though "A Little is Enough" is probably the better of the two.
  • Donovan from Sacramento, CaThis song is unique in the fact that is has 2 different versions. One version was fast and upbeat and the other was slowed down but both sound great!
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