Keith Reid was the lyricist for the band Procol Harum. For The Common Thread album, he called upon a variety of musicians to perform his song. On this track, Michael Saxell wrote the music and Bernie Shanahan sang lead.
Potters Fields were burial places for people who died destitute or were of unknown origin. In many cases, these were immigrants who came to America. Reid, who was raised in England, came to America in 1986. He says: "'Potters Field' is written literally about a place called Hart Island which is, as it says in the song, just off of Long Island Sound. I just read about it. And, I could have read that book anywhere, but because I was living in New York, it made more of a connection with me. It felt real to me, the idea of immigrants who had come over ending up in a pauper's grave."
Pete Townshend never had a #1 UK hit with The Who or as a solo artist, but he did produce and play on a song that hit the top spot there: "Something In The Air" by Thunderclap Newman, a group he assembled.