All This Music Must Fade

Songfacts®:

  • In 1976, George Harrison was found guilty of "subconscious plagiarism" when a judge ruled that "My Sweet Lord" sounded too much like the Chiffons hit "He's So Fine." Since then, artists like Robin Thicke on "Blurred Lines" and Katy Perry on "Dark Horse" have fallen foul of the legally sensitive topic of originality/copyright. Songwriters are becoming increasingly nervous about being sued, as any tune they write is bound to use musical elements that have already been explored.

    Here, The Who's guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend takes a tongue-in-cheek look at music originality. He nullifies artists' complaints about their music being pilfered because:

    This sound that we share
    Has already been played
    And it hangs in the air


    Speaking about the provocative track, Townshend said, "Our musical palette is limited enough in the 21st century without some dork claiming to have invented a common chord scheme."
  • The song was debuted on October 3, 2019 during Zoe Ball's BBC Radio 2 show.
  • Roger Daltrey was less than impressed by an early demo of this song that included a rap sequence, with Pete Townshend suggesting Daltrey could perform the part on record.

    "I hated it at first, but it's such a catchy song," said Daltrey to Rolling Stone. "On the demo, he had some rapping on it. Well, no f---ing way I'm going to rap. No way. Let the youngsters wear those clothes."
  • The first verse begins with Roger Daltrey singing:

    I don't care
    I know you're gonna hate this song
    And that's fair
    We never really got along


    Townshend admitted to Mojo magazine that, at first, Daltrey was worried about the lyric. He thought the guitarist was putting words in his mouth, saying, "You're gonna hate this song Roger." The Who songwriter replied, "No this is for you to sing this is your view." However, Daltrey countered, "I don't know that I feel that, 'cause I'm not a songwriter," to which Townshend replied, "Well, imagine that you are."

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