Break The News

Songfacts®:

  • Pete Townshend's brother Simon, who plays rhythm guitar and sings backing vocals with The Who on tour, penned this song. He told Uncut magazine: "I came up with the idea when I was going to see the doctor about something, and I wondered what it would be like if you had to come home and break really bad news. So this song is very upbeat and happy, but basically saying, 'I'll always be the one to break the news. But only if it's good news.' if it's bad, I'll just keep quiet!"
  • Simon Townshend's first credited collaboration with The Who was as one of the supporting choralists for Ken Russell's 1975 film adaptation of Tommy. He became a full touring member in 2002 and produced the single "Real Good Looking Boy" two years later, but Who was the first Who album that features one of his songs. He recalled to Mojo:

    "Originally I wanted Roger (Daltrey) and I to collaborate on something and sent him 25 songs. I didn't hear anything back from him, which was really hard. Then I played him a song I thought would be great for The Who - with harmonica and a big guitar riff – and they weren't impressed.

    Finally I played them Break The News, which I never thought of as a Who song, and they loved it!"
  • The Who played a pair of intimate acoustic shows on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at the Pryzm nightclub in the London suburb of Kingston upon Thames in honor of the 50th anniversary of the band's Live at Leeds album. During the gigs, they played this song live for the very first time.

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