This Performance is Real
“Behind Blue Eyes” is full heart ballad with a power chord catharsis. Peter Townsend and The Who expresse all insecurity and self doubt laid bare. This slow burner surprises with a big howling release. The song carries dark emotions, self destructive anger, and raw hormones. As listeners we go from heartfelt crooning to stomping around the room pumping our fist, shouting Townsend’s lyrics:
When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool.
This heartfelt performance includes one rock and roll’s greatest climactic moments as the Daltry rumbles through an angry, defiant and finally vulnerable rant before the final refrain, “if I shiver/ please give me a blanket/ keep me warm/ let me wear your coat.” The listener might wonder if the villain causing destruction might simply need some kindness and compassion.
An Early Version
Unique Acoustic Versions