October 27, 2020

Drowned

Piano by Chris Stainton

Pete Townshend: "This song, included in Quadrophenia, should actually stand alone. I think in a sense it does. When the tragic hero of Q sings it, it is desperate and nihilistic. In fact, it’s a love song, God’s love being the ocean and our ‘selves’ being the drops of water that make it up. Meher Baba said, ‘I am the Ocean of Love.’ I want to drown in that ocean, the ‘drop’ will then be an ocean itself. Anyway a tale – when recording this song it rained so hard in Battersea where our studio is that the walls were flowing with sheets of water. Chris Stainton played piano in a booth and when the take was finished he opened the door and about 500 gallons gushed out! Another glorious coincidence. The take on the album is the one."

The most often performed song from Quadrophenia during The Who’s live shows probably because it gave the band room to improvise. In the 1996-97 edition it was performed solo by Pete on acoustic guitar. Live versions can be found on the Who Rocks America video (1982), the 30 Years Of Maximum R&B video (1974) andThe Who & Special Guests Live at the Royal Albert Hall video (2000).