December 29, 2007

"Eyesight to the Blind"

Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend and John Entwistle lip sync to their recording of "Eyesight to the Blind" in Tommy (1975):


This song ("Eyesight to the Blind") was originally written by Sonny Boy Williamson (the second artist to record under that name) and was released in February 1951. Pete picked up the song from Mose Allison's 1959 cover version. Early drafts of "Tommy" also included Mose's "Young Man Blues" and "One Room Country Shack." In most early song lists, this song came immediately before "The Acid Queen." A version with an alternate vocal surfaced in the U.K. in 1972 and was included on the Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs CD (from thewho.net).

The movie Tommy (1975) was one of those movies (along with Blazing Saddles (1974), Jaws (1975), The Towering Inferno (1974), Earthquake (1974), and Phantom of the Paradise (1974), etc.) that I would have seen for the first time after my family finally got HBO in the late '70s. Those movies were really the first R-rated type ones I'd really ever seen (I would have been 11 or 12), so they each made big impressions (good and bad). Many of those movies were disturbing to me and showed up somehow in a nightmare or bad dream. Tommy was such a film.



And is it just me, or does Clapton's "Forever Man" sound just a tad bit like "Eyesight to the Blind"?

8 comments:

kenna said...

In the clip of "Eyesight to the Blind" I love the shot from 2:10-2:33, the slow dirge like walk brought into the swinging close up.

Chris said...

Yes, that is well done. I wonder though if Clapton doesn't cringe just a little bit if and when he ever sees that scene. He looks a bit glazed.

Blognor Regis said...

You'll love this.

Compare Clapton's beard between the start and end of the clip.

According to Ken Russell on the DVD commentary, the shoot for this scene took two days after day one Clapton, not always entirely compos mentis in those days, shaved his beard off. After a continuity freak out they found a teddy bear and stuck its fur on to Clapton's face. Eric Clapton has a stuck on beard! I reckon the soft focus and acid spangles later on the scene are to obscure its obviousness.

That's Arthur Brown waving the idol about by the way.

Chris said...

Awesome trivia! I thought Clapton looked a little odd. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown Arthur Brown?

Kenna said...

If I may...Yes, that is the same Arthur Brown, I'm pretty sure Pete Townsend had something to do with that album.

Chris said...

Might you be thinking of Thunderclap Newman?

Kenna said...

Naw, I had to 'wiki' it to confirm but Pete produced The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Also, Arthur Brown released an anthology(?) in 2003...who knew? A former roomie used to torture our party guests with Fire on repeat.

Chris said...

I was too lazy to wiki. That's sad, isn't it? I have now, though, and you're correct. LOL about the roomie. "Inagaddadavida" would probably have worked too.