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"?