19 Sep 2012
The Seeker – reading between the lines
Jim Beviglia of American Songwriter has written an interesting analysis of the Pete Townshend classic, performed by The Who, “The Seeker”.
When you’ve got a catalog as vast and impressive as that of The Who, some noteworthy songs can get lost in the shuffle. “The Seeker” feels like one of those songs, in part because it was a non-album single recorded and released in 1970 between the twin triumphs of Tommy and Who’s Next. As a matter of fact, it was the first thing that Pete Townshend wrote for the band following Tommy, a project which gained him endless accolades as one of the preeminent rock songwriters.
If you read between the lines of “The Seeker,” you can hear Townshend trying to square that success with his constant restlessness. At the time of the song’s release, he talked about it with Rolling Stone: “Quite loosely, “The Seeker” was just a thing about what I call Divine Desperation, or just Desperation. And what it does to people. It just kind of covers a whole area where the guy’s being fantastically tough and ruthlessly nasty and he’s being incredibly selfish and he’s hurting people, wrecking people’s homes, abusing his heroes, he’s accusing everyone of doing nothing for him and yet at the same time he’s making a fairly valid statement, he’s getting nowhere, he’s doing nothing and the only thing he really can’t be sure of is his death, and that at least dead, he’s going to get what he wants. He thinks!”
To read the full article by Jim Beviglia, go to American Songwriter.