Love Reign o'er Me (5:48)

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From Greatest Hits and 38 other releases

“Love, Reign o’er Me” is a song by English rock band The Who. Written by guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend, it was released on 23 October 1973 as the second single from the band’s sixth studio album and second rock opera, Quadrophenia. It is the final song on the album, and has been a concert staple for years. The song peaked at #76 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #54 on Cash Box.[1]

“Love, Reign o’er Me”, along with “Is It in My Head?” also from Quadrophenia, date back to 1972. Both songs were originally intended to be part of the unreleased autobiographical album, Rock Is Dead—Long Live Rock!, which later evolved into Quadrophenia.

“Love, Reign o’er Me” concerns the main character of Quadrophenia, Jimmy, having a personal crisis. With nothing left to live for, he finds a spiritual redemption in pouring rain. As Townshend described the song:

refers to Meher Baba’s one time comment that rain was a blessing from God; that thunder was God’s Voice. It’s another plea to drown, only this time in the rain. Jimmy goes through a suicide crisis. He surrenders to the inevitable, and you know, you know, when it’s over and he goes back to town he’ll be going through the same shit, being in the same terrible family situation and so on, but he’s moved up a level. He’s weak still, but there’s a strength in that weakness. He’s in danger of maturing.[2]

“Love, Reign o’er Me” was released as a 7” single. The single release version of this song is shorter than the album track, missing the introductory falling rain sound and the first piano intro and tympani and gong crash, slightly different sequence of the lyrics and ends on string synthesizers with piano rather than the drum solo, guitar, gong and brass explosion as on the album.


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