Monday, January 11, 2010

Limp Bizkit: Behind Blue Eyes

A couple of weeks ago, I became friends on Facebook with a guy with whom I had attended all 12 years of public school. He commented that he didn’t know that I was so interested in music and he asked me to name my favorite band. This really caused me to think about this particular question, as at different times in my life, it has consisted of different artists.

In the late 60s, it was the Beatles – it started with my purchase of Magical Mystery Tour and moving on to collecting anything Beatles related. I have a Beatles serving tray from 1964; singles and EPs from Canada, Mexico, and the UK; LPs from Germany, the UK, Japan, & the Netherlands: and Beatles albums in a multitude of colored vinyl: red, white, blue, green, yellow, and marble colored (“barftone” to some).

The seventies proved that I was quite fickle with my favorite bands which moved from the Beatles to Pink Floyd, to Fairport Convention, and finally to Emerson, Lake, & Palmer. I’ve seen both ELP and Fairport Convention in concert, but not Floyd or the Beatles. Since the 80s, I have had no particular favorites.

With that in mind, who is my favorite band of all time? Perhaps I should phrase that as an indicative statement rather than an interrogative one: Who is my favorite band of all time. Rather than get into an Abbott and Costello bit here, I must admit that The Who is probably the band that I would place right at the top of the Rock ‘N Roll heap. One of my all time favorite LPs is The Who’s “Who’s Next.” There is not a bad cut on this LP, and one I always liked was “Behind Blue Eyes.” Our cover feature for this Monday is Limp Bizkit’s version of this Pete Townshend composition.

Limp Bizkit, a nu metal band, released this tune in 2003 for the movie "Gothika." Halle Berry played the lead in this movie as well as with Fred Durst, Limp Bizkit’s lead vocalist, in the above music video. Limp Bizkit's rendition of "Behind Blue Eyes" received the K-Rock Best Cover Song Award for 2003.

The Who’s version was originally written for “Lifehouse” -- The Who's ill-fated follow up rock opera to “Tommy.” Much of the “Lifehouse” project appeared on “Who’s Next,” various non-album singles, and Pete Townshend’s first solo LP, “Who Came First.” The remaining songs were scattered throughout other albums.

“Behind Blue Eyes” was written from the perspective of the rock opera’s primary antagonist, Jumbo. Pete Townshend stated that the lyrics from the second portion of the song were written as a prayer. It was inspired by his resistance to the temptations of a groupie.

In Limp Bizkit’s version, there are the additional lyrics of “Discover, L – I – M – P; say it.” This phrase is repeated four times. These were probably samples that were provided by Limp Bizkit member DJ Lethal. All in all, this is a decent rendition of one my favorites by one of my favorites.

The Who’s Version from “Who’s Next”

How Pete Townsend Envisioned the Song for “Lifehouse”

Behind “Behind Blue Eyes”


No one knows what it's like to be the bad man
To be the sad man behind blue eyes
No one knows what it's like
To be hated, to be fated to telling only lies

But my dreams, they aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be
I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance that's never free

No one knows what it's like
To feel these feelings like I do and I blame you!
No one bites back as hard on their anger
None of my pain and woe can show through

But my dreams, they aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be
I have hours only lonely
My love is vengeance, that's never free

When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool

And If I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
And If I shiver, please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat

No one knows what it's like to be the bad man
To be the sad man behind blue eyes

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