Eminence Front… It’s a put on.

May 28, 2015
By jemartin

GMC started running ads for its shiny new fleet with The Who’s “Eminence Front” as background music.

Eminence Front?

I’ve been a fan of The Who, well, forever. It tickles me that Jerry Bruckheimer is also, given the amount of Who music used on his TV shows, but I digress.

Eminence Front??!!

Just about the worst song to advertise anything. Let’s consider:

The sun shines and people forget
They spray flies as the speedboat glides and people forget
Forget they’re hiding.
The girls smile and people forget
The snow packs as the skier tracks and people forget
Forget they’re hiding.

Behind an eminence front
Eminence front – It’s a put on.
It’s Eminence front, It’s Eminence front – It’s a put on.

Come and join the party dress to kill
Won’t you come and join the party, dress to kill.
Dress to kill.

The drinks flow, people forget
That big wheel spins, the hair thins, people forget
Forget they’re hiding
The news slows, people forget
The shares crash, hopes are dashed, people forget
Forget they’re hiding.

Behind an eminence front
An Eminence front – it’s a put on
(This is where Townshend was shouting BULLSHIT when I saw this live.)

It’s a put on, It’s a put on, It’s a put on, It’s a put on
Come on join the party
Dress to
Dress yourself to kill.


Eminence means: high station, rank, etc., I get why that’s attractive to a car company trying to sell power, bling, and everything that goes with it. But the song is about the front that people put up to give the appearance of station and rank, and it’s all fake.

Songfacts.com says about the song:
“This song criticizes the excess of the wealthy. It would foreshadow how the 1980s progressed, becoming known as “The ‘Me’ Decade” or “The Decade of Greed.”

In Townshend’s own words, the song was written for IT’S HARD: “Everyone in the band wanted to write about the fact that the post war dream, one that rock had partly helped to promise, hadn’t been delivered”

Oops. Did anyone at the ad company listen to the song first?

I get that the music has a great intro. In fact, it’s a GREAT SONG! When I first heard the music, I was excited – it’s THE WHO! Then I thought about it for a moment and it dawned on me that it was laughably funny, and a little sad, how little understanding they had for the meaning of the song. I suspect they don’t care.

Using that music to advertise anything, without regard for the meaning of it, is the ultimate Eminence Front.

File under “Irony”.

This is made even funnier by the use of NBA Basketball themes in one of the Eminence Spots – when I think of the NBA (and many professional sports), I do think about wealth, excess and bullshit: http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7eWa/gmc-swish

Songfacts: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=6863
Townshend Interview: http://thewho.com/pete-townshend-fan-interview-part-1-of-2/


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