Pete Townshend – Let My Love Open The Door

Pete recorded the album Empty Glass little before the Who recorded their first album without Keith Moon, Face Dances. This was Pete Townshend’s only solo American Top 10 hit, but it charted as high as any Who song released in America… I Can See For Miles also peaked at #9.

The song peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100 in 1980 and #46 in the UK. The song was on the album Empty Glass that peaked at #5 in the Billboard Album Charts.

Two of the musicians on this track, the bass player Tony Butler and drummer Mark Brzezicki, formed the Scottish rock quartet Big Country in 1981. Chris Thomas who produced this album also worked with The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Sex Pistols, Badfinger, and U2 among others.

From Songfacts

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine just after this song became a hit, Townshend referred to it as “just a ditty.” He went on to say that he preferred another song from Empty Glass, “A Little is Enough,” which only reached #72 on the US charts.

Pete Townshend has been a follower of the Indian spiritual teacher Meher Baba (1894-1969) since 1968 and this appears to be a devotional love song to his religious guru. However, in the liner notes of Townshend’s Gold (Remaster) CD, he refers to this song as “Jesus sings.”

The “love will set you free” message in this song is something Pete Townshend aspired to in his spiritual life, but wasn’t able to sustain as he turned to drugs and alcohol around this time.

When The Who drummer Keith Moon died in 1978, the band carried on, but with loads of tension. Townshend felt it acutely, as his whole life was tied up in the band, including his friendships and his finances. His creative output stayed strong – The Who released albums in 1981 and 1982, and he put out solo albums in 1980 and 1982 – but he nearly killed himself with his vices.

After two stays in rehab, Townshend got clean in 1982 and was able to reflect on this time. He realized he was pushing his guru, Meher Baba, out of his life as a defense mechanism because he couldn’t deal with his issues.

Among the films to use this song are Look Who’s Talking (1989), Mr. Deeds (2002) and Along Came Polly (2004). A different version was recorded for Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), and It was also the end credit song for Jersey Girl (2004). The song played a prominent role in the 2007 movie Dan In Real Life, where Steve Carell and Dane Cook perform the song to Cook’s girlfriend, whom Carell has deep feelings for.

Townshend released a slower version of this song in 1996 that he called the “E. Cola mix,” which he remixed with Jack Hues of Wang Chung along with Chris Hughes and Tim Oliver. This version was used in the 1997 film Grosse Pointe Blank and appeared on the soundtrack. In 2017, this version of the song was used in the “So Swayze It’s Crazy” episode of The Goldbergs, and also in a Walmart commercial titled “Christmas Like a Rock Star,” where families open the door to find items delivered by the store.

According to the 1985 Pete Townshend “My Generation” radio special, Townshend’s manager hated this track and felt it should be left off the album because it didn’t sound like a Pete Townshend song. Weeks after the release, Pete’s manager called to apologize when the song became the first hit single from Empty Glass.

Two different versions of the song were used on the season opener of Showtime’s Californication on April 13, 2014. A re-mix from Los Angeles producer Philip Stier opened the show and Townshend’s 1980 original version closed the episode.

Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia covered this on her 2014 album Male. “Without sounding corny, this one connects to my heart,” she told Entertainment Weekly.

The Christian rock-pop band Audio Adrenaline remade this song on their 1999 Underdog album. In their case the “my love” was referring to God’s love.

Let My Love Open The Door

When people keep repeating
That you’ll never fall in love
When everybody keeps retreating
But you can’t seem to get enough

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart

When everything feels all over
Everybody seems unkind
I’ll give you a four-leaf clover
Take all worry out of your mind

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart, to your heart

I have the only key to your heart
I can stop you falling apart
Try today you’ll find this way
Come on and give me a chance to say

Let my love open the door
It’s all I’m living for
Release yourself from misery
There’s only one thing gonna set you free
That’s my love
That’s my love

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door

When tragedy befalls you
Don’t let it drag you down
Love can cure your problems
You’re so luck I’m around

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

29 thoughts on “Pete Townshend – Let My Love Open The Door”

      1. Hey man…I made a post with you in mind. I want your opinion if you don’t mind. It’s called…Vinyl or Digital?
        You are an audiophile…that is a compliment. I was going to reference you in the post lol.


  1. This is a favorite of mine. I forget that it is Pete solo. I’m still floored that The Who didn’t ever chart higher in the US.

    PS happy Who album release day–yesterday! I’ve downloaded and sampled it, and will listen to the whole thing later today. Lots of good sounding stuff on it from the samples.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I plan to download it today. I heard the song Detour and loved it.
      Peter Blake did the front cover which is really cool.
      I’ve been working so much that I didn’t get to on the 6th.


    1. I’ve seen them twice…funny thing is yesterday I was searching on youtube and one of the concerts I was at is on there with video…1989 in Atlanta… Entwistle was my bass influence growing up…so glad I got to see him.


  2. Gotta say, it might be my favorite song he’s appeared on with or without The Who. Always liked it a lot. I never knew his backing musicians would go on to be Big Country – that’s hard to hear in it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was a shocker to me also. No I don’t hear Big Country at all. It is one of the most radio friendly songs he wrote.


      1. Have you heard their new one just released? I will say it sounds old and modern. The best thing they have released in decades. Peter Blake did the cover.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad he didn’t. It has his unique sound and feel. The Who, i.e., Roger would have changed it. Pete’s voice is higher. I read somewhere that, if Pete wanted to piss Roger off, he’d write the music and/or lyrics too high for Roger to reach.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lol… sounds like Pete. Pete does say he writes for Rogers voice. He said Roger is his best interpreter.
        Roger can get to some high notes… See Me, Feel Me and The Seeker… but Pete did great on this one….
        I’m reading your Stones post now… it’s great… just finishing


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