a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

Performances Song History Lyrics

I Am the Sea

Music/Lyrics: Pete Townsend

Vocals: Phish

Original Artist: The Who

Original Album: Quadrophenia (1973)

Albums: Live Phish 14

Debut: 1995-10-31

Historian: Craig DeLucia

After a brief tease of Michael Jackson’sThriller” through the P.A. system, fans in attendance at Halloween 1995 were immersed in the sound of crashing waves that signaled the beginning of The Who’s 1973 epic album Quadrophenia. True to this song’s original form, the band lightly accompanied the sound effects with textural background tones and lyrics from the four distinct melodies that underlay the rock opera. It may be more than mere coincidence that the band performed this album, punctuated with images of water, in the same year that aquatic imagery was evident in several new original songs (see “Theme From the Bottom,” “Free,” etc.). 

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