Pete Townshend’s Song for FX’s ‘The Americans’ [Video]
On Wednesday (April 30), the acclaimed FX television series ‘The Americans’ will debut a new song by Pete Townshend. The track, called ‘It Must Be Done,’ is being teased in the trailer for the episode, which is embedded above.
As we reported earlier this month, Townshend co-wrote ‘It Must Be Done’ with Nathan Barr, who composes the score for ‘The Americans,’ which is about a pair of Soviet spies living in America during the ’80s. Despite the show’s retro time period, the 20 seconds or so featured in the commercial suggest a modern sound, with electronic beats and sound effects.
With only a small percentage of his songs being collaborations, Townshend found the process fascinating. “It’s almost like jazz,” he told Billboard. “I’m responding to something he wrote, he’s responding to something I write, almost like live music. I was surprised by the intimacy. You’re so focused on what is essential – there are no breaks for cups of coffee – and what seems like it should be impersonal and cold is quite the opposite.”
Townshend also found a challenge in trying to work some of the themes of the show into the song. “I wanted to keep it very simple,” he continues. “Here’s this couple whose whole life is about duty, duty without honor, duty without explanation. There are no accolades. They’re not living a lie but doing things they find hard to do. Everybody has a part of their life that’s difficult to explain. For me it’s why the f— am I in the Who?”