Music Legend Pete Townshend Composes Original Song for Acclaimed FX Drama ‘The Americans’
via press release:
MUSIC LEGEND PETE TOWNSHEND COMPOSES ORIGINAL SONG
FOR ACCLAIMED FX DRAMA “THE AMERICANS”
WITH SERIES’ EMMY®-NOMINATED COMPOSER NATHAN BARR
Marks First-Ever Television Work By Townshend
Song To Be Featured in “The Americans” Episode Airing April 30
Los Angeles, CA – April 7, 2014 – Legendary rock icon Pete Townshend will make his first foray into television with an original song for the hit FX drama series The Americans, which he co-wrote with series’ two-time Emmy®-nominated composer Nathan Barr. The song, “It Must Be Done,” will be featured in the episode airing April 30, 2014 at 10pm ET/PT.
The history-making collaboration resulted from the long-standing relationship between The Americans’ music supervisor PJ Bloom and Spirit Music Group’s President, Mark Fried and Senior Vice President of Creative Services, Pete Shane. They had been looking for a high-profile television opportunity for Pete Townshend for some time, but nothing was exciting enough to justify his involvement – until The Americans.
“When I signed my deal with Spirit I was hoping we could do stuff differently and working with Nate was extremely gratifying and artistically exciting.”
“We were incredibly honored and excited that Pete Townshend wanted to work with our composer, Nate Barr, to create an original song for The Americans – and then we were simply blown away by the results,” said Americans’ Executive Producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields. “The piece not only captures the iconic sounds we associate with Townshend and The Who, it also works perfectly with the film, bringing the sequence to life beautifully.”
“I grew up listening to The Who and all of Pete’s amazing songs,” said Barr. “And as a kid I could never have imagined that one day I would have the thrill of writing a song with him.”
Pete Townshend is best known as the principal song writer and guitarist of The Who, one of the most influential rock bands of the last half century. On the way to selling millions of albums and charting numerous rock standards, Townshend helped push The Who to ambitious heights and redefine the scope of the rock band, introducing groundbreaking playing and recording techniques, penning two rock operas, Tommy and Quadrophenia (later turned into successful motion pictures) and contributing to the now legendary live album “Live At Leeds”. Townshend was inducted, along with his bandmates, into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1990. He launched a successful career in musical theater with the Broadway production of The Who’s Tommy, winning Townshend a Tony Award® for Best Original Score, followed by his musical adaptation of Ted Hughes’ The Iron Man. His memoir, Who I Am was published by Harper Collins in 2012 and hit the best-seller list. The Who will tour the US in 2015 to celebrate their 50th Anniversary.
Nathan Barr made Emmy history in 2013 as the first composer to receive a double nomination in the Main Title Music category for his work on FX’s The Americans and Netflix’s Hemlock Grove. In addition to working on the second season of both of these shows, Barr has scored all six seasons of HBO’s Emmy-winning and fan-favorite series, True Blood, and is currently scoring the final season. Barr has also composed the music for more than 30 feature films, including Eli Roth’s Hostel series. As a multi-instrumentalist, Barr incorporates a large collection of musical instruments into his scores, ranging from human bone trumpets to a 1,500 pipe Wurlitzer Theater Organ.
Set in the early 1980s just after Ronald Reagan is elected president, The Americans is a drama about the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C. One of the most critically-acclaimed series on television, the show stars Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich and is currently airing its second season on FX. The Americans was created by and is executive produced by Joe Weisberg (Falling Skies), a former CIA agent who went on to become an accomplished author, Joel Fields and Graham Yost, along with Daniel Sackheim and Amblin Television heads Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. The show is produced by Fox Television Studios and FX Productions.
FX is the flagship general entertainment basic cable channel of FX Networks, a business unit of Fox Networks Group. FX Networks is comprised of FX, FXM and FXX, its newest channel, which debuted on September 2, 2013. Launched in June of 1994, FX is carried in more than 97 million homes. The diverse schedule features a growing roster of critically-acclaimed and award-winning hit dramas series, including Sons of Anarchy, Justified, The Americans and The Bridge; the upcoming dramas Tyrant (June ’14) and The Strain (July ’14); the miniseries American Horror Story; the upcoming miniseries Fargo (4/15/14); the acclaimed hit comedy series Louie and Archer; the new animated comedy Chozen; and scripted comedies Married and You’re The Worst both launching in summer of ’14. The network’s library of acquired box-office hit movies is unmatched by any ad-supported television network. FX’s roster of acquired hit series includes Two and a Half Men, Anger Management and, coming in 2014, Mike & Molly.