UK rock icons The Who have a massive catalogue of smash hits under their belt that helped change the music industry forever. Here we list our picks for The Who’s top 7 greatest songs.
British rock legends The Who have amassed a huge catalogue of smash hit songs since their formation in London in 1964.
The Who's band members originally consisted of Roger Daltrey (vocals), Pete Townshend (guitar, vocals), John Entwistle (bass) and Keith Moon (drums) and they are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century. The Who are also considered to be mod culture icons, check our blog to find out why.
The Who released their debut album, 'My Generation', in 1965, which featured the hit single of the same name. Check out our blog for more info on The Who's best albums.
They gained international fame with the release of their rock opera 'Tommy' in 1969, which was later adapted into a film and stage musical. The band continued to release successful albums throughout the 1970s, including 'Who's Next' and 'Quadrophenia', the second of which was also made into a feature film.
The Who have produced some of the most iconic and well-known songs of all time, selling over 100 million records in the process.
Roger Daltrey and co were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. They have also been acknowledged for their influence on rock music and the music industry as a whole.
Keep reading to find out our picks for The Who’s top 7 greatest songs of all time, as well as how you can get VIP tickets to see them live.Buy The Who VIP tickets
‘Baba O'Riley’ was released by The Who on the album ‘Who's Next’ in 1971. It is considered one of the band's greatest hits and is one of their most recognizable songs.
The song is written by Pete Townshend, who named it after Meher Baba, an Indian spiritual master, and his friend and collaborator, Terry Riley.
The song features a distinctive synthesiser riff, powerful guitar and drums, and lyrics that deal with the loss of innocence and the passage of time. It's often considered a tribute to the counterculture of the 1960s.
It has been covered by several artists and has been used in films, television shows, and commercials. It's still played on the radio and in live performances, and it's considered a classic of rock music.
In addition, the song is a favourite among fans and critics alike and is widely considered to be one of the greatest rock songs of all time.
Won't Get Fooled Again
'Won't Get Fooled Again’ is a song also released on The Who’s 1971 album ‘Who's Next’. The song is also written by Pete Townshend and is known for its powerful lyrics, its unique guitar riffs and its memorable guitar solo.
The song deals with themes of disillusionment, the dangers of blindly following leaders, and the need for personal empowerment. It's often considered a political and social commentary song.
The lyrics express Townshend's frustration with the political and social upheaval of the time and his scepticism of those who would seek to take advantage of it.
‘Won't Get Fooled Again’ is also known for its energetic live performances and the band's use of the song as a concert opener, often with an extended instrumental introduction.
The Who released their smash hit song ‘My Generation’ as a single on their 1965 album of the same name. It is considered one of the band's greatest hits and has grown to become a UK rock and roll anthem.
The song was another masterpiece written by Pete Townshend and is known for its shout and fall model frame and guitar riff emphasis. The song is a perfect example of The Who's iconic lyrics.
The song deals with themes of youth rebellion and the generation gap. The lyrics express Townshend's frustration with the older generation's lack of understanding of the younger generation and their values.
The song was seen as an anthem for the youth of the time, and it quickly became a hit among young audiences. ‘My Generation’ is considered by many as The Who’s greatest-ever song because of its raw energy, its lyrics, and its influence on the rock music of the time.
It was considered ground-breaking and revolutionary, and it helped establish The Who as one of the leading acts of the British Invasion.
Behind Blue Eyes
‘Behind Blue Eyes’ was released by The Who as a single in 1971. The lyrics were written by Pete Townshend, the band's lead guitarist and primary songwriter.
It has become one of The Who's most popular and enduring songs and is known for its powerful lyrics and emotive vocals, delivered by lead singer Roger Daltrey.
The song deals with themes of self-doubt, self-pity, and inner turmoil. The lyrics, which are written from the perspective of a misunderstood outcast, express feelings of loneliness, isolation and longing for understanding.
The song's introspective tone is a departure from the band's typical energetic and politically charged songs. ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ is considered a unique hit for The Who because of its introspective and emotional nature, which was not typical of the band's output at the time.
‘Behind Blue Eyes’ is a classic rock anthem that continues to resonate with audiences today.
Who Are You
‘Who Are You’ is a classic rock anthem by The Who that was released as a single in 1978 and later included on their album of the same name. The song is a blend of classic rock and hard rock elements and features powerful guitar riffs, driving drums, and a prominent bassline.
The guitar riffs and drums create a strong, energetic rhythm that propels the song forward, while the bass adds depth and texture to the overall sound. The vocals, sung by Roger Daltrey, are emotive and expressive, adding to the intensity of the song.
‘Who Are You’ also features a synthesiser that adds a futuristic and eerie touch to the track.
The lyrics of the song have been interpreted in various ways, with some seeing it as a reflection of self-awareness and the concept of identity. The introspective lyrics and powerful chorus have made it a timeless track that continues to be celebrated by fans.
The sound of the song is a quintessential representation of The Who's classic rock sound, with elements of hard rock and experimentation.
‘The Seeker’ was released as a single in 1970 and reached number 43 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The song features a driving, powerful guitar riff and strong vocals from lead singer Roger Daltrey. The lyrics, written by Pete Townshend, are introspective and spiritual in nature, with the narrator searching for meaning and purpose in life.
‘The Seeker’ is also known for its distinctive drumming by Keith Moon, who provides a dynamic and energetic performance on the track. It was an anthem for the youth of the time, and with its powerful lyrics and driving sound, it resonated with the audiences.
The song's sound is a perfect blend of rock and roll, hard rock and power pop elements and is considered a classic of The Who's catalogue. It was a big hit at the time of its release, and it continues to be a fan favourite today.
Last but certainly not least on our list we have ‘Pinball Wizard’ from The Who’s 1969 rock opera album ‘Tommy’.
It was written by Pete Townshend and is one of the band's most popular and recognizable songs. The song features a catchy, upbeat melody and lyrics that describe a pinball prodigy.
The song's sound is a blend of rock, hard rock, and power pop elements, with Townshend's guitar playing and Keith Moon's drumming being particularly notable. The song was a hit for The Who, reaching number 4 on the UK Singles Chart and number 19 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The song has been covered by various artists and has become a rock and roll classic. The song's success helped propel the album 'Tommy' to even greater heights, solidifying The Who's legacy as one of the most important bands of the 60s and 70s.
How can I get tickets to see The Who perform live?
The Who have a seriously impressive catalogue of hits that changed the music industry forever and cemented their place as one of the most popular and influential bands of all time.
The band have announced UK tour dates for July 2023. As it is the rockers' first UK tour in 6 years, demand for tickets will be very high as millions of fans flock to see the legendary rockers perform all of their iconic hits live. For more info on The Who's 2023 tour, check out our blog.
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