Top 10 Best The Who Songs

After first becoming a player in the music scene in the 1960s, The Who went on to become one of if not the greatest live rock and roll bands of all time. Their memorable live performances coupled with their popularization of such rock staples as the power chord, rock opera and guitar smash have earned The Who the distinction of being one of the greatest rock acts of all time. This list is a collection of their greatest songs.
The Top Ten
1 Baba O'Riley

One of the greatest tracks ever recorded from one of the most underrated bands ever.

Whenever people mention great British bands of the '60s, there is always The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Kinks, and so on, but never a mention of The Who. They are even one of the best rock bands in the annals of overall music too.

The Who certainly outshine The Doors, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix. In my opinion, they are the best band of the '60s anyway.

Absolutely awesome song, one of the best I've ever heard. It really takes you on a musical journey. I discovered this band recently and really can't seem to get this song out of my head. Definitely one of the best ever.

2 Won't Get Fooled Again

When anyone makes a list like this, they know there will be an argument over what song should be #1. But the one thing that can't be argued with is this song is over 8 minutes long, so that means more Keith Moon on drums, more John Entwistle on bass, more Roger Daltrey on vocals, and more Pete Townshend on guitar.

It became their best rock anthem and would close their concerts for many years to come, so it is only fitting that it closes this list. The Who MVP goes to Keith Moon for a drum riff that, together with Roger Daltrey's scream towards the end of the song, is perhaps rock's most iconic moment!

The definitive version is on the album "Who's Next."

3 Behind Blue Eyes

I actually regard this song as a quite underrated cut from The Who. Often, rock stations won't play this tune in favor of more popular and well-known songs from the same album like Baba O'Riley or Won't Get Fooled Again, but this song deserves just as much (or perhaps more) attention.

Daltrey's sad, vulnerable lyrics open the song but soon give way to a classic Who freak-out towards the end - perfection!

Breathtaking song. Surprisingly enough, I didn't like it much when I first heard it on the radio. It's really grown on me, though, and I now always listen to it whenever I'm in the mood for some of The Who.

4 My Generation

This is definitely my favorite by them, but I can understand Baba O'Riley being at the top spot. This song is just all over the place in a good way. The changes in key are pretty cool. The funniest thing about this song is that any Full House fans remember Danny Tanner performing this with the Rippers.

This song captured the teenage angst during a time of change in Great Britain. It was the theme song for a new generation, with Roger's stuttering adding an unusual but incredible feeling.

Awesome song. The original is better than any other cover. For me, it is their best and is worthy of being the best song ever. The Who - My Generation truly is the epitome of Rock and Roll.

5 Who are You

There is another great moment in the Who rockumentary "The Kids Are Alright" of The Who recording this song. You can see that even after years of conflicts in the band, they had a lot of fun with each other and loved being in the band.

Keith Moon looked like such a cut-up, and it is extra sad to know that he died not too long after recording this album. The Who MVP is Roger Daltrey, and the definitive version is the album "Who Are You."

Who are you? Who who, who who? Seriously, who are you people not voting for this song? It has absolutely amazing guitar work and shows off Roger's voice very nicely. For me, it's a toss-up between this and Baba for the number 1 spot, but seeing as this is so far down, I give it my vote.

6 Pinball Wizard

I'm watching "The Who: Sensation - The Story of Tommy," and Townshend is talking about spirituality and feeling, and good production. This and "The Seeker" are my best songs.

"Don't worry, be happy, do your best, leave the results to God. You impede your own spiritual progress by doing things which are against the grain physically, by self-indulgence, by indulging in lust, by indulging in greed - stop pretending and just get serious about life...let your intuition guide me."

"I was inspired to write 'Tommy' as a spiritual story...

7 Love, Reign O'er Me

Quite possibly the greatest song of all time. I don't think any more needs to be said.

But since it won't let me post that, I will say that both the vocals and the lyrics work to make this one of the most powerful and heart-wrenching songs I've ever heard, full of genuine emotion.

I thought a lot about this, since I also think that Pinball Wizard and Go To The Mirror are amazing songs. But Love, Reign O'er Me is a completely different thing. Easily one of the best songs of all time and the greatest rock vocal performance of all time.

8 Eminence Front

This is my favorite, a blast from my past! It shows their skills as a band, with the solos and variety of the instrumentals being unsurpassed!

This song is really underrated. Pete did really good work here, and the band helped him tremendously. This one should be way higher!

This song is a brilliant use of guitar and synthesizer solos. This is what's lacking in today's music: minute-long flashes of brilliance.

9 I Can See for Miles

I think this is one of The Who's best songs. Everything about it is just perfect! The hypnotizing vocals from Roger Daltrey, accompanied by Pete Townshend laying down these power chords, Keith Moon, the mad drummer, laying the drums for good, and John Entwistle's ace bass playing, easily make this in my Top 10 The Who songs. It showcases their talents and how good they could really be!

But what's even better are their live performances, mostly from 1967 to 1971. They should have played this song more often live! It wasn't on The Who's live setlist until after Keith Moon's death.

10 The Seeker

"The Seeker" is easily one of my favorite Who songs. It starts with an ultra-catchy guitar riff that runs throughout the song, with Entwistle following every note to really add a punch to the already aggressive guitar sound. Listening to "The Seeker" makes my chest pound.

But it's not just the music. The lyrics are also very engaging. They might not be Shakespeare, but still, they do a very good job of capturing what seems to be Townshend's, and every person's for that matter, struggle to define themselves, to be able to say "that's who I am with certainty." It's a song about seeking answers to existential questions that cannot be answered in a lifetime.

You can "search low," on the earth, or "high," in heaven, but still, we can only hope to get those answers when we die.

The Contenders
11 I Can't Explain

Quite possibly the most underrated song of all time. This song is raw energy. Remember back to your first love. Damn right, you can't explain!

This song is awesome, but you should give a listen to the live at the Isle of Wight version! It's electrifying!

Heard this for the first time in 20 years. Absolutely brilliant. Incredible, magical, and oh so controlled.

12 Bargain

All Who members were so important on every song on the album "Who's Next." But Keith Moon plays the drums frenetically throughout, so he gets the Who MVP for the song "Bargain."

Once again, there are many great live recordings of this song, but the definitive version is on the album "Who's Next."

Yes, this awesome anthem is always overlooked! It should always be a top 10 song for The Who. Best lyrics and top riff. Come on, this should always be a top Who song. Forget that - it should always be a top rock song! Thanks, Pete!

13 Substitute

The Who were so unique even when they were making pop singles in the '60s. The lyrics weren't your traditional love song by any means, and they would have bass guitar solos in the middle. John Entwistle is the Who MVP for the song "Substitute," and the definitive version is on the album "Meaty Beaty Big & Bouncy."

One of my favorites from The Who's early days. On the Live at Leeds version, you can hear Moon screaming as he manically executes one of his trademark drum fills leading into the second verse. That always amps me up!

14 You Better You Bet

This is one of those songs that conjures memories of driving around in the summer with the windows down and the radio cranked up - back in the early '80s. Still, to this day, it is always great to hear this song come on the radio.

Roger Daltrey is the Who MVP for the song "You Better You Bet," and the definitive version is on the album "Face Dances."

Great song! I could listen to this all day and never get sick of it! I first heard it in the first episode of season 2 of The Newsroom, and it fit in perfectly! I'd say this is easily my favorite song from The Who.

15 The Kids are Alright

There are two versions of this song. Make sure you get the one with the extended drum build-up towards the end. Once again, Keith Moon's drums add power to the pop, and so he gets the Who MVP for the song "The Kids Are Alright." The definitive version is on the extended, remastered, re-released album "My Generation."

This song is a simple, humble example of classic Who. An overlooked release by most, it is a beautiful ode to the pure everyday issues of life and really personifies the calmer side of The Who.

16 The Real Me

This song captures the listener's attention at the beginning of the album "Quadrophenia." There is a fairly unusual bridge in the song where there are only bass guitar, drums, and the lead vocal.

All members of The Who are extremely important in the album, but the Who MVP goes to John Entwistle on bass for the song "The Real Me," and the definitive version is on the album "Quadrophenia."

Daltrey's vocals are excellent, and they deeply convey the desperation of Townshend's lyrics. And what more can you say about John Entwistle's bass playing? The guy puts on a bass clinic, set up superbly by Pete's guitar chord progression.

I'm not always a fan of horn sections in hard rock, but it works perfectly on this track.

17 Magic Bus

This is one of those many songs written by Pete Townshend that he was surprised to see become such a popular live song and crowd favorite. It may epitomize The Who's description of "Maximum R&B" since it is blues-based but has all the Who components added: heavy bass, drum flourishes, electric and acoustic guitars, and harmonized vocals.

John Entwistle gets the Who MVP for the song "Magic Bus," and the definitive version is on the album "Meaty Beaty Big & Bouncy."

The Live at Leeds version destroys the studio version! But both are amazing.

18 A Quick One, While He's Away

Funny how this song made it to like 20 or 30 something on the greatest songs of all time list, ahead of all other songs by The Who. Definitely a great song. This was the song that got me into The Who. When I was a kid, I listened to the live at Leeds version with my dad.

I wouldn't say this song is better than all of Tommy, but it was the beginning of their Rock Opera idea. It should be in the top ten. Anyone who has seen Wes Anderson's Rushmore should love this song.

Should be in the top 5, overlooked song in general in favor of Bohemian Rhapsody. Pete's first real attempt at writing the rock operas that we love him for.

19 Pictures of Lily

One of the greatest compilation albums by any band ever is "Meaty Beaty Big & Bouncy," which contained all the power pop singles from The Who in the '60s, like the song "Pictures of Lily."

A lot of that power and pop came from the drums of Keith Moon, so he gets the Who MVP for this song, and the definitive version can be found on the album "Meaty Beaty Big & Bouncy."

My favorite Who "pop" song, fun to play on guitar. Another great subject that teens can relate to in this gem.

Should be way higher up! Such a great song.

20 See Me, Feel Me

The Who knew how to end an album - with triumphant, explosive, and powerful anthems. This is the final song of "Tommy" and is therefore the climactic ending of the film and multiple stage productions.

The Who performed this song as the sun rose at Woodstock in a very iconic moment. Roger Daltrey is the Who MVP for the song "We're Not Gonna Take It," and the definitive version is on the album "Tommy."

By all means, check out the multiple live recordings of this song.

I remember back in 1969 when Tommy first came out, rock music was being criticized by many for being too simplistic. My older sister, who is a classical piano player, said at the time that anyone who doesn't think rock songwriters have any talent should hear the Overture from Tommy (which, of course, is basically what the last part of See Me, Feel Me is).

21 Squeeze Box

Pete Townshend wrote this song on a whim after teaching himself how to play an accordion. You can hear the original recording on Townshend's solo album "Scoop," which really gives a little insight into his songwriting process.

But I think it was Roger Daltrey's vocals that made the song "Squeezebox" become a radio hit for many years to come. So, Roger Daltrey gets the Who MVP for this song, and the definitive version can be found on the album "Who By Numbers."

22 Cousin Kevin
23 Join Together

An all-time power anthem. Entwistle shows surprising restraint on this song, sticking exclusively to the unison bass/guitar riff rather than improvising up and down the neck as he is known for. His rhythm section mate, Keith Moon, plays perfectly for this song, letting the silent notes add to the already considerable power of his well-placed beats.

This should be way higher. At least in the top 15.

So straightforward and simple. It's a great poster song for The Who.

24 Boris the Spider

It's really funny, my favorite song by them. I'd like to see you get it out of your head. I'm also in love with the fact that John Entwistle wrote it with Bill Wyman.

First death growls in this song. By John Entwistle.

25 Tattoo

Very funny and entertaining song, and actually quite prophetic, considering the tattoo craze of the '90s-2010s.

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