Top Ten The Who SongsAfter 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 to date.
One of the greatest tracks ever recorded from one of the most underrated bands ever.
Whenever people mention great british bands of the 60's, 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 annuls of overall music too. The Wo certainly out shine the Doors, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix, and in my opinion they are the best band of the 60's anyway
Townshend intended "Baba O'Riley" to be a comment on the dangers of excess, yet its "teen-age wasteland" refrain became a celebratory rallying cry instead. What else can you expect when you wrap the message in music that grabs the listener and won't let go? "Baba O'Riley" is a masterpiece of great writing, soulful singing and intense musicianship. You don't get more classic than this.
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.
When is was 13 years old, I played this on vinyl all day until it was too scratched and I bought another copy of Who's Next! I'm now 55 and I still love it as much as I did back then! Best song of all time! #1 PERIOD!
1) 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 and so 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! And the definitive version is on the album "Who's Next".
Cynicism has never sounded as good as it does on "Won't Get Fooled Again," a powerful acknowledgement of lessons learned. The "nothing really changes" attitude of the lyrics is in stark contrast to the potent vigor of the music - and to the intense power of the performers. The passion may be full of anger, but it's definitely fueled by hope.
You cannot better this in the history of rock. I have been on love with this song for 35 years and it still gets me to my boots now. The early synthesiser - so ahead of its time -is hypnotic and full of ominous portent - the ox is as blinding as ever, keiths drums at end of the second key board solo like bombs exploding, Roger at his best and Townsend genius songwriting, arrangements and guitar work. It is just perfect
I love others songs from Who's Next, but this one takes the cake. It's got some awesome windmill guitar from Pete and a cool keyboard riff. There's also an awesome drum solo from Keith. But what's really one of the cool parts is John's bass line, it sounds like someone else is singing in he chorus, but it's just his bass!
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!
One of The Who's most covered songs, 1971's "Behind Blue Eyes" exemplifies Townshend's expertise at incorporating different moods and tempos into one song. The sweet, sad melancholy of the opening ultimately turns angry and powerful before returning once again to quiet and lonely. Daltrey once more contributes a finely-edged vocal performance that beautifully capture's the song's yearning.
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.
I've proposed my daugther who is 3 years and half old to listen to this song in the car. She has fallen in love with it and now She always asks me to listen and listen again (children can be repetitive). Of course I love it.
Named Rolling Stone's 11th greatest rock-n-roll song of all time, "My Generation" captures the raw sense of youthful rebellion better than just about any other song. "I hope I die before I get old" has become a mantra for every youth culture, and the urgent propulsion of the song mirrors the explosive energy of rock, punk, rap, thrash of just about every kind of modern music.
This is definitely my favourite 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 lol.
This song captured the teenage angst during a time of change in G.B. 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 the best song ever... The Who - My generation truly is the epitome of Rock n'Roll
Released in 1978, "Who Are You" was inspired by an alcohol-induced episode in Townshend's life: A policeman did indeed, as the opening lyrics state, find the rock star drunk in a SoHo doorway. Hey, the right person can make art out of anything. The Who is in fine form here, making this late '70s cut as compelling and powerful as their formative 1960s classics. However, its parent album was the last recorded before drummer Keith Moon's death.
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 the years of conflicts in the band, that they had a lot of fun with each other and loved being in the band. Keith Moon looked like such a cutup 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 this song? It's 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.
Definitely deserves to be #2 behind Teenage Wasteland. This song makes me want to live life. Between the groove and the amazing piano and guitar fusion, this song is just plain amazing. One of the best Classic Rock songs ever
The most popular song from The Who's timeless Tommy, this was actually a late addition to the rock opera. Townshend was advised that the first version of Tommy was too relentless and needed something to lighten it up - and thus this classic song was born. A piece from classical composer Henry Purcell influenced Townshend for the song's constant sense of motion, and helped bring us this enduring classic.
I'm watching the who: sensation the story of tommy and townsend is talking about spirituality and feeling. And good production. This and the seeker are my best song. "don't worry be happy, do your best leave the results to god."
'You impede your own spiritual progress by doing things which 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...
My favorite song of all-time. I smashed toy guitars as a kid, listening to this song and pretending I was Pete. There needs to be a top 50 for the who because I love pretty much everything they wrote, even going back to the High Numbers. Wish I had been alive to see the original four play together.
This song should be top 5. It's another example of Pete Townshend's lyrical genius. Pinball Wizard may be a short song, but it's got an incredible tune.
Roger Daltrey could be guilty of going overboard with his vocals, but "Love, Reign O'er Me" is a perfect example of the man knowing how to rock the emotions without getting excessive. Townshend's writing is perceptive and involving, and the band sounds great, but it's Daltrey who gives the song its heft, power and impact. A truly sterling piece of rock singing that demonstrates why Daltrey, at his peak, couldn't be beat.
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 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.
Daltrey never sang better. Never even came close, really. His vocals, the hypnotic synths and 6/8 time really make Love Reign O'er Me stand out, even when compared to the other stellar tracks on Quadrophenia.
The Who's 1982 album It's Hard is not one of the band's favorites, but "Eminence Front" has continued to be a part of The Who's live shows-and with good reason. This Pete Townshend-penned song is catchy, danceable and funkier than most Who songs. Meanwhile, the lyrics, which are about drugs, wealth and delusion, are a time capsule reminder of 1980s excesses.
This is MY favorite, a blast from my past! This show their skills as a band, the solos and variety of the instrumentals 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 synthesizers solos... This is what's lacking in today's music, minute long flashes of brilliance
I've been obsessed with this one recently. The lyrics really speak to me, as written by Pete and sung with just the right conviction by the perfect Rock singer: Roger Daltrey. The music is what Rock is supposed to be, at least for me.
"The Seeker" is easily one of my favourite Who songs. It starts with an ultra-catchy guitar riff that runs through-out the song, with Entwistle following every note to really add a punch sound 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 to me seems is 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 song is just so epic for a number of reasons. The bass is insane, the lyrics always stick with me. "I learned how to raise my voice in anger
Yeah, but look at my face, ain't this a smile? ". Quintessential of this band.
For fans of this song, the cover by Rush is pretty good too.
"They call me The Seeker; I bin searching low and hi-GHYYY! " Sorry, I realise now that my singing was totally unnecessary, not to mention really bad. I'll... just go shall I? *Backs slowly out of the room wearing an embarrassed grin.*
I think this is one of The Who's best songs.
Eveything 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, however, are their live performances, mostly from 1967 - 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.
The Who's only Top 10 single in the United States; "I Can See For Miles" brilliantly demonstrates the band performing at their unified best. Keith Moon's fierce, intolerant drumming, Roger Daltrey's menacing vocals, Pete Townshend's ominous guitar and John Entwistle's counterpoint bass come together with Townshend's amazing writing to create this masterpiece. True, it's a familiar story of love betrayed - but it's given fresh, almost psychedelic life in this rendition.
This song is very epic on drums and vocals. This should be at least be above the top five and to be honest, to be number one of the who band. YEAH!
Undoubtedly among my favourite songs by The Who!
An underrated, forgotten classic that deserves some more attention.
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 ohh so controlled.
Heard it the first time on some greatest hits CD in 2004. It was like hearing God! Just awesome!
All Who members were so important on every song on the album "Who's Next" but Keith Moon plays the drums frenetically throughout and 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! 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!
This should be top 10. Keith Moon's thundering drums with Roger Daltrey's high pitched scream at the end of the chorus is outstanding.
Honestly, this is my favourite song by the who of all time. Daultrey screams like no other in this song and the song drifting from hard to soft, to thinking it's over, to another heavy verse... makes it one of my favourite songs of all time.
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 2nd verse - that always amps me up!
The Who were so unique even when they were making pop singles in 60's. 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".
My actual favorites are Won't Get Fooled Again and Baba O' Riley, but this is my 3rd favorite and it should definitely be in the top 10.
I love this song makes me dance every time I hear it!
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" and the definitive version is on the extended re-mastered 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 to the Who.
This song really sounds like "All My Loving" by The Beatles.
This is one of those songs that conjures memories of driving around in the summer with the windows down and radio cranked up - back in the early 80's. 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.
The lyrics to this song are absolutely insane! Just saw the Who at Fenway Park and when they did You Better You Bet, I couldn't believe how many people were singing to it!..Incredibly catchy synth open!
Nice song, when I download this song, I think this song sucks, well the first time I heard, it is sucks but now I change my mind.
Daltrey's vocals are excellent, and deeply convey the desperation of Townsend'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. Not always a fan of horn sections in hard rock, but it works perfectly on this track.
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".
This song does not have one bass solo, it is an ode to the greatness of the greatest bassist ever, John Entwistle. It is really amazing.
This is not my favorite, but it should move up on this list.
Love this song, WASP does a great cover of it.
This is one of those many songs written by Pete Townshend that he was surprised to see became 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, drums 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".
Because he likes to strangle his son, what about strangling Sarah for being a ratbag infront of her big brother and his compadres.
The Live at Leeds version destroys the studio version! But both are amazing.
The studio is killer but the Live at Leeds one tops it if you ask me.
The 9-minute "A Quick One, While He's Away" is actually a mini-opera, and paved the way for The Who's 1969 rock opera Tommy. As a medley of six songs, it tells the simple story of a girl who takes a new lover while her old one is away. The piece is generally regarded as the first integrated song cycle in rock. Aside from its place in rock history, it also contains some of Townshend's most engaging writing.
Funny how this song made like 20 or 30 something on the greatest songs of all time list, ahead of all other songs by the who. Defiantly 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. Should be in the top ten... Anyone who has seen Wes Andersons 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 righting the rock operas that we love him for
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
I love the guitar layering!
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 60's 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.
Brilliant lyrics, amazing music.
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 climatic 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" although 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).
Damn! I guess this song deserve #6 on top ten list
But those crap are higher, I 'm sorry all the who songs are great but I mean there are a few the who songs who deserve lower than this song and higher than this song, so I think I must vote this song
I love the live version on woodstock, moon always play this song awesome and fast
The Who have so many great songs, but surely this should be higher then 27? Check out some of the live performances like Woodstock for example.
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 Entwisle wrote it with Bill Wyman
First death growls in this song. By John Entwistle.
Sweet bass line to play
I've heard anything much better in the rock world...
Absolutely beautiful, the piano, the brass, the guitar fills, the backing vocals, the melody... I could go on for 5 minutes 15... But its just simply incredible, highly underrated
How is this so far down? It has everything - an immensely addicting piano backing, a thunderous drum track, a brilliant bassline and a horn - what more do you need?
Another Quadrophenia song that I don't understand how it's ranked so low. It's extremely groovy.
Best live song on recent tours. Fantastic rock song that belongs in the top ten for sure.
This is one of the climatic moments in the album "Tommy" in which Roger Daltrey portrayed the deaf, dumb and blind boy freeing himself from his self-imposed prison. The public really identified with "Tommy" - hence its popularity. Roger Daltrey is the Who MVP for the song "I'm Free" and the definitive version is on the album "Tommy".
I am free rocks so much. So so so much. It has to be in the top 10. I love this classic rock song really much.