Top Ten 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 to date.

The Top Ten

1 Baba O'Riley Baba O'Riley Cover Art

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!

2 Won't Get Fooled Again Won't Get Fooled Again Cover Art

This is the most complete, incredible song the Who have ever made. Baba O'Reilly is extremely overrated. It's not even that good. This song is far far better.

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

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.

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!

3 Behind Blue Eyes Behind Blue Eyes Cover Art

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.

4 My Generation My Generation Cover Art

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.

The best song by the band in my opinion. I will literally get up and play air guitar to this one, like Danny Tanner in that Full House episode lol. Great band, best in their GENERATION lol get it no? Ok...

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.

5 Who are You Who are You Cover Art

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.

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

Growing up my dad would play classic rock n' roll and whenever he played Who songs this seem to be the song that made me love rock music. Very underrated song in my opinion.

6 Love, Reign O'er Me Love, Reign O'er Me Cover Art

I'm pretty sure Quadrophenia is the best album of all time. The story of Jimmy is one that any teen can relate to, and this amazing anthem where he comes to terms with himself is the perfect ending.

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.

7 Pinball Wizard Pinball Wizard Cover Art

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.

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.

8 I Can See for Miles I Can See for Miles Cover Art

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.

9 Eminence Front Eminence Front Cover Art

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 a brilliant use of guitar and synthesizers solos... This is what's lacking in today's music, minute long flashes of brilliance

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

10 I Can't Explain I Can't Explain Cover Art

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.

I've always had a soft spot for this song. Keith's drumming is fun here.

The Contenders

11 The Seeker The Seeker Cover Art

"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.*

One of the first Who songs I ever heard. Great guitar, Great Vocal, Cool lyrics, Overall awesome music. Just another one of the Who's many classics..

12 Bargain Bargain Cover Art

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.

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!

In my top five songs ever, up there with stairway to heaven and child in time

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.

13 Substitute Substitute Cover Art

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!

How is it possible this is not in the Top 10?

Should be mid top 10's easy

14 The Kids are Alright The Kids are Alright Cover Art

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.

I Used To Hate This Song, Its Awesome Now

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”.

15 You Better You Bet You Better You Bet Cover Art

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!

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.

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.
Nice song!

Great tune lovely beat vote this up

16 Magic Bus Magic Bus Cover Art

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.

I really love the live in leeds version

17 The Real Me The Real Me Cover Art

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.

John really shows his talent here

Unbelievably great track

18 5:15 5:15 Cover Art

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.

19 A Quick One, While He's Away A Quick One, While He's Away Cover Art

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

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.

20 Boris the Spider Boris the Spider Cover Art

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

Definitive album " Meaty Beaty Big & Bouncy
Who MVP " John Entwistle

21 Pictures of Lily Pictures of Lily Cover Art

Any song about masturbation deserves a vote

"Pictures of Lily helped me sleep at night"

Should be way higher up! Such a great song.

Brilliant lyrics, amazing music.

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

22 Join Together Join Together Cover Art

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

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

I love the guitar layering!

23 See Me, Feel Me See Me, Feel Me Cover Art

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.

This song is one of my favorites, the tune is simple and the lyrical content is strong.

24 Cousin Kevin Cousin Kevin Cover Art
25 I'm Free I'm Free Cover Art

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.

I love this song, especially the guitar riff in the beginning

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”.

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