Music: Who's Next

Who's Next.

"Out here in the fields
I fight for my meals
I get my back into my living
I don't need to fight
To prove I'm right
I don't need to be forgiven"

Who's Next is the fifth studio album by The Who, released in 1971. It was Pete Townshend's salvaging of his failed Lifehouse project. It is usually considered one of The Who's best albums, and is possibly best known for the songs "Baba O'Riley", "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Won't Get Fooled Again." A documentary about the creative process behind the making of this album can be seen in the Classic Albums TV documentary series. Time Magazine included the record in their 2006 list of 100 timeless and essential albums. It was listed at #28 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.


Tracklist:

Side One

  1. "Baba O'Riley" (5:08)
  2. "Bargain" (5:34)
  3. "Love Ain't For Keeping" (2:10)
  4. "My Wife" (3:41)
  5. "The Song Is Over" (6:14)

Side Two

  1. "Getting In Tune" (4:50)
  2. "Going Mobile" (3:42)
  3. "Behind Blue Eyes" (3:42)
  4. "Won't Get Fooled Again" (8:32)


Bonus Tracks (1995 Reissue):

  1. "Pure And Easy"
  2. "Baby Don't You Do It"
  3. "Naked Eye (Live)"
  4. "Water (Live)"
  5. "Too Much Of Anything"
  6. "I Don't Even Know Myself"
  7. "Behind Blue Eyes (Alternate Version)"


Principal Members:

  • Roger Daltrey - lead vocals, harmonica
  • John Entwistle - bass, backing and lead vocals, piano, brass
  • Keith Moon - drums, percussion
  • Pete Townshend - guitar, backing and lead vocals, organ, VCS3, synthesizer, piano


Who's Next is the Trope Namer for:


"These Tropes Won't Get Fooled Again":

  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy/Mistaken for Cheating/Woman Scorned: John Entwistle's "My Wife" is sung from the perspective of a guy who has gotten drunk and been arrested, and fears that his wife will think he was cheating on her (and that he'll consequently be "murdered in cold blood").
    • Actually Pretty Funny: The reaction of Entwistle's then-wife Alison, on hearing the song for the first time.
  • Big "YES!"/Metal Scream: The "Yeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!" in "Won't Get Fooled Again".
  • Epic Rocking: "The Song Is Over" and "Won't Get Fooled Again".
  • Fading into the Next Song: "Love Ain't For Keeping" fades into "My Wife".
  • Last Note Nightmare: "Baba O'Riley". The fiddle track, already playing at a pretty frantic pace, becomes an almost panicked, discordant mess in the song's final moments. Unnerving if you've never heard it before (or are only familiar with it via CSI: NY and haven't heard it all the way to the end).
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Won't Get Fooled Again" is an awesome, adrenaline-pumping rock song (widely considered one of the greatest ever) about how frivolous revolution is when the next leader is just as bad as the first.
  • Meet the New Boss: The Trope Namer.
  • The Monolith: On the album cover. The photo's meant to look like the band members have just pissed on it.
  • New Sound Album: It introduced synthesisers into the band's sound. However, the synthesisers here are used mainly for effects and processing: the ARP synthesiser is used to process the guitar solo in "Going Mobile", the EMS VCS3 is used as an envelope filter for the organ in "Won't Get Fooled Again" and noisemaker in "The Song Is Over", and the famous opening melody of "Baba O'Riley" is actually played on Pete Townshend's Lowrey Deluxe organ with the marimba repeat feature. Synthesisers would assume a more leading role starting with Quadrophenia.
  • Non-Appearing Title: The album title doesn't appear in any of the songs.
  • One Woman Song: "My Wife".
  • One-Word Title: "Bargain"
  • Protest Song: "Won't Get Fooled Again," about a failed revolution. (See the stinger below.)
  • Pun-Based Title/Questioning Title: The album title.
  • Record Producer: Glyn Johns, with the Who.
  • Refrain from Assuming: The song is called "Baba O'Riley", not "Teenage Wasteland".
  • Self-Demonstrating Song: "Getting In Tune"
  • Self-Titled Album: The album title has the band's name in it.
  • Shout-Out: "Baba O'Riley" was named for the guru Meher Baba and the composer Terry Riley.
    • French comic strip artist Gotlib once spoofed the album cover with his Hamster Jovial characters. See it here.
  • Silly Love Songs: "Bargain", "Love Ain't For Keeping"
  • The Something Song: "The Song Is Over"
  • Special Guest: Dave Arbus, Nicky Hopkins, Al Kooper and Leslie West all guest on this album.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: John Entwistle sings "My Wife", Pete Townshend sings all of "Going Mobile" and parts of several other songs on the album
  • Villainous Lament/Anti-Villain: "Behind Blue Eyes"
    No one knows what it's like to be the bad man
    To be the sad man
    Behind blue eyes
    No one knows what it's like to be hated
    To be fated
    To telling only lies
  • Wanderlust Song: "Baba O'Riley"
    Sally, take my hand
    Travel south crossland
    Put out the fire
    Don't look past my shoulder
    The exodus is here
    The happy ones are near
    Let's get together
    Before we get much older
    • "Going Mobile" sings the praises of a life lived on the road.
    Out in the woods
    Or in the city
    It's all the same to me
    When I'm drivin' free, the world's my home
    When I'm mobile
  • Who's on First?: Following in the tradition of the band's name.