Monday, September 1, 2014

Song of the Day: The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again (1971)

Yesterday was Pete Townshend's birthday, and there were a million Facebook tributes to him, so here's one more.

The Who were the first non-contemporary-to-myself musical artist that I truly obsessed over, and they were my favorite artist ever for a solid 3-4 years before my Springsteen love went into overdrive. They were definitely the first artist that I accumulated 10 or more CDs by (a statement that now describes MANY artists). I loved how they kept reinventing themselves and pushing what they were, from the early days of mod/punk/garage/ "maximum R&B" to the rock operas to virtually inventing classic rock, Townshend could never artistically sit still. 

I don't know if Who's Next is my favorite version of the band anymore, but it certainly was for a long time, and nothing represents that better than the epic album closer, Won't Get Fooled Again. Most of my favorite songs always have a moment where the music and the aural experience becomes truly transcendent to me, and I think this is the song that first made me realize that was something I look for. The long synth solo that builds to an explosion of drums at the 7:30 mark, which then culminates with rock and roll's greatest ever scream at the 7:45 mark, is about as orgasmic as rock music can get. It doesn't mean as much to me now as it did when I was 16 (when rock music was still the only place I could look to for orgasms) but it's still damn great.

This was originally written and posted on Facebook on May 20, 2014

Check out the Song of the Day Archive!!

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