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You Better You Bet

“You Better You Bet” is a song by the British rock band The Who, appearing as the first track on their 1981 album Face Dances. It is sung by frontman Roger Daltrey with backing vocals from Pete Townshend and bassist John Entwistle. Townshend’s guitar part is played on a Rickenbacker 360/12.

“You Better You Bet” became a hit and one of The Who’s most recognizable songs. It was the last single by the band that reached the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching number 18. The track was at number one on the Billboard Top Tracks chart for five weeks beginning 4 April 1981.[1] It was also their last single to hit the Top Ten in the UK, peaking at number 9.

Won’t Get Fooled Again

“Won’t Get Fooled Again” is a song by the English rock band The Who, written by Pete Townshend. It was released as a single in June 1971, reaching the top 10 in the UK, while the full eight-and-a-half-minute version appears as the final track on the band’s 1971 album Who’s Next, released that August.

Townshend wrote the song as a closing number of the Lifehouse project, and the lyrics criticise revolution and power. To symbolise the spiritual connection he had found in music via the works of Meher Baba and Inayat Khan, he programmed a mixture of human traits into a synthesizer and used it as the main backing instrument throughout the song. The Who tried recording the song in New York in March 1971, but re-recorded a superior take at Stargroves the next month using the synthesizer from Townshend’s original demo. Ultimately, Lifehouse as a project was abandoned in favour of Who’s Next, a straightforward album, where it also became the closing track. The song has been performed as a staple of the band’s setlist since 1971, often as the set closer, and was the last track drummer Keith Moon played live with the band.

As well as a hit, the song has achieved critical praise, appearing as one of Rolling Stone’s The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It has been covered by several artists, such as Van Halen who took their version to No. 1 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart. It has been used for several TV shows and films, and in some political campaigns.

Who Are You (song)

“Who Are You”, composed by Pete Townshend, is the title track on The Who’s 1978 album, Who Are You, the last album released before drummer Keith Moon’s death in September 1978. It was released as a double-A sided single with the John Entwistle composition “Had Enough”, also featured on the album. The song became one of the band’s biggest hits in North America, peaking at number 7 in Canada and at number 14 in the US. The keyboard pieces on the track are played by Rod Argent.

Waspman

“Waspman” is a mainly instrumental song by The Who, credited to their drummer Keith Moon. The song is the B-side to The Who’s single “Relay” (entitled “The Relay” in the United States).

The song is supposedly a tribute to Link Wray, who became famous for his 1958 instrumental hit “Rumble” by Link Wray and his Ray Men. He introduced “the power chord, the major modus operandi of modern rock guitarists” such as Pete Townshend of The Who.[2]

It is thought that John Entwistle wrote the song but gave the credit to Moon, as all members of The Who were supposed to write at least two B-sides, although Roger Daltrey only wrote one, “Here for More”, the B-side for “The Seeker” in 1970.

The Who only performed the song live once (June 10, 1974 at New York’s Madison Square Garden). The Who – My Generation/Waspman – New York 1974 (17, 18)

Trick of the Light (The Who song)

“Trick of the Light” is a song written by bassist John Entwistle for The Who’s eighth studio album, Who Are You. It was released as the second single from the album, atypically with another Entwistle song, “905” on the B-side, but did not chart.[2]

The lyrics describe fear of being sexually inadequate in the face of a prostitute.[3][4] The singer wants to have an emotional connection with the prostitute but she only sees him as dehumanized and recognizes his sexual insecurity.[2] He is concerned that he didn’t bring her “to the height of ecstasy.”[5] It features a guitar-like assault throughout the song, described by Pete Townshend as sounding like “a musical Mack truck”[1] and is actually Entwistle’s heavily distorted eight-string Alembic bass.[2][4] Chris Charlesworth feels that the bass dominates the song to an extent that none of the other elements of the song matter.[4] Who biographer John Atkins says the song has a “muscular texture” and is “fully realized” but that it represents an “orthodox heavy rock format” that the band usually shunned.[2] The Who FAQ author Mike Segretto considers it one of Entwistle’s “catchier songs,” attributing its lack of chart success to its being “too heavy” and “too mean” for the 1977 singles chart.[5] Segretto considers the song to be underrated, finding humor in the situation but stating that “genuine vulnerability makes the song more than a good giggle and undercuts the performance’s cock-rock attitude.”[5] But it was not a favorite of Who lead singer Roger Daltrey, who complained that it went “on and on and on and on.”[5]

It was performed occasionally on The Who’s 1979 tour with Entwistle on eight-string and Townshend playing one of Entwistle’s Alembic basses used on the 1975-1976 tours. It made its return to the setlist in 1989, with Townshend originally on electric guitar on the two Toronto dates in June and acoustic guitar for the rest of the tour. It was disliked by Roger Daltrey, who thought that although it had clever lyrics, it was too long.[1] On the original recording and in its 1979/1980 performances, Daltrey sang the lead vocal; in 1989 Entwistle sang it. “Trick of the Light” was included in the two-disc edition of The Who Hits 50!.

Tattoo (The Who song)

“Tattoo” is a song written by Pete Townshend that was first released by The Who on their 1967 album The Who Sell Out. A “rite of passage” song, “Tattoo” tells the story of two teenaged brothers who decide to get tattoos in their attempts to become men. Themes of the song include peer pressure to conform and young men’s insecurity about their manhood. The song has been heavily praised by critics and has appeared on several of The Who’s live and compilation albums. It has also been covered by Tommy Keene and Petra Haden.

Substitute (The Who song)

“Substitute” is a song by the English rock band The Who, written by Pete Townshend. Released in March 1966, the single reached number five in the UK and was later included on the compilation album Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy in 1971.[4] In 2006, Pitchfork ranked “Substitute” at number ninety-one on the “200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s”.[5]

“Substitute” was primarily inspired by the 1965 soul single “The Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Pete Townshend became obsessed, particularly, with the line, “Although she may be cute/She’s just a substitute.” This had then led Townshend “to celebrate the word with a song all its own.”[6]

For the American single, released in April 1966, the line in the chorus “I look all white but my dad was black” was amended to “I try walking forward but my feet walk back.”[4] The complete second verse and chorus were also erased from the US release, reducing the track’s length to two minutes and fifty-nine seconds.[7]

Squeeze Box (song)

“Squeeze Box” is a song by The Who from their album The Who by Numbers. Written by Pete Townshend, the lyrics are couched in sexual double entendres. Unlike many of the band’s other hits, the song features country-like elements, seen in Townshend’s guitar finger picking.

“Squeeze Box” was a commercial success, peaking at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart and number 16 in the US Billboard Hot 100. The song is also their only international number-one hit, reaching number one in Canada, and reached number two on the Irish singles chart.

So Sad About Us

“So Sad About Us” is a 1966 song by British rock band The Who, first released on the band’s second album A Quick One. Originally written for The Merseys, “So Sad About Us” has likely been covered more frequently than any other song on the album; according to the All Music Guide, it is “one of the Who’s most covered songs”.[1] Shaun Cassidy, Primal Scream, The Breeders, and most notably The Jam and Dexter Romweber Duo (with backup vocal by Mary Huff of Southern Culture on the Skids) are among the many artists who have recorded studio versions of the song.

Beyond the sheer number of covers, it is also one of The Who’s most frequently imitated songs. As the aforementioned AMG put it, it is “an archetypal early Who song” and “hundreds of bands have based their entire careers on this one song”. With its ringing guitars, Beach Boys-styled harmonies, crashing drums, and lovelorn lyrics, it is one of the early forebears of the power pop genre, along with other early Who staples such as “I Can’t Explain” and “The Kids Are Alright”.

Love, Reign o’er Me

“Love, Reign o’er Me” (where the synth strings were heard), subtitled “Pete’s Theme”, is a song by English rock band The Who. Written and composed by guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend, it was released on 27 October 1973 as the second single from the band’s sixth studio album and second rock opera, Quadrophenia. It is the final song on the album, and has been a concert staple for years. The song peaked at number 76 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 54 on Cash Box.[1]

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