“Athena” (the working title being “Theresa”) is a song written by Pete Townshend and recorded by The Who. It appears as the first track on the group’s tenth album It’s Hard, released in 1982. Written for actress Theresa Russell, the song was the first single from It’s Hard. The single was a moderate success reaching the Top 40 in both Britain and America.
“Athena” was released as the first single from It’s Hard, backed with “A Man Is a Man” in Britain and “It’s Your Turn” in America. The single achieved moderate chart success, reaching number 28 on the US Billboard Hot 100, but received good airplay on album-oriented rock and later classic rock radio formats. “Athena” also reached number 40 on the UK Singles Chart, making it both the band’s last UK and US Top 40 single. The single also reached #5 in Canada.
In addition to appearing on It’s Hard, “Athena” also was released on both the The Ultimate Collection and the deluxe edition of The Who Hits 50! compilation albums.
Despite this being the first single from the album and well-received on rock radio, The Who only played “Athena” a total of ten times on the band’s 1982 tour, and has not played the song again ever since.