Meet The New Boss: ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ Debuts For The Who

Released on June 25, 1971 as a UK single, the song was a preview of what became, for many, The Who’s greatest album, ‘Who’s Next.’

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The Who - Photo: Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns
Photo: Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns

One of The Who’s finest-ever moments, “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” appeared as a UK single on June 25, 1971. It was a preview of what became, for many, their greatest album, Who’s Next. With Roger Daltrey‘s magnificent vocals, it’s one of rock’s great anthems and sounds as majestic today as it ever did.

Written, of course, by Pete Townshend, it was produced by the band with associate producer Glyn Johns. The song was edited from the eight-and-a-half minute version that closed Who’s Next to a radio-friendly 3’35”. It went on to reach No.9 on the UK chart, the 10th of the band’s 14 UK Top 10 singles. “Won’t Get Fooled Again” was also a No.15 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

Won't Get Fooled Again

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‘The most rockin’ cut’

“It is the most rockin’ cut The Who have done in ages,” wrote rock critic Dave Marsh in Creem magazine, when the album was released. “You’d have to go all the way back to ‘Pinball Wizard’ or maybe even ‘Magic Bus’ to find a song that was, in essence, so much what this group is about.”

The Who first performed the song live during their “workshop” performances at the Young Vic Theatre. This was while Townshend was working on the abortive Lifehouse project. “Won’t Get Fooled Again” has gone on to become one of The Who’s defining anthems. It was part of their set at both Live Aid and Live 8, and at the Concert For New York City that followed 9/11.

Same as the old boss

To this day, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” retains its proud and prominent place in the band’s set list. It was the final song of the night in the continuation of their The Who Hits 50! tour. It also appeared at, or near, the end of their shows on the spring 2017 Tommy & More itinerary.

Listen to the best of The Who on Apple Music and Spotify.

The song has also been a live favorite for many other rock bands, including Van Halen. The Californian heroes committed their performance to disc on 1993’s Live, Right Here, Right Now album. Then, Pete and Roger performed it acoustically on The Who’s 2019’s Moving On! tour. The new boss really is the old boss.

Buy or stream “Won’t Get Fooled Again” on Who’s Next.



  1. lipiarski

    June 25, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    the answered as my generation, we don’t get fooled again
    like the rolling stones I can’t gat no satisfaction aka you can’t get always need get what you want for the flower power

  2. Russ

    June 25, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    I live a mile and a half from Stargroves where the Who’s Next version of Wont get fooled again was recorded at what was then Mick Jagger’s country pad. As a student at Sheffield University in 1971 WGFA was constantly played on the juke box in the student’s union bar and I was privileged to see The Who play the University dining hall that year: the first of what has now been ten Who concerts that I have witnessed and each has included WGFA: truly a rock classic.

  3. John

    June 27, 2015 at 5:34 am

    Glastonbury will be rocking to it then.

  4. dave

    June 27, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    No Happy Jack, See me, hear me feel me touch me or Boris the Spider? missing at least a few tunes for a greatest hits.

  5. Steve

    June 25, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Great tune, but would be nothing without Moonie…

  6. Rob Millieard

    June 25, 2024 at 2:29 pm

    Love the Who!!

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