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‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ Takes A Bow For The Who

Released on 25 June 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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Won't Get Fooled Again The Who

One of The Who‘s finest-ever moments, ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again,’ appeared as a UK single on 25 June 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 great 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 ten singles. ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ was also a No. 15 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

Won't get fooled again The Who

“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…’ 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.

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. The song has also been a live favourite 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 have been performing it acoustically on The Who’s 2019’s Moving On! tour. The new boss really is the same as the old boss.

‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ is on Who’s Next, which can be bought here.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  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…

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