Won't Get Fooled Again (8:52)

Cover of Who's Greatest Hits

From Who's Greatest Hits and 62 other releases

“Won’t Get Fooled Again” is a song by the rock band The Who. Written by Pete Townsend, it combines guitar power chords with heavily processed organ and synthesizer sounds to create a textured, atmospheric introduction that explodes into the verse. It tells of a “revolution of revolutions” in an endless cycle, where “the change it had to come, we knew it all along” but each successive new regime turns out to be just like the old one, so that straight away it’s time once again to “pick up my guitar and play, just like yesterday, then I’ll get on my knees and pray we don’t get fooled again”. The 1971 single release (a drastically edited version at three-and-a-half minutes in length) reached #9 in the United Kingdom and #15 in the United States. The full-length version appears on the album Who’s Next.

The song originally appeared on the 1971 album Who’s Next and has since appeared on various other recordings, including the live compilation soundtrack for The Kids Are Alright, the 1979 documentary film about the band, which in the 1978 Shepperton film studios shoot, was the last song the original lineup ever performed together. It is famous for its angular organ part set against guitar power chords, leading up to an extended synthesizer break into a drum entrance followed by a long scream by Daltrey. Townsend is playing block chords spread between the two keyboards of the 1968 Lowrey Berkshire Deluxe TBO-1 organ. The output of the organ is fed into the audio input of the EMS VCS 3 mk1 synth. The first bit of processing to be applied to the organ sound is a low-frequency oscillator (LFO) controlling the frequency of a voltage-controlled filter (VCF), using a sine or triangle wave shape.

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We'll be fighting in the streets with our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on sit in judgment of all wrong
They decide and then the shotgun sings the song

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics

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