Who – Join Together

Great Who track that builds up through the song. The song peaked at #17 in the Billboard 100 in 1972.

Pete Townshend wrote the song in 1970 for his Lifehouse project, a Rock Opera that never came to be. Many of the songs Townshend wrote for Lifehouse ended up on the 1971 Who’s Next album. “Join Together” was recorded for the album, but didn’t make the cut. Instead, it was released as a single in the summer of 1972. Townshend has cited the song as one of his favorites, telling Melody Maker he thought it was “incredible” and was surprised the public didn’t like it as much as he did.

Roger Daltrey on Join Together:  “I remember when Pete came up with ‘Join Together,’ he literally wrote it the night before we recorded it. I quite like it as a single, it’s got a good energy to it. But at that time I was still very doubtful about bringing in the synthesizer. I just felt that with a lot of songs we’d end up spending so much time creating these piddly one-note noises that it would’ve been better just doing it on a guitar. I mean, I’m a guitar man. I love the guitar; to me it’s the perfect rock instrument. I don’t think Pete did much with those sequencing things that he couldn’t have done on the guitar anyway.”

 

From Songfacts

A call to “join together with the band” seemed a little out of character for The Who, and especially Pete Townshend, who famously threatened to kill anyone who came on stage during their Woodstock performance. Taken less literally, it makes more sense as a plea to young people, urging them to unite and take action.

This was a live favorite for The Who. On their 1975-’76 tour, which included the largest indoor concert ever played to that point (70,000 at the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan on December 6, 1975), they would play a slower version of the song as part of a jam that often included “Naked Eye,” “Roadrunner” and “My Generation.”

Pete Townshend created the intro using an ARP synthesizer, which he also used on “Who Are You?” Townshend, who was very good with keyboards, also used an organ on the track, a Lowrey Berkshire TBO-1. This instrument also shows up in “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” When The Who performed the song live, the intro was played on a Jew’s harp by both lead singer Roger Daltrey and drummer Keith Moon.

Townshend also used two different harmonicas on the track: a chord harmonica and a bass harmonica (played live by bassist John Entwhistle).

In 2008, Nissan used this in commercials for their Maxima model. The concept was the practicality and sportiness joining together in the vehicle. In the ’00s, The Who made many licensing deals, opening the floodgates for their music to be used in movies, commercials and TV shows.

Join Together

When you hear this sound a-comin’
Hear the drummer drumming
Won’t you join together with the band
We don’t move in any ‘ticular direction
And we don’t make no collections
Won’t you join together with the band

Do you really think I care
What you eat or what you wear
Won’t you join together with the band
There’s a million ways to laugh
Ev’ry one’s a path
Come on and join together with the band

Everybody join together
Won’t you join together
Come on and join together with the band
We need to join together
Come on join together
Come on and join together with the band

You don’t have to play
You can follow or lead the way
Oh won’t you join together with the band
We don’t know where we’re going
But the season’s right for knowing
Oh won’t you join together with the band

It’s the singer not the song
That makes the music move along
Oh won’t you join together with the band
This is the biggest band you’ll find
It’s as deep as it is wide
Come on and join together with the band

Join together
(Ev’rybody come on) join together
Join together with the band
Join together
(Ev’rybody come on) join together
Join together with the band

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

48 thoughts on “Who – Join Together”

    1. What surprises me is Moon’s more subtle drumming on this and Long Live Rock. I think Glyn Johns had something to do with that.
      I like the run with the bass in this one.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great song Max, but Pete Townshend threatening to kill anyone who came on stage during their Woodstock concert is questionable. He may have shoved Abby Hoffman off the stage, because he was disrupting their performance, but even that is a bit fuzzy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He has said this a few times. The only other time he mentioned an incident… it was at either the Fillmore East or West that he kicked a cop off the stage… that was coming up to announce the place was on fire.

      The first time I saw him… on film say it was in the documentary The Kids Are Alright.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was…sometimes its the simple ideas that are the best instead of thinking…Ok we need a full orchestra etc…
      BTW Bruce…how long have you been playing music? I looked at the sheet music yesterday but I can’t read music…I’ve always played by ear and Tabs…I wish that I would have taken the time to learn…well it’s not too late…hopefully!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never had the talent that these proficient keyboard players have. I’m quite envious. I can only play with the music. So I’ve accompanied all sorts of musicians but “only if I have the music!” although I can play most music. Would love to have your skills. O the grass is always greener…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You know I see more keyboardist like that than not and more guitar players that play by ear.

        I started off on bass and I have been tempted to learn a little on keyboards. All I’ve done on my recordings is background Hammond sounds…the one finger variety.
        It’s always greener! If we could only combine.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. For one song I tried to program drums…a bunch of dots…it was trying but I did it. I just stuck with the beats they had after that. You are right…patience and a lot of it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I always thought this was a cool song. It has interesting sounds. Now I know why.

    I think I already told you I got to see The Who play once in the 90s. Entwistle was mesmerizing. Oldest band I’ve ever seen play. Zepplin was done before I was old enough to go to concerts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think…you ever told me…if you did…I some how forgot.
      John was my bass playing idol growing up…him first and McCartney second.
      I saw them in 89 and 15 or 16…They were really good both times…but with Moon, they would have been great.

      Like

      1. I was just reading about Moon. His daughter Amanda is our age…July 12, 1966, and his ex-wife Kim Kerrigan (Moon, then McLagan) died in a car crash Aug. 2, 2006, in Austin…when I was living Texas. Crazy. It was on a Wednesday and I was probably at work. I never even knew she was there.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. She had a business online selling cosmetics or something. I was going to order some for Jennifer right before I heard. She was married to Ian Mclagan…keyboardist for The Small Faces. He just died a few years back. She was a beautiful lady.
        His daughter looks a lot like him. Mandy Moon…

        Like

      3. She sounds really grounded and together after a rough start.
        From what I read he could not relate to her…strange…he is Zac Starkey’s (Ringo’s son) Godfather and taught him to play drums…and gave him his first real set…weird because Zac took Keith’s place in the Who.

        If you want a really funny and sad quick read book…Full Moon by Dougal Butler

        Like

      4. I could be that his own child was harder to deal with than someone else’s.

        I’m most fascinated with the fact that these musicians (and actors/actresses/celebrities…et al) are just as broken as the rest of us. It’s our culture that turns them into gods.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Oh Keith was broken lol…more than us. Well they are savants at one thing…like in his case drumming.
        He said before…he was rich eccentric…if he was poor he said he would have been in the nut house.

        Like

      6. Yea I see what you mean.

        He is an interesting study. He very well could have been.
        He treated his wife awful but his second girlfriend much better…was great to fans.

        I woke up with the laptop in my lap appropriately enough.

        Like

      7. No on my trusty recliner! Sometimes my fingers will still be on it…it’s rare not every night…only when I’m really tired.

        Like

      8. Yea…we had a credit card program affecting all the stores and I never stopped working when I got home until I fell asleep. The third party people finally admitted it was on their end…at 3am they fixed it… I was fast asleep by then.

        Like

      9. Every third party we work with does this sh*t. I think it’s because we get the cheapest package. But it is hard to find a good service.

        Like

    1. That will get you going lol…Did you see the post before this one? I thought of you when I posted it…it’s Robbie R and your favorite drummer…playing The Weight around the world….

      Like

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