Who – Love Ain’t For Keeping

The Who’s Next album was released in 1971 and is one of the greatest classic rock albums ever released. This song is a song one clocking in at a short 2:11 and unlike most of the album…this one is softer. Pete Townshend originally wrote this for his Lifehouse project, where the character of Ray, a Scottish farmer, was intended to sing the song, which expresses the sentiment that love is meant to be shared.

The song was originally recorded several months prior to Who’s Next, as a four-minute electric version with Townshend singing lead and playing rhythm guitar, and the lead solos performed by Leslie West, the guitarist for New York power trio Mountain. The Who was recording at the Record Plant in New York, and Townshend reportedly didn’t want to spend time on overdubs, so West was called in to play on the track.

After a falling out with producer Kit Lambert, the band recorded an acoustic version that was used on the album. The Who often played the harder Rock version at their concerts. This version can be heard on their 1974 Odds & Sods album.

If two versions weren’t enough…  Townshend’s original demo of the song appears on the six-disc Lifehouse Chronicles, songs from Townshend’s never fully-completed Lifehouse rock opera. This demo clocks in at 1:31, with no solo and Townshend taking advantage of the then-novel oscillator bank on his Arp synthesizer.

The album peaked at #4 in the Billboard Album Charts, #5 in Canada, and #1 in New Zealand in 1971.

Love Ain’t For Keeping

Layin’ on my back
In the newly mown grass
Rain is coming down
But I know the clouds will pass
You bring me tea
Say “the babe’s a-sleepin'”
Lay down beside me
Love ain’t for keeping

Black ash from the foundry
Hangs like a hood
But the air is perfumed
By the burning firewood
The seeds are bursting
The spring is a-seeping
Lay down my darling
Love ain’t for keeping
Lay down beside me
Love ain’t for keeping

Lay down beside me
Love ain’t for keeping
Lay down my darling
Love ain’t for keeping

Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again… Epic Rock Songs Week

This week I will cover some songs that I have avoided because everyone has heard them so many times but…they are considered some of the best ever…

Meet The New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

As rock songs go…it doesn’t get any better than this one. 

This is one of my favorite rock songs of all time. I wrote a review of Who’s Next and I included this with it about Won’t Get Fooled Again: This is the best concert song I’ve witnessed on film or live in person. It has drama, action, suspense, and aggression… just as much as any movie. Every member of the band is at the top of their game. You have Pete’s thick power chords, John Entwistle’s rolling bass lines, Keith Moon’s controlled chaos, and Roger holding it down and keeping it grounded.

The song is always exciting to hear and out of all the songs in this week’s posts…this is one I never get tired of…

Roger Daltrey’s scream is considered one of the best on any rock song. It was quite convincing…so convincing that the rest of the band, lunching nearby, thought Daltrey was brawling with the engineer.

Pete Townshend: “It is not precisely a song that decries revolution – it suggests that we will indeed fight in the streets – but that revolution, like all action can have results we cannot predict. Don’t expect to see what you expect to see. Expect nothing and you might gain everything.” Townsend then goes on to explain that the song was simply ”Meant to let politicians and revolutionaries alike know that what lay in the center of my life was not for sale, and could not be co-opted into any obvious cause.” 

The song peaked at #15 in the Billboard 100, #9 in the UK, and #7 in Canada in 1971.

Pete Townshend wrote this as part of his “Lifehouse” project. He wanted to release a film about a futuristic world where the people are enslaved… but saved by a rock concert. Pete couldn’t get enough support to finish the project, but most of the songs he wrote were used on the Who’s Next album.

From Songfacts

Pete Townshend wrote this song about a revolution. In the first verse, there is an uprising. In the middle, they overthrow those in power, but in the end, the new regime becomes just like the old one (“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”). Townshend felt revolution was pointless because whoever takes over is destined to become corrupt. In Townshend: A Career Biography, Pete explained that the song was antiestablishment, but that “revolution is not going to change anything in the long run, and people are going to get hurt.”

The synthesizer represents the revolution. It builds at the beginning when the uprising starts, and comes back at the end when a new revolution is brewing.

The title never appears in the lyric, which goes:

I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again

The album version runs 8:30. The single was shortened to 3:35 so radio stations would play it.

Daltrey was unhappy about the editing. He recalled to Uncut magazine: “I hated it when they chopped it down. I used to say ‘F–k it, put it out as eight minutes’, but there’d always be some excuse about not fitting it on or some technical thing at the pressing plant.”

“After that we started to lose interest in singles because they’d cut them to bits,” Daltrey added. “We thought, ‘What’s the point? Our music’s evolved past the three-minute barrier and if they can’t accommodate that we’re just gonna have to live on albums.'”

In a 1985 “My Generation” radio special, Pete Townshend said he wrote the song as a message to the supposedly “new breed” of politicians who came around in the early ’70s.

This is the last song on the album. It was also the last song they played at their concerts for many years.

This was one of the first times a synthesizer was used in the rhythm track. When they played this live, they had to play the synthesizer part off tape.

Townshend (from Rolling Stone magazine): “It’s interesting it’s been taken up in an anthemic sense when in fact it’s such a cautionary piece.” 

Pete Townshend lived on Eel Pie Island in Richmond, London, when he wrote this song. There was an active commune on the Island at the time situated in what used to be a hotel. According to Townshend, this commune was an influence on the song. “There was like a love affair going on between me an them,” he said. “They dug me because I was like a figurehead in a group, and I dug them because I could see what was going on over there. At one point there was an amazing scene where the commune was really working, but then the acid started flowing and I got on the end of some psychotic conversations.”

The Woodstock festival was an influence on this song. Most songs inspired by Woodstock follow the peace and love narrative, but Pete Townshend had a very different take.

The Who played Day 2 of Woodstock, going on at the ludicrous hour of 5 a.m. During their set, the activist Abbie Hoffman came on stage unannounced and commandeered the microphone. Townshend may or may not have belted him with his guitar, but he certainly did not want to provide a platform for any cause. “I wrote ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ as a reaction to all that – ‘Leave me out of it: I don’t think you lot would be any better than the other lot!,'” he explained to Creem in 1982.

In the same interview, he shared his thoughts on the festival crowd: “All those hippies wandering about thinking the world was going to be different from that day. As a cynical English arsehole I walked through it all and felt like spitting on the lot of them, and shaking them and trying to make them realize that nothing had changed and nothing was going to change.”

This song was played by the remaining members of the band at “The Concert for New York City,” a fundraising concert in the wake of the devastating attacks on September 11, 2001. Daltrey omitted the last line of the song: “Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss.” 

Part of this song is used in the opening sequence of the CBS TV series CSI: Miami, which launched in 2002. This was the first spin-off from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which went on the air in 2000 with “Who Are You?” as the theme song. Every subsequent CSI featured a song by The Who: CSI: NY used “Baba O’Riley,” and CSI: Cyber went with “I Can See For Miles.”

Roger Daltrey could sing “My Generation” for five decades without complaint, but not this one. “That’s the only song I’m bloody bored s–tless with,” he told Rolling Stone in 2018.

In The Simpsons episode “A Tale of Two Springfields,” Homer forms “New Springfield” and gets The Who to play there. Pete Townshend blasts the wall between old and new Springfield by blasting the guitar riff from this song. >>

Pete Townshend refused Michael Moore permission to use this song in his 2004 anti-George W. Bush documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, citing the left wing filmaker as a “bully.”

This was used in commercials for the 2000 Nissan Maxima. Some people considered this the biggest sellout in rock, but The Who made lots of money in the deal. The same year, Nissan used The Who’s “Baba O’Reily” in an ad for their Pathfinder.

DJs like to play this as their last song before leaving a particular radio station because of the line “meet the new boss, same as the old boss” – a snub directed at station management because they might not be leaving on the friendliest terms. 

This was played in Super Bowl XLI (2007) as the Indianapolis Colts came out of the locker room. The Colts won the game.

Won’t Get Fooled Again

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 the shotgun sings the song

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
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 change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fold, that’s all
And the world looks just the same
And history ain’t changed
Cause the banners, they are flown in the next war

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
No, no!

I’ll move myself and my family aside
If we happen to be left half alive
I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky
Though I know that the hypnotized never lie
Do ya?

There’s nothing in the streets
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Are now parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
No, no!


Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

The Who – Who’s Next…..Desert Island Albums


This is my second round choice from Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days.

I bought this album when I was 14. I had a few albums by The Who…Face Dances, Big Meaty Big and Bouncy,  and a greatest hits package called Hooligans. Hooligans was a 4 album set and had four songs from Who’s Next and that sample was enough to know I wanted the complete album.

With headphones on, I placed needle to vinyl and could not get over the sound…the sonic boom. The biggest sound I have ever heard before on record. I listened to every song three times through in the first sitting. I knew I finally found a band that moved me like no other except The Beatles. After this came Tommy, Quadrophenia, and The Who Sell Out…but this album left me speechless. Before this record. I liked the Who…after the album they were THE WHO.

It was 1981 and this album had been out for 10 years but that made no difference. As with the Beatles, I was late to the fan party but when I arrived… I arrived in style with Who’s Next under my arm.

There is not one clinker on the album. Forty-three minutes and thirty-eight seconds of pure bliss.

I have a Glyn Johns quote on recording the album to start this off.

I have a residing memory of sitting in the truck, my hair being parted by what was coming out of the speakers, a massive amount of adrenaline coursing through my veins. There have been a few occasions over the years when I have been completely blown away, believing without a doubt that what I was listening to would become much more than just commercially successful but also a marker in the evolution of popular music, and this was one of those moments.

Won’t Get Fooled Again… this is the best concert song I’ve witnessed on film or live in person. It has drama, action, suspense, and aggression… just as much as any movie. Every member of the band is at the top of their game. You have Pete’s thick power chords, John Entwistle’s rolling basslines, Keith Moon’s controlled chaos, and Roger holding it down and keeping it grounded.

When your bookends on an album are Baba O’Riley and Won’t Get Fooled Again you have a great album.

My favorite song on the album is Bargain. Moon’s drumming on this song alone makes it worth a listen. Pete Townshend has said the subject of the song is God…as one critic put it… it may be the angriest message God ever received.

Goin’ Mobile is a great vehicle for Townshend’s voice…and how could you not like the line..Play the tape machine, make the toast and tea, When I’m mobile.

Behind Blue Eyes is a song that lulls you with a beautiful melody with sparse accompaniment (probably the longest Moon ever sat on his hands while recording) and then it happens…all hell breaks loose and Roger sings…no correction…he doesn’t sing…he demands When my fist clenches, crack it open, Before I use it and lose my cool… it’s like getting hit by a bus that you didn’t see coming…and then it’s over.

My Wife is a song John Entwistle wrote for the album and one of his best songs. A rocking and hilarious look at marriage by a desperate man. Love Aint For Keeping is a song that gets a lot of play at my home and car. It has a great message. Getting In Tune…this song starts off as a slow ballad and then The Who kicks it up a notch as usual.

The Song Is Over is a beautiful song with Pete and Roger taking turns singing.

Baba O’Riley…One of the most well-known intros in rock ever. Not much else to say about this song except dynamic and exhilarating…that about sums it up.

Who’s Next was released on August 14, 1971. It started off as a rock opera called Lifehouse. The problem was that Pete could not get the idea across to other band members, journalists, or even his producer Glyn Johns. It was suggested to dump the story and make a great standalone album of the songs. The Who did just that.

This album kicked down the door to the seventies and future. The mixture of synthesizers and guitars are perfect. The synthesizers still sound fresh and vibrant today. 1971 was an extraordinary year for great albums…this one helped lead the way.

So far on Max’s Desert Island, I have the White Album and Who’s Next. Life is good…I think I will pick up my guitar and play…just like yesterday.

  1. Baba O’Riley
  2. Bargain
  3. Love Ain’t For Keeping
  4. My Wife
  5. The Song Is Over
  6. Getting In Tune
  7. Going Mobile
  8. Behind Blue Eyes
  9. Won’t Get Fooled Again


The Who – My Wife

Gonna buy a tank and an aeroplane
When she catches up with me won’t be no time to explain
She thinks I’ve been with another woman and that’s enough
To send her half insane

I was just going to post the lyrics for everyone to read…it explains it all…it’s funny and a great song. A favorite of mine from the Who. It’s a John Entwistle song with his brand of humor on display. He was married to his wife Alison at this time. It’s on the great Who’s Next album and was the B side to Baba O’Riley. It was released in 1971.

John wrote some good songs like Boris The Spider, Success Story, and Trick of the Light but he was in a band with Pete Townshend, and that makes it tough to be heard.

John (The Ox, The Quiet One, Thunderfingers) and Keith Moon made… to me, the best rhythm section in rock and roll.

On the studio version from Who’s Next, Entwistle sings and plays bass, in addition to performing the piano part and all of the brass parts…he’d also played the French horn on earlier Who records…

Run John Run!

My Wife

My life’s
In jeopardy
Murdered in cold blood is what I’m gonna be
I haven’t been home since Friday night and now my wife
Is comin’ after me

Give me police protection
Gonna buy a gun so I can look after number one
Give me a bodyguard —
A black belt judo expert
With a machine gun!

Gonna buy a tank and an aeroplane!
When she catches up with me,
Won’t be no time to explain
She thinks I’ve been with another woman
And that’s enough
To send her half-insane!

Gonna buy a fast car, put on my lead boots, and take a long, long drive
I may end up spendin’ all my money,
But I’ll still be alive!

All I did was have a bit too much to drink
And picked the wrong precinct
Got picked up by the law and now I ain’t got time to think

Gonna buy a tank and an aeroplane!
When she catches up with me,
Won’t be no time to explain
She thinks I’ve been with another woman
And that’s enough
To send her half-insane!

Gonna buy a fast car, put on my lead boots, and take a long, long drive
I may end up spendin’ all my money,
But I’ll still be alive!

And I’m oh, so tired of running
Gonna lay down on the floor
I gotta rest some time
So I can get to run some more

She’s comin’!
She’s comin’!
She’s comin’!
She’s comin’!
She’s comin’!
She’s comin’!
She’s comin’!
She’s comin’!
She’s comin’!
She’s comin’!

Who – Baba O’Riley

Pete Townshend took a chance with this song and the album. Back in1971 when you used any new synthesizer or electronic sounds you ran the risk of sounding dated very quickly as new devices were coming out regularly.

Townshend played a Lowrey TBO-1 organ at his home studio. He tried to run it through an ARP synthesizer/sequencer, but couldn’t get the sound he was looking for. Instead, he used the “marimba repeat” setting on his Lowrey to create an arpeggiated, complex repeating pattern. The album sounds fresh today.

The song was on Who’s Next…arguably the most successful album of the Who’s career. There is not a weak song on the album. The difference in the sound of the album compared to Tommy is phenomenal. This album has a sonic quality that not many albums have.

The album was released on August 14, 1971.

From Songfacts

The first part of the title comes from Meher Baba, who was Pete Townshend’s spiritual guru. The second part comes from Terry Riley, an experimental, minimalist composer Townshend admired – many of the keyboard riffs and sound effects on Who’s Next were a result of Riley’s influence. According to the Who’s Next liner notes, Townshend wrote it as his vision of what would happen if the spirit of Meher Baba was fed into a computer and transformed into music. The result would be Baba in the style of Terry Riley, or “Baba O’Riley.”

The title is not mentioned in the lyrics, so the song is often referred to as “Teenage Wasteland.” The “Teenage Wasteland” section was a completely different song Townshend combined with his “Baba O’Riley” idea to form the song.

Pete Townshend spent a few weeks in his home studio putting together the part that sounds like a synthesizer on a Lowry organ. His goal: to create “a replication of the electronic music of the future.”

When he took the tape of his recording to engineer Glyn Johns, he expected Johns to alter it, but Johns left it as is, insisting it was perfect.

This is the first song on Who’s Next, the most successful album of The Who’s career. Although this is one of the most popular Who songs, it was never released as a single in America or the UK. It was, however, the perfect song for the up-and-coming Album Oriented Rock (AOR) format that was picking up steam on FM radio. Always played in moderation, “Baba” became a Classic Rock staple and remains on many playlists.

When The Who perform this live, the processed organ is played from a recording, since it would be nearly impossible to replicate on an instrument. The guitar doesn’t come in until 1:40, giving Pete Townshend some time to reflect on his work. “There is this moment of standing there just listening to this music and looking out to the audience and just thinking, ‘I f–king did that. I wrote that,” he told Rolling Stone. “I just hope that on my deathbed I don’t embarrass myself by asking someone, ‘Can you pass me my guitar? And will you run the backing tape of ‘Baba O’Riley’? I just want to do it one more time.”

This marked one of the first times a keyboard/synthesizer was used to form the rhythm of a rock song, rather than employing it as a lead instrument.

Regarding the phrase “Teenage Wasteland”:

Lifehouse is set in a time where most of England is a polluted wasteland. Townshend described it as: “A self-sufficient drop-out family group farming in a remote part of Scotland decide to return South to investigate rumors of a subversive concert event that promises to shake and wake up apathetic, fearful British society. Ray is married to Sally, they hope to link up with their daughter Mary who has run away from home to attend the concert. They travel through the scarred wasteland of middle England in a motor caravan, running an air conditioner they hope will protect them from pollution.”

As for the “teenage” bit, Townshend said: “There are regular people, but they’re the scum off the surface; there’s a few farmers there, that’s where the thing from ‘Baba O’Riley’ comes in. It’s mainly young people who are either farmer’s kids whose parents can’t afford to buy them experience suits; then there’s just scum, like these two geezers who ride around in a battered-up old Cadillac limousine and they play old Who records on the tape deck… I call them Track fans.” So basically, teenagers traveling across the wasteland to attend this concert.

The famous violin part was performed by Dave Arbus of the group East of Eden, who created what many consider the first Celtic Rock song with Jig a Jig.

According to Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time, this violin jig at the end was drummer Keith Moon’s idea. In concert, Roger Daltrey would play the jig on harmonica. 

This began as part of Townshend’s “Lifehouse” project, which is a film script he wrote. The playscript was published in 1999 by Pocket Books, Great Britain. In the screenplay of “Lifehouse,” Townshend wrote about the composer (Bobby) setting up the concert: “An experiment Bobby conducts in which each participant [in the concert] is both blueprint and inspiration for a unique piece of music or song which will feature largely in the first event to be hacked onto the grid.”

Townshend subsequently decided to actually pursue this, which he did through lifehouse-method.com.

Townshend was never able to convince anyone to do the Lifehouse film, and he more or less gave up on that – but he never gave up on having it produced. He revised the script to be more relevant to the world of the Internet (which had caught up with his 1971 concept of a global grid), and to incorporate thoughts and insights he’d had in the ensuing 25+ years, and it was performed on BBC3 on December 5, 1999.

The final version of the song runs 5:01, but Townshend’s instrumental synthesizer demo of the song was a healthy 9:48. This demo was released in 1972 on a Meher Baba tribute album called I Am.

In an interview with Billboard magazine carried out in February 2010, Townshend discussed how he feels now that 40 years on this and other Who songs take on a deeper meaning. He explained that when he wrote the band’s classic tunes, “The music there was about living in the present and losing yourself in the moment. Now that has changed. Boomers kind of hang on to that as a memory.When I go back and listen to those songs, the Who songs in particular of the late ’60s and early 70s, there was an aspiration in my writing to attune to the fact that what I could feel in he audience was – I won’t say religious – but there was certainly a spiritual component to what people wanted their music to contain. There’s definitely a higher call for the music now which is almost religious. U2, for example, are hugely successful with songs about inner longing for freedom, ideas.

A song like ‘Baba O’Riley,’ with ‘we’re all wasted,’ it just meant ‘we’re all wasted’ – it didn’t have the significance that it now has. What we fear is that in actual fact we have wasted an opportunity. I think I speak for my audience when I say that, I hope I do.”

This is the theme song for the TV show CSI: NY, which launched in 2004, the third in the CSI franchise. Every CSI uses a theme song by The Who: for the original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation it’s “Who Are You,” CSI: Miami uses “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” and for CSI: Cyber it’s “I Can See For Miles.”

This was used in commercials for the 2000 Nissan Pathfinder, and also appeared in ads for Cisco. The Who lost a lot of money on bad business deals in their early years and decided to cash in when they were offered big bucks for commercials.

This quickly became a concert favorite for The Who. Live versions of this song can be found on the albums The Kids Are Alright (1978), Concerts for the People of Kampuchea (1979), Who’s Last (1982), The Blues To The Bush (1999) and The Who & Special Guests Live at the Royal Albert Hall video (2000).

Black Francis of the Pixies finds this song rather intriguing. He broke it down in an interview with Songfacts. “It’s not just straight up verse/chorus/verse/chorus,” Francis said. “I was always impressed by that song, the way that it changes, the way the end of the song sort of becomes the chorus by eliminating one of the chords. It removes the minor chord, and it’s an outro, I guess, but it feels like, Oh, here we are in the chorus again, even though it’s not again – it’s totally different than anything that came before it. So I really like that song. Songs like that I tend to deconstruct a little bit and try to understand what it is that I’m hearing.”

In 2007, the song was covered by The Blue Man Group for the TV show America’s Got Talent. Since then, it has become a staple at Blue Man Group shows. 

While Townsend’s keyboard playing is legendary and brilliant, it’s not quite what it seems. When the song was recorded, the band’s newly purchased Lowry organ came with a very special feature: a pedal that, when pressed, would repeat each note played three times in succession. (Source: interstitial on 97.1FM The Mountain, Denver, Colorado – thanks, S.D. – Denver, CO)

Spike Lee used this in his 1999 movie Summer of Sam, and a fully orchestrated version was used at the beginning of the 2002 movie Slackers. Other movies to use the song include:

Far Out (2015)
Slash 3 (2015)
Premium Rush (2012)
The Girl Next Door (2004)
Fever Pitch (1997)
Prefontaine (1997)
Love in Maid (1975)

It has been used in these TV series:

Stranger Things (“Chapter One: Suzie, Do You Copy?” – 2019)
Family Guy (“Quagmire’s Mom” – 2015)
The Good Guys (“Vacation” – 2010)
My Name Is Earl (“The Trial” – 2007)
One Tree Hill (“Pictures of You” – 2007)
House (“Control” – 2005)
King of the Hill (“Tankin’ It to the Streets” – 2002)
Miami Vice (“Out Where the Buses Don’t Run” – 1985)

This song was used for Part 3 of the VH1 special The Drug Years about drug use in the 1970s. It showed how drugs went from a religious experience in the ’60s to just getting “Wasted” in the ’70s. 

This was used at the end of the trailer for the film The Girl Next Door. The movie encompasses some of the dramas of teenage life.

Baba O’Riley

Out here in the fields
I fight for my meals
I get my back into my living
I don’t need to fight
To prove I’m right
I don’t need to be forgiven

Don’t cry
Don’t raise your eye
It’s only teenage wasteland

Sally take my hand
We’ll travel south cross land
Put out the fire
And don’t look past my shoulder
The exodus is here
The happy ones are near
Let’s get together, before we get much older

Teenage wasteland
It’s only teenage wasteland
Teenage wasteland
Oh yeah, teenage wasteland
They’re all wasted!