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Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who

Won't Get Fooled Again

Who's Greatest Hits
classic rock rock 70s hard rock british


"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. In other words, the synth is turning the tone of the organ from mellow to bright, up and down automatically. There are pictures of Townsend playing this instrument, as well as a video of Pete Townsend demonstrating how the sound was produced. John Entwistle used a Fender Precision Bass that he made out of 5 other bass guitars, appropriately christened "Frankenstein". The song ranges from eight to nine minutes depending on the version; the original album version is approximately 8:32. A heavily shortened and edited single (3:38) was released for use on broadcast radio and appeared on some hit collections such as Who's Better, Who's Best. This was the last song that Keith Moon performed with The Who on 25 May 1978 in Shepperton Studios. The song was performed both at Live Aid and 20 years later at Live 8. Townshend also collaborated on a celebrated, live, acoustic duet version of the song with leading classical guitarist John Williams for the 1979 Amnesty International benefit The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979). The Who's Next deluxe edition (released in 2003) contains an early session tape of this song with a different structure featuring Mountain's Leslie West on lead guitar. Numerous live versions of this song have appeared on albums. In addition to The Kids Are Alright soundtrack, the most notable ones are on the Who's Next deluxe edition from the 1971 Young Vic show and on the Live At The Royal Albert Hall album (from a 2000 show with Noel Gallagher guesting). The band's performance of the song at 2001's The Concert for New York City was considered a highlight of that show. Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle and Townshend have each performed the song at solo concerts. Townshend has most radically rearranged the song several times, using instrumentation varying from acoustic to techno. The song was covered by Van Halen on their live album Live: Right Here, Right Now in 1993. It eventually made it to #1 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart. Won't Get Fooled Again" has been featured in several feature films, including Summer of Sam, Outside Providence, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Bewitched, Blackball, and twice in the film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. Michael Moore requested permission to use the song over the end credits of his 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, as it tied in with both Moore's sentiments over George W. Bush's impending re-election, and the movie's last line, delivered by Bush — "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." Permission was refused, however, and Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" was ultimately used instead. Townshend later said that Moore "bullied" him about his refusal, and defended his decision by saying that he was "not convinced" by Moore's previous film, Bowling for Columbine.[7] Philadelphia-based DJ Pierre Robert of WMMR regularly plays the song with the Bush clip preceding it on his radio show. "Won't Get Fooled Again" was featured in a commercial for the 2000 Nissan Maxima, and, later that same year, used on The Simpsons in episode BABF20 ("A Tale of Two Springfields"), in which The Who guest starred. "Won't Get Fooled Again" became the theme song for the CBS television series CSI: Miami. Also, episode 2 of season 7 is titled "Won't Get Fueled Again." Each episode of the series opens with a teaser usually ending with star David Caruso making a dramatic statement and cutting immediately to Daltrey's scream. This has become a well-parodied segment. "Won't Get Fooled Again" was used in a television commercial for the 2008 movie Yes Man. The part where Daltrey screams is used in the commercial. There is also an episode of the popular sitcom That '70s Show called "Won't Get Fooled Again". The Discovery Channel used "Won't Get Fooled Again" in a promotional video for Time Warp. In Lions for Lambs, Janine Roth (played by Meryl Streep) quoted this song to her own boss.


The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide and holding a reputation for their live shows and studio work. The Who developed from an earlier group, the Detours, and established themselves as part of the pop art and mod movements Show more ...

Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who

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