Who’s Next Songs Ranked

Who’s Next is the fifth studio album by English rock band the Who. It developed from the aborted Lifehouse project, a multi-media rock opera written by the group’s guitarist Pete Townshend as a follow-up to the band’s 1969 album Tommy. The project was canceled owing to its complexity and to conflicts with Kit Lambert, the band’s manager, but the group salvaged some of the songs, without the connecting story elements, to release as their next album. Eight of the nine songs on Who’s Next were from Lifehouse, the lone exception being the John Entwistle-penned “My Wife”. Ultimately, the remaining Lifehouse tracks would all be released on other albums throughout the next decade. Who’s Next was an immediate success when it was released on 14 August 1971. It has since been viewed by many critics as the Who’s best album and one of the greatest albums of all time. It was reissued on CD several times, with additional songs originally intended for Lifehouse. Here are all of Who’s Next songs ranked.

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9. My Wife

“Another song on this album in which the opening five seconds or so are purely ear-orgasmic. The whole song is decent enough. The instrumental is good and Daltrey’s high notes on words like “machine-gun” and “alive” are lovely and quite impressive; however other than that this song fails to truly demonstrate the true musical talent behind any of The Who’s members in my personal opinion. I would give this song a higher rating, but it’s hard to do so know there are much better songs on this album.”

8. Love Ain’t for Keeping

“Being the shortest song on the album, you would also think it would be the weakest tune given the fact that The Who wouldn’t be able to work their magic as much as other tracks. However, I think it’s one of the strongest songs they have on this album. I think one thing I enjoy about it in particular is it’s beautiful use of acoustic guitar in the last half of the song.”

The Who - Who's Next | Releases, Reviews, Credits | Discogs

7. Getting in Tune

“This song reminds me of The Song Is Over from the second it begins. The backing vocals in the song are lovely and I would even go as far as to say that they are the best part of the song and even better than Daltrey’s vocals. However, I don’t think the general instrumental of this song was as notable as The Song Is Over. I wouldn’t use The Song Is Over as a template for The Who’s piano-rock type songs, but having this come directly after was poor placement in my opinion. However, the evolution from ballad to upbeat classic rock within the last minute and a half of the song feels extremely natural which I find is hard to pull off.”

See more: The Who Albums: Top 5 Ranked

6. Going Mobile

“The last major example of the amazing openings on this album, Going Mobile really showcases a more bouncy feel for The Who compared to some of their other songs. The chorus comes along beautifully and feels very calm to listen to. On the contrary, I don’t this this song latches onto you as much as other songs on this album. That doesn’t necessarily stop it from being a very strong song, though. This isn’t much to really say about this song; you just have to listen to it to get the true feeling out of the song.”

Butch Vig on Why the Who's 'Who's Next' Was Unique - Rolling Stone

5. The Song is Over

“I absolutely love the gentleness of this song’s beginning and the tenderness on Daltrey’s voice before breaking out into a powerful song you’d probably want to add to your workout playlist. Nicky Hopkins does a great job on the piano in this tune and is probably the highlight of this song alongside Pete Townshend’s amazing vocals that would forebode a solid solo career of his later on. I think I could credit this song as one of The Who’s best songs and also probably one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. I personally find this song to be Keith Moon’s highlight on the album as he totally just rocks through this amazing fill in the last forty five seconds or so of the song.”

4. Bargain

“I feel like this is probably the most forgettable song off this album. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent song. But it just is kinda…there. Though, I must say that Daltrey’s vocals are superb when singing the extended note in the lyric “the best I’ve ever had.” And the acoustic bit is nice enough before it kicks back into that classic style you’re used to from The Who. However, this doesn’t stop this song from being pretty forgettable. Even the closing instrumental bit is nothing special compared to other instrumental bits on this album.”

See more: The Who Songs Ranked

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3. Behind Blue Eyes

“This song is on another level of beauty. Sure, mock the song for being a little over-emotional at some points or being over played to death in movies and TV shows. You still can’t ignore the pure, raw emotion in Daltrey’s vocals. And the way it just suddenly jumps into this loud yet emotional song that is very reminiscent of a tune that would close out a rock opera. Considering this was going to be apart of an unfinished rock opera by Pete Townshend called Lifehouse, it makes sense. After this it just suddenly hops back into it’s original mellow style in a staggering yet breathtaking fashion.”

2. Won’t Get Fooled Again

“I understand that this tune is a fan favorite for many fans of The Who. Don’t misunderstand me, it is indeed a solid track. However, it feels like it was meant to be placed somewhere towards the end of the A side of the album and not the climax to the entire album as a whole. A lot of people say this is a good closing song, but I have come to find that The Song Is Over, Getting In Tune, or Behind Blue Eyes would have made much better closing songs. Won’t Get Fooled Again in itself is perfectly fine as a song. John Entwistle’s bass playing is great throughout the whole album, but I find that he especially shines here. A mixture of Roger Daltrey’s impressive vocal range and that unforgettable scream are what really keep this song from falling into the category of another basic track.”

Going mobile | MULTIMEDIAMAN

1. Baba O’Riley

“I personally believe this is the perfect opening song on the album. Then again, it would’ve also been a perfect closer. A better closing song than Won’t Get Fooled Again at least. But I’ll get to that when I reach the end of the album. First off, let me say that I have a weird adoration for this song’s opening. It just….stuns me, for some odd reason. I feel like it has a certain level of elegance to it with still a twang of the jam-out feel The Who are known for. Roger Daltrey’s vocals are on point here and I feel the need to point out that Keith Moon’s drumming here is extraordinarily underrated.”