It’s April the first, let’s ROCK!

whocoverNo April Fool gags on this blog; if I was going to do a spoof post, I’d hardly do it on this of all days. Give me some credit!  Instead, we have a proper classic. I know this is a ridiculously obvious choice for April Fools’ Day and it’s a very mainstream track to boot, but seriously, it’s just such a great record. You hear the opening and you think “oh right, this again”… but by a couple of minutes in, you’re swept up in it. Take eight and a half minutes out of your day and play it loud – I guarantee you, it’ll be a hell of a lot more entertaining than any of those crap “jokes” that even their creators know aren’t good enough to bring out on any other day of the year…

Link: The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again (album version)

“Won’t Get Fooled Again” is one of the songs that emerged from The Who’s (well, mainly Pete Townshend’s) failed Lifehouse project (from whence arose the terrific Who’s Next album). I’ve recently been reading Richie Unterberger’s book Won’t Get Fooled Again: The Who From Lifehouse to Quadrophenia, and if you don’t already know the story of Pete Townshend’s sanity-straining concept for a rock opera to top Tommy – or even if you do – I recommend you get hold of a copy. And then read it. Obviously.

“Won’t Get Fooled Again” went through a few stages before it became the monster rock anthem we know it as, so here are three more versions. Firstly, Pete Townshend’s relatively measured original demo:

Link: Pete Townshend – Won’t Get Fooled Again (solo demo)

Then, the first attempt at a full-band recording. It’s good, but it’s plainly not good enough (and the sequencer-style synth part is all wrong – they couldn’t replicate that part, so for the final version, they simply played it in from the original demo), so it’s hardly surprising they scrapped this one.

Link: The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again (New York version)

And while nowadays nobody ever plays anything but the full album version, there was a 7″ edit, and this is the version you’d have heard on wonderful Radio 1 back in 1971…

Link: The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again (7″ edit)

Of course, having done both the Stones and The Who, at some point I’m going to have to do The Beatles…

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3 responses

  1. Great choice. I posted this one today too, but I now feel sadly inadequate about it…

  2. Don’t feel the need to rush to post the Beatles!

    1. I wasn’t expecting that reaction! I have no actual plans to post anything involving the Beatles, you understand. I suppose I should have posted something when George Martin died, really. He did the Flanders and Swann tracks I posted a while back, but they’re not exactly showcases for the producer’s art.

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