Won’t Get Fooled Again

The Who (197 1)

Q (UK) - - 50 Greatest Revolutionary Songs -

On the face of it, Won’t Get Fooled Again is a belt­ing, eight-and-a-half-minute ode to the joys of throw­ing off the shack­les of op­pres­sion. A glis­ten­ing, brave new dawn of syn­the­siz­ers is in­ter­rupted by Keith Moon bar­relling away at his kit like an oc­to­pus; “We’ll be fight­ing in the street…” barks Roger Dal­trey, sound­ing like a man with some prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence in the field, “...and the morals that they wor­shipped will be gone.” How­ever, while the coun­ter­cul­ture was still gamely rail­ing against “the man”, Pete Town­shend’s wired-in scep­ti­cism was never go­ing to al­low The Who to nail their colours to any­one’s mast, no mat­ter how right-on. Feel­ing that for all the 1960s’ s’ rad­i­cal hoo-ha noth­ing much had changed, the song’s ac­tual mes­sage was to be wary of any­one telling you what to do or think, re­gard­less of how long their hair might be. “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” – a mantra that still rings true for any­one shucked by the false hope of change.

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