Mammal’s Merry Memories: The Who – Baba O’Riley (1971)

It seems most fans of The Who rate Who’s Next (1971) as their favourite Who album. It’s my third favourite after Quadrophenia (1973) and Tommy (1969). However, “Baba O’Riley” is my favourite Who song. It is a gigantic triumph of both classic rock and progressive rock.

People who don’t know The Who – because so many of you were born after Who’s Next was recorded – may none the less know the song from its use as the theme music for the TV series CSI: New York. The line “Out here in the fields” is a reference to Strawberry Fields in Central Park.

Collectively, The Who boasted one of the best line-ups in the history of rock and metal, with Roger Daltrey as vocalist, Pete Townshend on guitars, John Entwistle on bass and Keith Moon on drums.



About ChristopherMammal

I've made it to Mammal. I still hope to be classified as Human one day. Meanwhile I have evolved enough to recognise different types of music as well as the shrieks of certain vervet monkeys who are known for their scurrilous behaviour in the proximity of unguarded bananas.

Posted on May 17, 2014, in Mammal's Merry Memories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. No arguing with this song – a stone cold classic of the rock canon, I don’t have every Who record – I was indeed born after the release of Who’s Next, two years after – but if I had to nominate a fave record it’d probably be this one. I like Tommy the movie more so than the album: also the case with The Wall. Sell Out is another fave. If Townsend is a nonce, he’s a very talented one, but top marks here go to Daltrey for an outstanding vocal, and the sequenced synth line which burbles away beneath the rock and adds extra flavour to the song. Ride scrobbled the same idea 20 years later to marginally less yet scarcely unimpressively effect

  2. ChristopherMammal

    Guls, you realise that by admitting you like shoegaze music you’re positioning yourself as a complete hippie. The black death dudes are going to disown you. The only reason they haven’t banished me is that they’e afraid of my office cat. I suggest you get one too, a thug cat.

    Ride is a great band and that is one fine album. Aargh! People with white and black faces are scowling at me!

  3. I only have two The Who records, Tommy and Who’s Next, so far – I know it’s a gap in standard Rock history. I like “Who’s Next” way more and never really got into “Tommy”. Also the Bonus tracks of the rerelease a very good as well. Due to the time I was born, the first The Who song I ever heard has to be Behind blue Eyes covered by Limp Bizkit (covers are the only thing this band is good at), and then CSI and later Dr. House, a show that featured a lot of great music.

    I love Ride as well but I think a have bad news for your purring bodyguard. The fotographer Alexandra Crocket made the book “Metal Cats”:

  4. ChristopherMammal

    Sweet. Cats are metal mammals. They are extremely decisive about what they like and what they won’t accept. If you’ve owned cats, you’ll know they enjoy very specific genres of cat food and won’t sniff at anything that pretends to be the real thing. When it comes to what they do and how, when or where they do it, they don’t give a @$#% what anyone else thinks. They’re not interested in bossing or being bossed.

  5. I actually like the Limp Bizkit version of Behind Blue Eyes – featured on the Gothika soundtrack – a not bad, if slightly far-fetched and downright disturbing thriller.

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