The Who are my favorite band. By a lot. According to my last.fm, I have listened to The Who over three times more than my second most listened to band (The Doors). The Who can do almost no wrong with me. All their albums until the death of Keith Moon are all classics. While I clearly was not around for their live shows, they have the reputation for being the best live band of all time. After doing the next best thing and listening to their live performances online I have to agree. They take some amazing studio songs and bring them to life on the stage. So here are my ten favorite The Who songs. This is not to be confused with their best songs, just my favorites.
10) Heat Wave- This is one of the “least” Who songs on the album. It doesn’t seem to fit in with their typical sound as it clearly is a simple pop song. But it’s too catchy to not listen to over and over again.
9) The Real Me- John Enthwistle’s best bass performance and their best opening to an album when it follows I Am the Sea.
8) The Acid Queen- A track of their Tommy album, this song is best when played live. It’s one of the songs I continually get stuck in my head so I have to listen over and over again.
7) Pinball Wizard- I didn’t think I’d put this on the list, but I always get geeked up when it’s played on the radio and it’s arguably their most catchy and fun song. Also, the first song I almost kinda learned how to play on guitar.
6) Who Are You- This is the song that got me hooked in The Who in the first place, so it gets bonus points for that.
5) Behind Blue Eyes- Of all their popular songs, this is my favorite. Very catchy intro by Townshend and I love the build up to the hard hitting part of the song. It’s also a meaningful song to Townshend.
4) We’re Not Gonna Take It/See Me, Feel Me, Live at Woodstock- Any live performance of this is great but I think their Woodstock version is the best. This song live is way better than the studio version. Yes, it’s repetitive, but the live version has so much energy and emotion that it’s impossible not to love.
3) A Quick One, While He’s Away- I just love this song. It’s long, yes, but well worth it. The last section of the “opera” with chants of “You are forgiven” make the song.
2) Young Man Blues, Live at the Isle of Wight- This song is The Who at their best. A perfect fusion of their blues roots and hard rock energy. Their hardest, fastest song with arguably Townshend’s top solo work.
1) Magic Bus- By far my favorite Who song. Once I heard the Live at Leeds version, it might have become my favorite song of all-time.
Just Missed the Cut…
I’m One, Love Reign O’er Me, However Much I Booze, The Quiet One, Going Mobile, Pure and Easy, Whiskey Man, Armenia City in the Sky, I Can See For Miles and many more.
1) Live at Isle of Wight- Their best live performance. People often take Leeds, but I prefer this live concert because the energy is much higher.
2) Who’s Next- This album was a plan B for them. Every song is great.
3) Quadrophenia- The best album from a technical stand point. The production and quality is their best by far.
4) A Quick One- Very strange and simple album, but it works.
5) Tommy- The studio album is just alright. But when played live it’s amazing.
6) The Who By Numbers- Their most underrated and overlooked piece of work.
7) The Who Sell Out- The band’s first foray into a concept album.
8) My Generation- A low ranking but it easily could have been 4 or 5 for me.
9) Who Are You- Lowest rank in the Moon era and it still produced some all-time classics.