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The Who – Baba O’Riley – 1971

About The Song

“Baba O’Riley” is a classic rock song by the British rock band The Who, released in 1971 as the opening track of their fifth studio album, “Who’s Next.” The song, written by the band’s guitarist Pete Townshend, is known for its synthesizer-generated intro and anthemic quality.

Five facts about The Who’s “Baba O’Riley (1971)”:

  1. Synthesizer Introduction: The iconic synthesizer-generated introduction of “Baba O’Riley” was created by The Who’s keyboardist, John Entwistle, using a Lowrey Berkshire Deluxe TBO-1 organ. The synthesizer part is one of the most recognizable elements of the song.
  2. Inspiration for Title: The title “Baba O’Riley” was derived from the combination of two influences. “Baba” refers to Meher Baba, an Indian spiritual master whom Pete Townshend was interested in, and “O’Riley” is a nod to Terry Riley, an American composer known for his contributions to minimalism.
  3. Lifehouse Project: Originally, “Baba O’Riley” was intended to be part of a much larger project called “Lifehouse,” which was conceptualized by Pete Townshend. The project was never fully realized, but elements of it, including “Baba O’Riley,” found their way onto the “Who’s Next” album.
  4. Evolving Lyrics: The lyrics of “Baba O’Riley” underwent several changes during the development of the “Lifehouse” project. The final version reflects themes of teenage rebellion, angst, and the longing for a sense of belonging, capturing the spirit of the counterculture era.
  5. Timeless Anthem: Despite its initial reception, “Baba O’Riley” has since become one of The Who’s most enduring and beloved songs. It is frequently played on classic rock radio stations and has been featured in various films, TV shows, and commercials, solidifying its status as a timeless rock anthem.



Out here in the fields, I fight for my meals
I get my back into my living
I don’t need to fight to prove I’m right
I don’t need to be forgiven, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Don’t cry, don’t raise your eye
It’s only teenage wasteland

Sally, take my hand, we’ll travel south ‘cross land
Put out the fire and don’t look past my shoulder
The exodus is here, the happy ones are near
Let’s get together before we get much older

Teenage wasteland, it’s only teenage wasteland
Teenage wasteland, oh, yeah
Teenage wasteland
They’re all wasted