The new boss is still the same as the old boss: Who's Next and Won't Get Fooled Again fifty years later

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

The first time I heard those words was in the summer of 1971. I was working a summer job after my freshman year in college. Someone had the office radio tuned to an fm station. I didn’t know what the song was but it certainly caught my attention. By the end of the day it had been played a few more times.

The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” was seared into my brain. It’s stayed there for the following fifty years.

1971 was a year filled with turbulence. We were still recovering from the events of the 1960’s. We were now dealing with Richard Nixon, Vietnam and nationwide protests. Watergate was right around the corner. The youth of America wanted/needed change, but who? Who was worthy of our trust? Would the next leader be any better or would their words and promises be just as empty?

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

This anthem had everything that made it so relevant in 1971. Besides the lyrics that fit the scene, there was Pete Townshend’s guitar and driving, pounding of Keith Moon’s drums. Both went right through your body. It was a song you could listen to over and over again without burnout. It was a perfect song for an imperfect time.

After those first few hearings, I needed to have the album. I ran immediately to my local record store, only to find out the album had yet to be released. I returned the next day and the day after and the day after that. I became such a pest that the store owner told me he’d called when the album came in. It took a few weeks but I finally received that call. “Who’s Next” became a major part of my record collection. It’s stayed that way ever since.

The rest of the album is almost as stunning. The synthesizer intro to “Baba O’Riley” draws you in immediately. The song is so intense that when it ends you need to hear it again just to validate your feelings. But you move ahead and find more classic tunes. Other highlights include “Bargain”, John Entwistle’s “My Wife” and “Behind Blue Eyes.” It’s forty-three minutes of classic rock that sounds as great in 2021 as it did when it was released in 1971. In a year that produced so many great albums, “Who’s Next” more than holds its own.

But like it did fifty years ago, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” stands on its own. In an era where our country and its politics are so divided, we’re still looking for that leadership that we can believe in. We’re looking for that one person that we can trust and move us forward to a better place. Usually we end up disappointed. Sadly, we did get fooled again.

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

Related Post: Stairway to Heaven is still legendary, but what about the rest of Led Zeppelin IV fifty years later?

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    My so called friends think it's time to edit this section. After four years, they may be right, but don't tell them that. I'll deny it until they die! I can't believe I've been writing this blog for four years. It started as a health/wellness thing and over the years has morphed to include so many things that I don't know how to describe it anymore. I really thought this was going to be the final year of the blog but then Donald Trump came along. It looks like we're good for four more years..God help us all! Oh yeah...the biographical stuff. I'm not 60 anymore. The rest you can read about in the blog.

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