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My Generation
The Who
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It’s hard to imagine the impact this searing rocker must have had when it exploded onto the charts in 1965.

It originally started out as a slow-talking blues tune in the style of Chicago legend Jimmy Reed but, with the
The Who
Song facts
Composer Pete Townshend
Genre Rock
Album My Generation
Released 1965
UK Chart 2
encourage of co-manager Chris Stamp, writer Pete Townshend sped it up and encouraged Daltrey to stutter the lyrics in direct imitation of a pilled-up Mod.

Much to the bafflement of successive generations of bedroom guitarists, Townshend achieved the song's heavy sound by tuning down a full tone, playing the G Major based riff in the shape of A Major and further showcasing his predilection for suspended chords as he drops the root note down to F. The song's massive bottom end, perfectly captured by producer Shel Talmy, is further bolstered by John Entwistle's pulverising bass solo, more than living up to his nickname of The Ox.

With successive verses he simply transposes the riff up a tone, adding to the sense of urgency and tension before the finale explodes in a shower of crashing cymbals and slashing, feedback-laden chords in an act of aural terrorism evoking The Who's live equipment wrecking finales.

The line "Hope I die before I get old" has haunted Townshend ever since, particularly once he started approaching self-proclaimed "old fart-hood". At the time, however, it was the equivalent of a line in the sand, a snotty up-yours to the societal mores of postwar Conservative Britain, and made the song an anthem for the rising youth culture of the swinging '60s.


Mod Generation
Pete Townsend
The Who built their following on the Mod movement. Here, Pete Townshend describes the fashion etiquette of a young Mod.


Other versions
Noel Gallagher
 Liam's snarl gives a '90s update to this homage to youth.

My Generation is timeless - it reflects the feelings of youth across the decades


Andy, Leicester

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