The opening track from the excellent 1971 Who’s Next album, ‘Baba O’ Riley’ is a real assault on the senses. From the opening snatches of freakish synthesisers (inspired by minimalist composer Terry Riley who gets due recognition in the title alongside Indian mystic Meher Baba), ‘Baba O’ Riley’ grabs hold of your attention and doesn’t let go for five thrilling minutes. Keith Moon smashes away at the drum kit like only he could, and Pete Townshend’s power chords are given ample support from John Entwistle’s brooding bassline. Roger Daltrey’s larynx-shredding vocals and forceful repetition of “Teenage Wasteland” only add to the hugeness of the track. ‘Baba O’ Riley’ is simply an epic, one of the biggest anthems in rock ‘n’ roll history and a must for a road trip.
Available on: The Who Who’s Next (Polydor, 1971).