After touring extensively in 1976, the band took an extended break (the longest in their career thus far), only reconvening in late 1977 to begin recording the Who Are You album. At that time the band were also involved with Who fan and amateur filmmaker Jeff Stein in preparing The Kids Are Alright, a rockumentary featuring interviews and performance clips dating from 1964 to 1975. However, Stein also wanted to include more recent footage, resulting in a special concert being scheduled on 15 December 1977 at the Gaumont State Cinema in Kilburn, London.
This was the band's first show since 21 October 1976, when they concluded their last tour at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. Unfortunately the group proved rusty and this performance was considered unsatisfactory and ultimately not used in the film, save clips of a brief Pete Townshend speech and of the band leaving the stage. Although the Kilburn footage was largely scrapped, "My Wife" did appear on the film's soundtrack and eventually most of the performance was released many years later in 2008 as The Who at Kilburn: 1977.
The failure of the Kilburn show to provide usable performance footage necessitated a second concert on 25 May 1978 at London's Shepperton Studios. This show yielded the versions of "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" that appear in both the film and its accompanying soundtrack, although some studio touch-ups were done to both the audio and film for the finished products (slight differences between the film and soundtrack versions of "Won't Get Fooled Again" are evident).
The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again - John Entwistle's isolated bass:
(John "The Ox" Entwistle's isolated bass track from "Won't Get Fooled Again", performed live by The Who at Shepperton Film Studios, May 25 1978)
We'll be fighting in the streets With our children at our feet And the morals that they worship will be gone And the men who spurred us on Sit in judgement of all wrong They decide and the shotgun sings the song
I'll tip my hat to the new constitution Take a bow for the new revolution Smile and grin at the change all around Pick up my guitar and play Just like yesterday Then I'll get on my knees and pray We don't get fooled again
The change, it had to come We knew it all along We were liberated from the fold, that's all And the world looks just the same And history ain't changed 'Cause the banners, they are flown in the next war
I'll tip my hat to the new constitution Take a bow for the new revolution Smile and grin at the change all around Pick up my guitar and play Just like yesterday Then I'll get on my knees and pray We don't get fooled again, no, no
I'll move myself and my family aside If we happen to be left half alive I'll get all my papers and smile at the sky Though I know that the hypnotized never lie Do ya?
There's nothing in the streets Looks any different to me And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye And the parting on the left Is now parting on the right And the beards have all grown longer overnight
I'll tip my hat to the new constitution Take a bow for the new revolution Smile and grin at the change all around Pick up my guitar and play Just like yesterday Then I'll get on my knees and pray We don't get fooled again Don't get fooled again, no no
Yeaaah! Meet the new boss Same as the old boss
Songwriters: Peter Townshend Won't Get Fooled Again lyrics © Abkco Music Inc.