Friday, June 25, 1971

The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” hit the charts

Won’t Get Fooled Again

The Who

Writer(s): Pete Townshend (see lyrics here)

First Charted: June 25, 1971

Peak: 15 US, 9 CB, 8 HR, 1 CL, 9 UK, 9 CN, 14 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 38.5 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

One of rock’s most celebrated anthems kicks off by singer Roger Daltrey’s iconic blood-curdling wail, “considered one of the best on any rock song.” SF There is an uprising in the first verse, those in power are overthrown in the second verse, and then, in the end, the new regime is just like the old one (signified by the classic lyric “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”). SF Interestingly, the title never appears in the lyrics, although there is the line “we don’t get fooled again.”

While many have assumed that “Won’t Get Fooled Again” is a revolutionary song, TC Pete Townshend, the band’s chief songwriter and guitarist, explains that it is actually “a song against the revolution.” TB He says “it’s interesting it’s been taken up in an anthemic sense…when in fact it’s such a cautionary piece.” RS500 “Revolution, like all action, can have results we cannot predict.” WK He “felt revolution was pointless because whoever takes over is destined to become corrupt.” SF

Townshend originally wrote it for the intended Lifehouse project. Townshend crafted the concept of a futuristic world in which an enslaved people are freed by rock ‘n’ roll. He conceived the idea while The Who toured in support of their 1969 rock opera Tommy. The project became so confusing to everyone else that it was aborted in favor of a more direct album. The resulting Who’s Next became one of the top 100 albums of all-time.

When the song was released as a single, it was edited down from its album running time of 8:30 to 3:35. Daltrey told Uncut magazine, “I hated it when they chopped it down…After that we started to lose interest in singles because they’d cut them to bits. We thought, ‘What’s the point? Our music’s evolved past the three-minute barrier and if they can’t accommodate that we’re just gonna have to live on albums.’” SF


  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for The Who
  • TC Toby Creswell (2005). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. Page 671.
  • RS500 Rolling Stone’s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” (12/04).
  • SF Songfacts
  • TB Thunder Bay Press (2006). Singles: Six Decades of Hot Hits & Classic Cuts. Outline Press Ltd.: San Diego, CA.
  • WK Wikipedia

Related Links:

Last updated 8/24/2022.

Tuesday, June 22, 1971

Joni Mitchell released Blue


Joni Mitchell

Released: June 22, 1971

Peak: 15 US, 3 UK, 9 CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.6 UK

Genre: folk


Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. All I Want [3:34]
  2. My Old Man [3:34]
  3. Little Green [3:27]
  4. Carey [3:02] (9/4/71, 93 US, 27 CN)
  5. Blue [3:05]
  6. California [3:51]
  7. This Flight Tonight [2:51]
  8. River [4:04]
  9. A Case of You [4:22]
  10. The Last Time I Saw Richard [4:15]

All songs written by Joni Mitchell.

Total Running Time: 36:15

The Players:

  • Joni Mithell (vocals, piano, guitar, Appalachian dulcimer)
  • James Taylor (guitar on “All I Want,” “California,” “Carey,” “A Case of You”)
  • Stephen Stills (bass and guitar on “Carey”)
  • Sneaky Pete Kleinow (pedal steel guitar on “California” and “This Flight Tonight”)
  • Russ Kunkel (drums on “Carey,” “California,” and “A Case of You”)


4.270 out of 5.00 (average of 26 ratings)


“The quintessential confessional singer/songwriter album” – Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“‘Write about what you know’ is advice few have followed as thoroughly as Mitchell did on this set of laments” BL in which she “exposes a fragile, battered heart in an exquisitely sad and lovely song cycle.” UT Joni said, “Blue is partly a diary…It’s me moving through the backdrop of our changing times.” MM-22 These were “stories of self from a time when she had no defenses at all.” MM-37 It “was about as personal as songwriting had ever been.” MM-47

“From the bare arrangements of acoustic guitar and piano with maybe a hint of dulcimer, to the lyrics – ‘All I really want our love to do/ Is to bring out the best in me/ and in you, too,’” TL her “songs are raw nerves” AMG which “paint a picture of a vulnerable and pained woman.” RV “Mitchell whittles her journal entries and melodies down with poetic economy and relies on her falsetto to add the dramatic tension.” TL

These are “tales of love and loss (two words with relative meaning here) etched with stunning complexity.” AMG She broke up with Graham Nash in 1970 and “took her damaged heart to Europe, where she wrote some sad songs, most likely for Nash, and some love songs, most likely for James Taylor,” MM-11 who she had started dating. He also plays guitar on the album.


The title cut is “a hymn to salvation supposedly penned for James Taylor.” AMG “It’s hard to think of a more emotionally naked song…where Mitchell exposes her pain like a folk-inflected Billie Holliday.” RV “For Mitchell, blue is more than an emotion or a style of music, but also the nickname given to her lover.” RV “Even tracks like All I Want, My Old Man, and Carey – the brightest, most hopeful moments on the record – are darkened by bittersweet moments of sorrow and loneliness.” AMG

”A Case of You”

“A Case of You” was written in part for Leonard Cohen, with whom Joni Mitchell had a romance before either had released an album. He is “the only songwriter other than [Bob] Dylan who Mitchell admits as an influence.” MM-97 She said, “those two are my pacesetters.” MM-97 On “her most truehearted recording” MM-103 she scoffs at Cohen’s portrayal of himself as “constant as a northern star.” MM-104 Whether or not you enjoy this album as a whole depends “entirely on your tolerance for sincerity, but even cynics concede the greatness of lines like, ‘I could drink a case of you and still be on my feet.’” TL


The “European trip…deeply resonates through Blue, and incorporated aspects of the Mediterranean into her music.” MM-85 She discussed the song “Carey” at a BBC radio concert in October 1970, saying “This instrument is an Appalachian mountain dulcimer. You can tune it any way you want to. I’m going into a tuning now that I call Matala tuning, because I found it as well as the song I’m going to play in Matala, Crete.” MM-85

”All I Want”

“All I Want” is “an aural postcard from the edge of feeling,” MM-24 featuring “more raw emotion and nerve than anything Mithcell had done before." MM-24 It “highlights Mitchell’s desire to escape loneliness in the arms of someone who loves her. Mitchell and James Taylor provide flamenco-flavored accompaniment as she describes her perfect mate: ‘I want to talk to you, I want to shampoo you, I want to renew you again and again.’” RV “you might think you hear a rhythm section. It’s actually just Mitchell alone, slapping her dulcimer’s strings in a calypso beat while a drone adds a tinge of contemplation.” MM-23


The song has practically become a Christmas standard being covered by the likes of James Taylor and Sarah McLachlan. Mitchell longs to “’quit this crazy scene’ of sunny snowless Christmastimes and skate away on the frozen river of her youth.” MM-86 She had left her native Canada in 1968 for Laurel Canyon in California at the encouragement of David Crosby.

”Little Green”

In 1965, Joni had a child with a man who flew the coop. After an agonizing six months, she decided to give the child up for adoption because she didn’t have the means to provide for her. She wrote “Little Green” in 1967 about the experience.

”The Last Time I Saw Richard”

Critics and fans alike have assumed that this is a reference to Mitchell’s first husband, Chuck Mitchell. While some lyrical details fit – like him staying in Detroit a few years after Joni left – she “never said anything about the song referring specifically to Chuck.” MM-112 She said, “It doesn’t matter who the guy is…Too much attention is put on the gossip an d not the art. It doesn’t matter who it is.” MM-112


“She was only 28 when she recorded Blue, but she shaped the songs of decades to come” RV with this “brutally bleak masterpiece.” VB It is “the quintessential confessional singer/songwriter album;” AMG it “redfined autobiographical songwriting.” MM-3 When country singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson heard the songs, he said, “‘Joni, save something for yourself.’ It was advice she chose to ignore.” BL

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First posted 6/22/2012; last updated 2/28/2024.

Saturday, June 19, 1971

Carole King “It’s Too Late” hit #1

It’s Too Late

Carole King

Writer(s): Carole King (music), Tori Stern (words) (see lyrics here)

Released: April 16, 1971

First Charted: May 7, 1971

Peak: 15 BB, 14 CB, 12 GR, 12 HR, 15 AC, 1 CL, 6 UK, 13 CN, 6 AU, 6 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.2 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 39.2 video, 166.81 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

She was born Carol Klein on February 9, 1942, in Brooklyn. She met Gerry Goffin at Queens College. They married and by 1960, they’d sailed to the top of the charts as songwriters with the Shirelles’ “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” They followed up with #1 hits “Take Good Care of My Baby” by Bobby Vee, “Go Away Little Girl” by Steve Lawrence, and “The Loco-Motion” by Little Eva. However, by 1968 the pair had divorced and King was in California embarking on a second career as both a singer and songwriter.

She released an album with a band called the City and a solo album called Writer before she became a superstar with Tapestry, an album which “belongs to the Laurel Canyon folk-rock school, but there’s also some jazz and soul in the breezy, laid-back arrangement.” SG It “helped make the world safe for the ’70s singer-songwriter boom.” SG It sold 25 million copies, spent 15 weeks at #1, and won the Grammy for Album of the Year. The album also produced that year’s Grammy winners for Song of the Year (“You’ve Got a Friend”) and Record of the Year (“It’s Too Late”).

“It’s Too Late” “represents a whole different form of pop music from a woman who’d already mastered the kind that had been around the previous decade.” SG “The melody is pure Tin Pan Alley pop, the arrangement owes something to light jazz and a whole lot more to L.A. studio craftmanship – but it has bite, resonance, even a mature theme.” DM “There’s a conversational looseness to the way she sings, but there’s intensity, too. It’s one of those voices you immediately recognize, a distinctive honk.” SG

King wrote the music, but not the lyrics – although “she did sell them.” SG Her friend Tori Stern penned the lyrics fresh off her breakup with James Taylor, the singer/songwriter who had worked with King, most notably recording “You’ve Got a Friend.” It is “a layered and nuanced” SG breakup song that sounds like “it might be written in a note left on the kitchen table when somebody’s slipped out for good while her partner’s back was turned.” DM It’s significant the the female narrator “sets the terms of her own departure.” DM She “recognizes that the couple isn’t working anymore, that it’s time to move on.” SG


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First posted 9/23/2023.