• Welcome to The Audio Annex! If you have any trouble logging in or signing up, please contact 'admin - at - theaudioannex.com'. Enjoy!
  • HTTPS (secure web browser connection) has been enabled - just add "https://" to the start of the URL in your address bar, e.g. "https://theaudioannex.com/forum/"
  • Congratulations! If you're seeing this notice, it means you're connected to the new server. Go ahead and post as usual, enjoy!
  • I've just upgraded the forum software to Xenforo 2.0. Please let me know if you have any problems with it. I'm still working on installing styles... coming soon.

Question about The Who - Baba O'Riley


Well-Known Member
I have a feeling Flint might know this, since I know he's a big fan of The Who, but I want to know the story behind the name of the song Baba O'Riley. I recall reading a story about Pete Townshend's Lifehouse project. The story talked about Pete's vision for the concert experience to be completely unique to the crowd that was in attendance. He planned on using a synthesizers that he had during the concerts that could use personal demographic data as input that would produce a unique synth sound pattern. As I recall, as Pete was experimenting with the synth, he entered the demographic data of an older woman from their local community named Baba O'Riley. The result of her data was the synth loop in the song we now know so well. Anyway, I've been on a big The Who kick this week and I was reading Wikipedia, and they claim that then name was derived by a combination of the song's philosophical and musical influences: Meher Baba and Terry Riley. So my question is....Who's Right (small pun intended)?


Dog Faced Pony Soldier
At that time there were very few real synthesizers like we grew to know them a few years later. Pete was just playing around in his little apartment studio with his cheap organ/synth hybred when he came up with that intro. It isn't nearly as complicated as we think it is --- it is just a vibrato effect (common on guitar amps and run by an optical circuit) processing a guy playing chords on a cheap organ. Add a phaser/wah and you have the "synth" part from the beginning of Baba O'Reily.

The name is as Wikipedia says.


Well-Known Member
I know I read this somewhere, I just can't remember what it was. Perhaps it was an urban legend.

That song isn't my favorite, but Who's Next as a whole is my favorite studio album!


Well-Known Member
Who's Next....

1971.........one of my favorite who album :music-rockout:

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Baba O'Riley" 5:08
2. "Bargain" 5:34
3. "Love Ain't for Keeping" 2:10
4. "My Wife" (John Entwistle) 3:41
5. "The Song Is Over" 6:14

Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Getting in Tune" 4:50
7. "Going Mobile" 3:42
8. "Behind Blue Eyes" 3:42
9. "Won't Get Fooled Again" 8:32


  • Whosnext.jpg
    69.4 KB · Views: 88


I'm famous now bitches! vvvvv
If you get a chance, you should get the live Lifehouse DVD and the 2 CD set Sadler's Wells (the same show). Both are from Pete's website and the DVD is on Amazon. It's one of my favorite concerts.



I can't remember Pete's official website (Flint, some help?)