Yeah…I know, it’s only rock ‘n roll…
…(but I like it!)
#BeLucky @TheWho The Who turn 50
The Who unveil Be Lucky, their first new song in eight years
The Who’s first song in eight years explicitly references Daft Punk and AC/DC. Be Lucky, which will appear on the band’s forthcoming 50th anniversary compilation, claims the Australian rockers and the French DJs can both help you achieve your dreams.
“You wanna climb without a safety line/ AC/DC’s gonna be fine,” Roger Daltrey sings over Pete Townshend’s guitar riffs. Elsewhere in the song, he alludes to the commercial appeal of AC/DC’s biggest song: “If you want to want to sell/ you’ve got to kiss and tell/ And you’ve got to do a cover of Highway to Hell.”
The references to AC/DC are bittersweet, coming in the week it was announced the group’s founding guitarist, Malcolm Young, was having to leave the group owing to ill health.
As for Daft Punk, they are part of a similar refrain: “You want to climb without a safety line/ Daft Punk will tell you that it’s gonna be fine.” Soon an AutoTuned voice pipes up, mimicking Daft Punk’s robo-effect.
Ultimately, the Who’s entire song should probably be understood as a response to one of Daft Punk’s dance anthems. Listeners are invited to Be Lucky instead of told to Get Lucky, with an emphasis on taking creative risks and “making [things] your own”.
Be Lucky is the closing track on Who Hits 50, a two-disc set otherwise filled with tunes like Baba O’Riley and Magic Bus. Recorded with bassist Pino Palladino, Ringo’s son Zak Starkey on drums, and keyboard-player Mick Talbot, the song is the Who’s first new material since 2006’s Endless Wire. Although Townshend and Daltrey claimed this summer that they were hoping to record a complete LP, they have not announced plans for any other releases before they hit the road on a winter tour. Daltrey previously described these concerts as “the beginning of the [group’s] long goodbye”.
Royalties from Be Lucky will reportedly benefit Teen Cancer America, a US outgrowth of Daltrey’s successful UK charity, the Teenage Cancer Trust. The rest of the anthology is out on 27 October.