The Kids Are Alright

Album: My Generation (1965)
Charted: 41 106

Songfacts®:

  • This song, along with "My Generation," became anthems for The Who, as well as for the Mod movement in England. The song was written by Pete Townshend as a tribute to the Mods, who were trendy and often rebellious British youth.
  • Check out Keith Moon's drumming on this song - he used his cymbals and toms to emphasize the vocal lines, crashing down at the end of lyrical lines. This was one his innovations with The Who.
  • The Kids Are Alright is also the title of a 1979 rockumentary about the Who released the year after drummer Keith Moon's death. The film ends with Moon and Townshend sharing an embrace.
  • The phrase "the kids are alright" quickly entered into the vernacular for anyone looking for a pithy way to describe successful young people. The phrase proved very popular with sports journalists, who inserted it into stories about rookie phenoms. The phrase has invited satire as well: The Offspring and Fall Out Boy both released songs called "The Kids Aren't Alright."
  • This was released on My Generation, the debut album for The Who. In the UK, it was their sixth single, peaking at #41 in September 1966. Early on the group didn't get nearly as much exposure in America, where it was released as their third single, bubbling under at #106 in August 1966.
  • The album was produced by Shel Talmy, and American who also worked with The Kinks. Talmy coaxed a rich, energetic sound out of The Who, but they gave him the boot for their next album, breaking their production contract. This was costly: Talmy ended up receiving royalties on every Who song they recorded up to 1971.
  • Goldfinger, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Patti Smith and The Tubes have all covered this song live. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bill - Erie, PA

Comments: 11

  • Louki from AthensThere are a couple of Punk covers of this song by the following bands: Eddie & the Hot Rods, The Queers, Dropkick Murphys and Down by law.
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Mogreat song, with fantastic harmonies. i still cant figure out what its about, though.
  • Erin from Clarksville, PaTheir harmonization is beyond good... it's chilling. Great song!
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaGreat early harmony by The Who.
  • Sabo Romo from D.f.,This song has been covered in 2006 for Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs: "Under the Covers" Vol. I
  • Pete from London, EnglandMy Favorite song By The Who. I'm not quite sure..but I think they almost used this song as the theme song for That 70's Show but didn't for some reason. Again, i'm not 100% sure if that's true or not. Anyway, this is a great song.
  • Fintan from Cheltenham, EnglandThe song isn't featured in the rockumentary of the same title, and not on the soundtrack either. When the film was remastered and rereleased a few years ago it was added to the film and now plays throughout the restoration credits.
  • Laura from Spencerport, NyThey like to change up the ending of this song live. if you watched the DVD(s) of "the royal albert hall" from 2000 or the concert from Boston in 2002, both endings are different. the former was more reminiscent, how pete wrote the song when he was "nothing but a kid" and how he shouldn't be alive with all the stuff he's done over the years, but he's "still alright"...the latter ending was written about john after he died. very moving. Pete compared john to an expensive, elegant brand of wine: a beautiful outer shell, but the inside was really f--ked up ---just like john was with drug abuse. one of the extra lines in that boston show was "don't say I didn't warn ya..." Very somber song now. john's still THEE best bassist who will ever live. The Who are flippin' amazing
  • Mark from London, EnglandThe Pleasers had a near-hit with this in the UK in 1978.
  • Paulo from Yonkers, NyThis song was once frequently covered live by Pearl Jam, though I'm not sure it's a staple in their shows nowadays.
  • Jon from Tucson, AzThe Offspring alluded to this song when they released a different song titled "The Kids Aren't Alright."
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