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The Who — Behind Blue Eyes
Album: Who's Next
Avg rating:
8.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2546









Released: 1971
Length: 3:36
Plays (last 30 days): 0
No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

No one knows what it's like
To be hated
To be fated
To telling only lies

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free

No one knows what it's like
To feel these feelings
Like I do
And I blame you!

No one bites back as hard
On their anger
None of my pain and woe
Can show through

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free

When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool

And If I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
And If I shiver, please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes
Comments (334)add comment
My status 8 down to 6 
 ChrisVIII wrote:
so tired of hearing this whining song ! I'm sorry but hard as I try, I can't find the "beauty" in this piece... {#Grumpy}
 
The whining doesn't appear to be coming from the song.
 idiot_wind wrote:
Geez...this band (whoever they are) sure could used a drummer.

maybe the Foo Fighter drummer is available! Ha! 

 
Nope. Since Keith Moon is not available, I'd vote for Ringo's son or Mark Brzezicki, or maybe Simon Phillips.

 bronorb wrote:

You are so right. I came of age in the 70's and if I never hear Hotel California again, that will be just fine with me. I truly think that there is a saturation point. When you know every note by heart, there are no more surprises.
Time to move along, nothing more to see here.
Getting to that point with this song too. 

 
Agreed!  We loved the classic albums when they were released and we wore them out.  And then progressive FM radio held on to these gems a bit longer and we listened patiently for a few more years.  And then there was the proliferation of Classic Rock 102.whatever so we were subjected to them again, and then Muzak at work became progressive and we heard the songs again, and again and again, and then Lite FM, restaurants, TV commercials, reunion tours, more radio, more TV, movie soundtracks, TV soundtracks, more products being sold during halftime of the Super Bowl while the Rolling Stones actually played for 10 embarrassing minutes during halftime of the Super Bowl, Walmart, Target, doctors' offices, sporting events, China Grove, Layla, Freebird, Stairway to Heaven.  So when we hear these songs occasionally on Radio Paradise and we roll our eyes, and we don't take the advice of a fellow listener who cleverly advises us to PSD or change the station, please know that if we do change the station we're probably going to hear the same song elsewhere.
so tired of hearing this whining song ! I'm sorry but hard as I try, I can't find the "beauty" in this piece... {#Grumpy}
Rock Gods  
 heyjoe3577 wrote:

@Colt4x5 - you're so right about finding new things - especially true when one has an excellent set of speakers/phones. 



 
Exactly! Just noticed the harmonies during the "if I swallow anything evil" section. A good set of Bose headphones will do that!
 bronorb wrote:

You are so right. I came of age in the 70's and if I never hear Hotel California again, that will be just fine with me. I truly think that there is a saturation point. When you know every note by heart, there are no more surprises.
Time to move along, nothing more to see here.
Getting to that point with this song too. 

 

I'm with you on Hotel California.  But this song still gives me goosebumps, after all these years.
No way not to crank up this one. Sorry, neighbours, sunday and all.
This was my 'Nirvana' back in the day.

Slow them slammin
 
Behind ice blue Eyes, and coverart is just a coincidence..
 hempmandan wrote:
Piss on the wall
 
 
Sometimes you can't go when you need to.
 hempmandan wrote:
Piss on the wall
,gbc _űg*?g:-< -5u76 
 
by?b;?f 
 hempmandan wrote:
Piss on the wall
 
 
b
Sipping hot coffee with powdered cream waiting for the overnight taped automation to finish playing "Behind Blue Eyes" so I could start my live morning show on our local FM at 6:00 AM.

A memory Circa 1982 from KXFM in Santa Maria, Ca, when I was 22 year old.  Thanks for the time trip. 
 Posted: Jun 13, 2015 - 13:34
 < Reply >

 bronorb wrote:
... I truly think that there is a saturation point. When you know every note by heart, there are no more surprises.
Time to move along, nothing more to see here. ...
colt4x5 wrote:

The best music keeps revealing new values as you experience it in your new frames of mind and reference.
It's only second-tier work that wears out.

 

 

@Colt4x5 - you're so right about finding new things - especially true when one has an excellent set of speakers/phones. 


One of the best songs (ballads?) ever. Thank you RP!
I'm all for Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy! {#Notworthy}

On_The_Beach wrote:

This gets my vote as best Who album, with Quadrophenia solidly in second.

 


Geez...this band (whoever they are) sure could used a drummer.

maybe the Foo Fighter drummer is available! Ha! 
OH YEAH!!! {#Whistle}
 Skydog wrote:
{#Sleep}{#Sleep}{#Sleep}

 
Yeah...no.
{#Sleep}{#Sleep}{#Sleep}
Daltrey had/has the perfect rock and roll pipes.
 hempmandan wrote:
Piss on the wall
 
More like a monolith, or a plinth, or an obelisk, or that thing from 2001:
https://survincity.com/wp-content/uploads/images/546500-e1338395736644.jpg
 bronorb wrote:
... I truly think that there is a saturation point. When you know every note by heart, there are no more surprises.
Time to move along, nothing more to see here. ...

 
The best music keeps revealing new values as you experience it in your new frames of mind and reference.
It's only second-tier work that wears out.

 
Piss on the wall
 
 BerkeleyAlice wrote:
I'm all for appreciating the classics, but I'm so tired of some of these songs! One of my employees asked why I didn't like listening to the 70's or 80's. Been there during those years. Done that and don't need to repeat for a long, long time.

 
Think about changing the station?!
The only drummer in the world who played with three arms. No other way to explain it. 
Love the classic song thrown into the mix!
{#Roflol} 
 ccjemmett wrote:
Yup, only heard this one about 9,000 times too many.
 
I'm with you.  
 BerkeleyAlice wrote:
I'm all for appreciating the classics, but I'm so tired of some of these songs! One of my employees asked why I didn't like listening to the 70's or 80's. Been there during those years. Done that and don't need to repeat for a long, long time.

 
{#Clap} 'Kin right!
Favorite song in High School - a million years ago... 
my youth ... a frenchie 62 years almost 63

John STARCZEWSKI 

Is this the face of a sad man?


I could write a long story about a special moment in my younger days when this song came on the radio.  I'm afraid my writing skills would never do it justice and I'll just have to settle for the smile that hearing this gem always gives me.  And that it reminds to call an old friend.
Yup, only heard this one about 9,000 times too many.
 BerkeleyAlice wrote:
I'm all for appreciating the classics, but I'm so tired of some of these songs! One of my employees asked why I didn't like listening to the 70's or 80's. Been there during those years. Done that and don't need to repeat for a long, long time.

 
It kind of HAS been a long time!  Been there, done that too. Still gets a 10! Tempus Fugit  {#Neutral} 
 BerkeleyAlice wrote:
I'm all for appreciating the classics, but I'm so tired of some of these songs! One of my employees asked why I didn't like listening to the 70's or 80's. Been there during those years. Done that and don't need to repeat for a long, long time.

 
I feel the same way at the beginning of this song (and some others, like Stairway to Heaven, for instance).  But somewhere about halfway through I'm loving it.  Hotel California I hope I never hear again.
 BerkeleyAlice wrote:
I'm all for appreciating the classics, but I'm so tired of some of these songs! One of my employees asked why I didn't like listening to the 70's or 80's. Been there during those years. Done that and don't need to repeat for a long, long time.

 
You are so right. I came of age in the 70's and if I never hear Hotel California again, that will be just fine with me. I truly think that there is a saturation point. When you know every note by heart, there are no more surprises.
Time to move along, nothing more to see here.
Getting to that point with this song too. 
I'm all for appreciating the classics, but I'm so tired of some of these songs! One of my employees asked why I didn't like listening to the 70's or 80's. Been there during those years. Done that and don't need to repeat for a long, long time.
 rgabriel wrote:
Please replace with the Limp Bizkit version...

 
{#Roflol}
 rgabriel wrote:
Please replace with the Limp Bizkit version...

 
Fuck. and No.
 rgabriel wrote:
Please replace with the Limp Bizkit version...

 
Please replace your ears.
Please replace with the Limp Bizkit version...
RIP The Ox, 12 years ago today.
 Jannne wrote:
 

                       {#Sunny}Godlike - for providing the foundation of our generation {#Sunny}

 


 

                       {#Sunny}Godlike - for providing the foundation of our generation {#Sunny}
 Stingray wrote:
Disagree. I vote for TOMMY - clearly!

Some riffs of "TOMMY" are already developing in this song!

 
They're all three pretty awesome. I wore out Quadrophenia (on vinyl) and then did same to Tommy.

Hard to believe this is the same group responsible for "Squeeze Box."



I've often thought the lyrics of this song perfectly capture a passive-aggressive personality.


{#Heartkiss}   Love it - anything less than "Godlike" is a crime against music
One of the best rock n roll songs of all-time.

 On_The_Beach wrote:

This gets my vote as best Who album, with Quadrophenia solidly in second.

 
Disagree. I vote for TOMMY - clearly!

Some riffs of "TOMMY" are already developing in this song!

 


True - nobody knows it!!!

Ask "Lazarus", ask Obama and Cheney!

Ask me!


 coloradojohn wrote:
THIS album, and perhaps THIS better than any one Who source, although Quadrophenia & Who Are You as well both come very close, to both defining & supporting my passage through those inexplicably difficult teenage years, when all holy hell was breaking loose around me
 
This gets my vote as best Who album, with Quadrophenia solidly in second.
THIS album, and perhaps THIS better than any one Who source, although Quadrophenia & Who Are You as well both come very close, to both defining & supporting my passage through those inexplicably difficult teenage years, when all holy hell was breaking loose around me
 unclehud wrote:
A rock'n'roll staple like this catches me in one of two ways ... when I have time to really listen, it's great; for this morning, it's comfortable background music that flows easily across the synapses and doesn't disrupt conscious thought.

Back in the day, would have never figured The Who as "comfortable background music".

 
hahahahaha.... so true..!     {#Sunny}
 
Always and instant adrenalin flow.
 
kicks ass

these words chronicled those feelings of my adolescence, the edge of anger and all...
Wow I'm old - I saw the Who when this record can out
A rock'n'roll staple like this catches me in one of two ways ... when I have time to really listen, it's great; for this morning, it's comfortable background music that flows easily across the synapses and doesn't disrupt conscious thought.

Back in the day, would have never figured The Who as "comfortable background music".
Townsend's demo of this on the Scoop album is wonderful.
A monumental album...
 RoelantSiekman wrote:
Well this song was thoroughly ruined by Limp Bizkit... Job well done. {#Confused}

 

I really like the Limp Bizkit version...probably the only song they've done that I've liked (so far).
For me its one of those VERY rare scenarios where I like both the original and the cover.
Roll on Rodger. 
 
yah man toller song  


Love this song...  love this whole album...  here is a photo that my dead best friend's younger brother's girlfriend took at a recent show, in Manchester, NH, on February 24—

Who - Roger & Pete2 photo Who-RogerandPete2_zps63ce5f91.jpg


Beavis and Butthead voice:  heh, heh, heh, they peed on the concrete.  heh, heh, heh.
The year prior to the release of this album, the Who played the Isle of Wight festival.  As others have commented, they were at the peak of their Who power during this era.   Check out video to see a truly transcendent live band!
 johnjconn wrote:


Try 41 years
 
Noooo...ouch!
It was some years after that I heard of this song.  I was 16, went to see Tommy on the theatre and it was such a shake, both aesthetic and musical. I'm time travelling each time I get to hear it. It's a very nice state actually.
yawn.
With the benefit of decades of hindsight, this (album) really was their high-water mark. Sure, Tommy and Quadrophenia were strong efforts but Who's Next was near-perfect. One of the great rock bands at the peak of their powers. This song in particular kicks some serious butt.
 (former member) wrote:


This song is soooo good my nipples get hard when I hear it...

 
 
Are your nipples still hard?
Awsome a well deserved 9 for me.
Honestly, it just doesn't get any better than this!!! 
Well this song was thoroughly ruined by Limp Bizkit... Job well done. {#Confused}
Possibly the best song on this brilliant album....
I saw The Smithereens cover this about two weeks ago, it was truly awesome.
Never get tired, even after 20 years.
 lemmoth wrote:

The distinction I always found in the Who's performances is that they had in the dearly departed Moon and Entwhistle a lead drummer and a lead bass player, if you get my drift.

 
Back in the eighties, I knew a guy in Miami who said he had been Keith's boyfriend (manfriend?). Holy crap, did he have stories, including Keith driving a limo into the pool at the Beverly Hill Wilshire. Crazy, funny, sad stuff... 
Not only an epic song on an epic album but one of the best covers ever. Think it pissed off Kubrick? (pun intended)  

The distinction I always found in the Who's performances is that they had in the dearly departed Moon and Entwhistle a lead drummer and a lead bass player, if you get my drift.


 vandal wrote:

I still get shivers when I hear this. . . 
 
 

Me too.
 calypsus_1 wrote:

Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle & The Chieftains - Behind Blue Eyes:
https://youtu.be/muONonvhmvI

Carnegie Hall 1994 (includes John Entwistle acoustic bass solo)

The world lost a great bass player and a better man when John passed. R.I.P.      SuperDiddzz

 

At  2.40 does Moloney say "Up me arse?"

Nah, probably not.


This song is soooo good it puts a spring in my step this spring night...

 
A true album from the days when 'album' meant something.

 

This song is soooo good it puts a spring in my step this winter night...



I still get shivers when I hear this. . . 
 


This song is soooo good my nipples get hard when I hear it...

 
 Proclivities wrote:

Who?

 

On first. Whats on second.

 ofanansky wrote:
too much Who lately
 
Who?

 ofanansky wrote:
too much Who lately
 
Too what? Too Who? To you?
too much Who lately
Great song, great album. 


Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...


 
 daveshel4 wrote:
by far the best Who song.  by far.
 
I still like this, but it is actually one of my least-favorite Who tunes.


 daveshel4 wrote:
by far the best Who song.  by far.
 
agree.

That warble in their voices when they sing "But my dreeeeeeeams aren't as empty.." has always bugged me. Now I can't help but hear it every time.
 calypsus_1 wrote:

Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle & The Chieftains - Behind Blue Eyes:
https://youtu.be/muONonvhmvI

Carnegie Hall 1994 (includes John Entwistle acoustic bass solo)

The world lost a great bass player and a better man when John passed. R.I.P.      SuperDiddzz


 

Just been to that YouTube link  - that performance was fantastic - such a clever mix of music.


Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle & The Chieftains - Behind Blue Eyes

Carnegie Hall 1994 (includes John Entwistle acoustic bass solo)

The world lost a great bass player and a better man when John passed. R.I.P.      SuperDiddzz


immernoch schön anzuhören  yah man  echt gut{#Yes}
 romeotuma wrote:


The meaning of the cover of this album is that they just urinated on an ambiguous holy symbol...  nothing is sacred...

love this song... 
 
Or that boys, being boys, will engage in pissing contests.

Yeah, a real true classic tune.  Such memories. . . .
 


The meaning of the cover of this album is that they just urinated on an ambiguous holy symbol...  nothing is sacred...

love this song... 

One is reminded how direct in our communications we were in those days.  Now, folks would find it "awkward" to proactively ask their best friend to stick his finger down our throat in case one swallowed something toxic. 
{#Daisy}flower  beat ich liebe es !!



Yeah, this is great stuff...  from a great album...  love it...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtZNNV4d_rA

If you watch this version and feel no emotions, you have no soul.
The Who, driving!
by far the best Who song.  by far.
Aaaahhhhhhh!  Slaking that early '70s thirst.  {#Clap}
 vandal wrote:

Following sufyawn, this comes on like a straight shot of whiskey after a big glass of pre-sweetened kool-aid. . .

 

My favorite comment of the day. {#Roflol}
This song is so good.  Gives me goosebumps.  It's just about perfect, and it isn't a minute longer than it should be.
I think I heard that this was Pete's favorite song that he wrote.  A worthy choice.



Suzanne Vega - Behind Blue Eyes, Live (2004)

Live at Montreux 2004.

"Suzanne Vega song touches a moving version of the classic band a thrilling and true song of the band "The Who" Folk nice and soft performance But offensive .. Susan gives another dimension to this great song and unique Rhythm division remains not disappointed - even though Keith Moon not here .."      arttoeg

"I think it's about someone who has sunk so low that they rely on and cling to the one person who still loves them, it's a sad song about a deeply unhappy person who is angry at the world that has made them what they are, there is also a lot of inward anger and his conscience only 'seems' to be empty. He does not perhaps feel worthy of expressing his true feelings or is ashamed of them. I think what the song is trying to say is that there is a lot more going on beneath the surface and that even the most hated people can have something to say that's worth listening to, that often it is circumstance that makes people who they are. Or maybe i'm reading too much into a song."

Lyrics written by Pete Townshend

No one knows what it's like to be the bad man
To be the sad man behind blue eyes
No one knows what it's like
To be hated, to be fated to telling only lies

But my dreams, they aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be
I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance that's never free

No one knows what it's like
To feel these feelings like I do and I blame you!
No one bites back as hard on their anger
None of my pain and woe can show through

But my dreams, they aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be
I have hours only lonely
My love is vengeance, that's never free

When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool

And If I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
And If I shiver, please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat

No one knows what it's like to be the bad man
To be the sad man behind blue eyes
sing365.com

 



 fingerpin wrote:
 Sjaaks wrote:


Seriously? This album cover is so unbelievably fake, and not in a good way....
 
Nope. Pretty sure that is an actual album cover. {#Cool}

 
{#Roflol}

From wikipedia:

The album cover shows a photograph, taken at Easington Colliery, of the band apparently having just urinated on a large concrete piling protruding from a slag heap. According to photographer Ethan Russell, most of the members were unable to urinate, so rainwater was tipped from an empty film canister to achieve the desired effect. The photograph is often seen to be a reference to the monolith discovered on the moon in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, which had been released only about three years earlier.

Read the whole article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who's_Next




love it...


 
 sirdroseph wrote:


Let's make something perfectly clear; Limp Bizkit does not do anything nice regarding their "so called" music!{#Stop}
 

C'mon! their cover of George Michael's "Faith" is a real improvement.
Saw them 2 years ago in a rock festival in Belgium, ... a teenager girl standing close to me screamed " why are they playin limp bizkit ? wtf ??" ... 
 Bleyfusz wrote:

Above all, one certain Moon. May your tortured soul rest in peace, Keith!

I don't know how tortured he was ... but he could absolutely W*A*I*L on a drum set !*!*!
 

{#Drummer}



{#Notworthy}


 katearhar wrote:
Limp Bizkit actually does a really nice cover of this that I just love...
 

Let's make something perfectly clear; Limp Bizkit does not do anything nice regarding their "so called" music!{#Stop}