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"The Kids Are Alright"
Single by The Who
from the album My Generation
B-side "The Ox" (UK)
"A Legal Matter" (US)
Released 12 August 1966 (UK)
July 1966 (US)
Format Vinyl record (7")
Recorded 13 October 1965 at IBC Studio A, London, UK[1]
Genre Pop, rock
Length 3:05 (UK)
2:45 (US)
Label Brunswick Records 05965 (UK)
Decca Records 31988 (US)
Writer(s) Pete Townshend
Producer Shel Talmy
The Who singles chronology
"A Legal Matter"
"The Kids Are Alright"
"I'm a Boy"

"The Kids Are Alright" is a song written by Pete Townshend of The Who. It appears as the seventh track on the group's first album, My Generation (1965). While not a huge hit at the time (reaching #41 in the UK and #85 in the US), the song, along with the album's title track, would become anthems for the group and the Mod movement of England in the 1960s. It would later become the name of the documentary for the band in 1979. The song features a standard I-IV-V chord progression in the key of D while the chorus uses a II-V-IV-I-II chord progression. It has been said that Townshend heard a Henry Purcell piece on the piano, prompting him to re-work the melody and harmony for the chorus of the song. The American edit of the song features a substantially shortened instrumental break. In addition to appearing on My Generation, the beginning of the song can be heard on Quadrophenia, after the song "Helpless Dancer" has faded out.

The song has been covered by bands such as The Queers, Goldfinger, Eddie and the Hot Rods, The Pleasers, Dropkick Murphys, Hi-Standard, Green Day and Pearl Jam and Belle & Sebastian who closed their set with it at the Bowlie Weekender in 1999. In 2008 Billy Bob Thorntons band The Boxmasters recorded a version of the song as the closing number on the second disc of their album The Boxmasters. The song was also recorded for a covers album by Matthew Sweet and Bangles' vocalist Susanna Hoffs. Keith Moon also did a cover of this song for his first, and only, solo album, Two Sides of the Moon.

In present-day live performances, The Who add a lengthy extra section to the end of "The Kids Are Alright", featuring partly improvised lyrics. After John Entwistle's death, the extra lyrics would occasionally make reference to him, and his love of old red wine, which would later inspire their song "Old Red Wine", a tribute to Entwistle.

This song is referenced in the title of the song "The Kids Aren't Alright" by the Offspring.


External links



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