The Who's 50 Greatest Songs

From power-pop anthems to operatic epics to stadium-size rockers and beyond

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24. "Sunrise" ('The Who Sell Out', 1967)

Amid the fake commercials, psychedelic freakouts and bizarre comic twists on The Who Sell Out sits "Sunrise," a lovely acoustic track featuring just Townshend's voice and his Harmony 12-string. The song's bright melody, nimble finger-picking and melancholy lyrics were a break from the Who's chaotic intensity, and not everyone in the band was thrilled to see Townshend branching out. "Keith didn't want that on the record," Townshend said in 1980. "In a way, that's a bit of a giveaway to the fact that at the time I was studying a bit of this jazz thing. I wrote it for my mother to show her that I could write real music."

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