The 5 Greatest Songs Keith Moon Wrote

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Keith Moon, the legendary drummer of The Who, left an indelible mark on the world of rock music. His irreverent spirit and unique drumming style made him an irreplaceable member of the band. While his life was marked by excess and tragically ended prematurely in 1978, Moon’s musical legacy lives on through the songs he wrote and played on. Here, we explore the top 5 songs that showcase Moon’s undeniable talent.

5. “Out in the Street” — ‘The Who Sings My Generation’ (1965)

The list begins with “Out in the Street,” the opening track from The Who’s debut album. This song laid the foundation for the band’s revolutionary sound, blending R&B influences with rock and roll. What sets it apart is Keith Moon’s drumming, which defied convention. Moon’s drumming wasn’t just about keeping time; it was a full-on attack that became his signature style. Many drummers imitated him, but none could surpass his ferocious energy.

4. “The Real Me” — ‘Quadrophenia’ (1973)

“The Real Me” is a standout track from The Who’s 1973 masterpiece, ‘Quadrophenia.’ Moon’s drumming on this album is nothing short of symphonic. His fills, accents, and dramatic flair showcase the classical nature of his playing. The song opens with a powerful drum section on the bridge, setting the tone for the entire album.

3. “Young Man Blues” — ‘Live at Leeds’ (1970)

The live album ‘Live at Leeds’ captures The Who at their peak in 1970, and “Young Man Blues” exemplifies their explosive live energy. Moon’s drumming, in perfect sync with John Entwistle’s bass, creates a wall of sound that feels larger than life. This performance is a testament to the unmatched power of Moon’s rhythm section.

2. “I Need You” — ‘A Quick One’ (1966)

“I Need You” is a gem among Moon’s songwriting contributions. It’s a standout track on the band’s second album, and what’s surprising is that Moon not only drums but also takes on lead vocals. The song tells the story of a night at the Ad Lib club in Soho, where The Beatles were present. Moon’s lyrics, like “Let us come and sitar with you,” provide a glimpse into his irreverent humor and unique perspective.

1. “A Quick One, While He’s Away” — ‘The Kids Are Alright’ (1979)

“A Quick One, While He’s Away” is a highlight of The Who’s performance at The Rock and Roll Circus in 1968. This live rendition, featured in the documentary ‘The Kids Are Alright,’ showcases Moon’s virtuosity. He unleashes every drumming trick in his arsenal, delivering an unforgettable performance. It’s a testament to Moon’s enduring legacy as one of the greatest drummers in rock history.