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"You Better You Bet" is a song by the British rock band The Who, appearing as the first track on their 1981 album Face Dances. It is sung by frontman Roger Daltrey with backing vocals from Pete Townshend and bassist John Entwistle. Townshend's guitar part is performed on a Rickenbacker 360/12.

"You Better You Bet"
YouBetterYouBet.jpg
Single by The Who
from the album Face Dances
B-side "The Quiet One"
Released 27 February 1981
Format 7"
Recorded 4 November 1980;
Odyssey Recording Studios, London
Length 5:36
Label Warner Bros. (US)
Polydor (UK)
Songwriter(s) Pete Townshend
Producer(s) Bill Szymczyk
The Who singles chronology
"5.15"
(1979)
"You Better You Bet"
(1981)
"Don't Let Go the Coat"
(1981)
"5.15"
(1979)
"You Better You Bet"
(1981)
"Don't Let Go the Coat"
(1981)

"You Better You Bet" became a hit and one of The Who's most recognizable songs. It was the last single by the band that reached the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 18. The track was at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart for five weeks beginning 4 April 1981.[1] It was also their last single to hit the Top Ten in the UK, peaking at No. 9.

Contents

CompositionEdit

"You Better You Bet" was written by Pete Townshend as a love song for his girlfriend at the time: "I developed ['You Better You Bet'] over several weeks of clubbing and partying. I had gone through a lean period in my marriage and was seeing the daughter of a friend of mine. I wanted it to be a good song because the girl I wrote it for is one of the best people on the planet."[2] Townshend also commented: "'You Better You Bet' was a very spontaneous lyric. A fairly spontaneous, peppy song; it's a pop song, really, it's just a pop song."[3]

The song makes references to both the group T. Rex, and the group's own 1971 album Who's Next, with the line: "I drunk myself blind to the sound of old T. Rex... and Who's Next ".

The synthesizer riff is performed on a Yamaha E70 home organ.[3]

ReceptionEdit

"You Better You Bet" was released as the first single from Face Dances in February 1981, backed with the John Entwistle-penned "The Quiet One". The song peaked at No. 9 in the United Kingdom; in America, it only reached No. 18. This is thought to have been because Warner Bros. Records had decided to boycott independent promoters in America, which resulted in less airplay for the track.[2]

Roger Daltrey praised the song's vocal melody, comparing it to Elvis Presley: "A wonderful, wonderful song. The way the vocal bounces, it always reminds me of Elvis."[4] and stated: "'You Better You Bet' is still one of my favorite songs of all."[2]

Music videoEdit

A music video for the song was produced in black and white featuring the band and keyboardist John Bundrick playing onstage. It was the fourth video played upon MTV's launch on 1 August 1981.[5] The video was also the 54th video to be aired on MTV, making it the first video to be shown on MTV more than once.

Chart historyEdit

Chart (1981) Peak position
Belgium Ultratop 9
Canadian RPM Top Singles 4
UK Singles Chart 9
US Billboard Hot 100 18
US Billboard Top Tracks 1

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 677.
  2. ^ a b c Grantley/Parker, Steve/Alan. The Who by Numbers: The Story of The Who Through Their Music. Helter Skelter. p. 196. 
  3. ^ a b Cady, Brian. "'Face Dances' Liner Notes". Thewho.net. Retrieved 2016-10-25. 
  4. ^ "You Better You Bet". songfacts.com. 
  5. ^ "MTV LAUNCH FIRST DAY SATURDAY AUGUST 1st , 1981 Part 2". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-01-12.