Athena (song)

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Single by The Who
from the album It's Hard
B-side "A Man Is a Man" (UK)
"It's Your Turn" (US)
Released 4 September 1982
Recorded June 1982
Genre Rock
Length 3:46
Label Polydor Records (UK)
Warner Bros (US)
Writer(s) Pete Townshend
Producer(s) Glyn Johns
The Who singles chronology
"Don't Let Go the Coat"
"Eminence Front"
It's Hard track listing
"It's Your Turn"

"Athena" is a song written by Pete Townshend and recorded by The Who. It appears as the first track on the group's tenth studio album It's Hard, released in 1982. It was released as the first single from that album, achieving moderate chart success at number 28 on the US Billboard Hot 100, but received good airplay on album-oriented rock and later classic rock radio formats.

"Athena" reached number 40 on the UK Singles Chart, making it the band's last UK Top 40 single.


Pete Townshend wrote this song after an encounter with the American actress Theresa Russell. He promptly fell in love with her, and his frustration of being rejected is contained in this song. In this context, associated with an issue with a film director, it became a subplot of the much later The Lifehouse Chronicles. Townshend initially changed the title to "Athena" to disguise who the song was really about. Roger Daltrey and Townshend share lead vocals on this song.[1]

Live performances[edit]

Despite this being the first single from the album and well-received on rock radio, The Who only played "Athena" a total of ten times on the band's 1982 tour, and has not played the song again ever since.


  1. ^ Pete, Townshend (2012). Pete Townshend: Who I Am. Great Britain: HarperCollinsPublishers,. ISBN 978-0-00-746603-0.