"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 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.
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.