You Better You Bet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"You Better You Bet"
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
Genre Art rock, new wave
Length 5:36
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Pete Townshend
Producer(s) Bill Szymczyk
The Who singles chronology
"You Better You Bet"
"Don't Let Go the Coat"

"You Better You Bet" is a song by the British rock group The Who, which became a hit and one of their most recognizable songs. It appears as the first track on their 1981 album, Face Dances.

"You Better You Bet" was the last single by The Who that reached the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching number 18. The track was at number 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 number 9. It is sung by front man Roger Daltrey but contains backing vocals from Pete Townshend and bassist John Entwistle. Townshend's guitar part is played on a Rickenbacker 360/12.


"You Better You Bet" was written by Pete Townshend as a love song for his girlfriend at the time.[2] Townshend said of the song, "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]

When commenting on the song's lyrics and music, Pete Townshend said, "'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] Roger Daltrey commented on the song's vocal melody, comparing it to Elvis Presley. He said, "A wonderful, wonderful song. The way the vocal bounces, it always reminds me of Elvis."[4]

The song is also a favorite of Roger Daltrey, who said, "'You Better You Bet' is still one of my favorite songs of all."[2]

"You Better You Bet" was released as the first single from Face Dances in February 1981, backed with the John Enstwistle-penned "The Quiet One." The song peaked at #9 in the Britain, but in America, it only reached #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]


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". This song also sounded very similar to Pete Townshend's solo release "Let My Love Open The Door" which had been released a year prior.

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

Music video[edit]

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


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 677.
  2. ^ a b c d 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". 
  4. ^ "You Better You Bet". 
  5. ^ "MTV LAUNCH FIRST DAY SATURDAY AUGUST 1st , 1981 Part 2". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-01-12.