|Behind Blue Eyes|
The song starts off with a solo voice singing over an arpeggiated acoustic guitar. A bass guitar and ethereal harmonies are added in later. Eventually, the song breaks out into a full-scale rock anthem when a second theme is introduced near the end - but it ultimately wraps up with a brief reprise of the quieter first theme.
Songs written in alternating sections were something of a trademark of Townshend's writing of the period, going back at least to Tommy, where it was used in "Christmas" and "Go to the Mirror!" The guitar riff at the end of the rock anthem section is also used after the bridge during the song "Won't Get Fooled Again", perhaps serving as a link between the two songs when Behind Blue Eyes was intended to be a rock opera. (Some musical themes from Tommy and Quadrophenia also appear in multiple places.)
The version of "Behind Blue Eyes" on the original Behind Blue Eyes album was the second version the band recorded; the first version was recorded at the Record Plant in New York on 18 March 1971 and features Al Kooper on Hammond Organ. Pete Townshend has also recorded two solo versions of the song. One, the original demo of the song, was featured on the Scoop album. The demo along with a newer recording of the song featuring an orchestral backing was featured in The Lifehouse Chronicles.