Accolades, Cover Versions, and Use in Popular Culture
"Baba O'Riley" appears at No. 349 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". The song is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for being one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. A remixed version of the song was used as the theme song for the popular television series CSI: NY. Each CSI series used a Who song as its theme. The song was also used in respective episodes of the original BBC Life on Mars (Episode 1), the corresponding episode of the ABC remake ("Out Here in the Fields" which takes its title from a lyric in the song), and House M.D.. The live version of the song, taken from the album Who's Last, was used in one episode of Miami Vice ("Out Where the Buses Don't Run").
"Baba O'Riley" is played during player introductions for the Los Angeles Lakers during home games at the Staples Center. The song is played prior to live UFC events during a highlight package showing some of the most famous fights in the mixed martial arts company's history. An instrumental version of the song was used in the teaser trailer for the film Resident Evil: Retribution. It is also the official theme song of competitive eater, Joey Chestnut.
The band Pearl Jam usually presents a cover version in concerts, since 1992.
The song is used in the American television series The Newsroom in its season finale, "The Greater Fool" in 2012.
In 2004, the intro of the song was used in a Hewlett Packard commercial.
The song is used near the end of the film The Girl Next Door and in the trailer for the 1999 film American Beauty.
On an episode of Dawson's Creek, Jen Lindley (played by Michelle Williams) played Baba O'Riley loudly while dancing around the living room.
One of the working titles of That '70s Show was "Teenage Wasteland," a reference to the repeated lyric in the song.
A pivotal montage sequence in the Spike Lee film Summer of Sam is set to the song, which the character Richie apparently uses both as a cover with his rock band and as background music to his dancing at a gay theater.
At both the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics, the synthesiser opening was used during a countdown to the start of the proceedings. The song was then performed by The Who as their first number during the last musical segment at the closing ceremony, with Daltrey singing a changed lyric of "Don't cry/Just raise your eye/There's more than teenage wasteland".
A remixed version of the song by Alan Wilkis is used in the 2012 video game Need for Speed: Most Wanted as part of its soundtrack, along with a remix of "Won't Get Fooled Again" by Cato.
Blue Man Group licensed the song for use in their theatrical performances. It was included on their CD/DVDs How to Be a Megastar Live! (2008) and The Complex Rock Tour Live (2003) featuring vocalist Venus Hum.
The song opens and closes the film Premium Rush.
The songs intro was used as the theme for the channel 53 News in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as the evening news on WKBD-TV in Detroit, Michigan in the 1970s.
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