Pete Townshend wrote this song about a revolution. In the first verse, there is an uprising. In the middle, they overthrow those in power, but in the end, the new regime becomes just like the old one ("Meet the new boss, same as the old boss"). Townshend felt revolution was pointless because whoever takes over is destined to become corrupt.

TRIVIA:

Roger Daltrey's scream is considered one of the best on any rock song. It was quite a convincing wail - so convincing that the rest of the band, lunching nearby, thought Daltrey was brawling with the engineer.