A English rock band who first came to prominence in the 1960s and grew in stature to be popularly considered one of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands of all time. Except for periods of retirement from 1983 to 1988 and from 1990 to 1995, the band members have continued to perform as a live act and have recently re–entered the studio.

Noted for the dynamism of their performances and for their thoughtful and art–influenced music, the members of The Who are also acknowledged as rock pioneers, popularising, along with contemporaries The Kinks, the power chord and the rock opera (most notably Tommy) under the leadership of Pete Townshend. Their earlier "mod" albums, which boasted short, aggressive pop songs, Townshend's distinctive power chords, Keith Moon's explosive drumming, and constant themes of youthful rebellion and romantic confusion, were formative influences on hard rock and power pop, while their loud and violent concerts helped pave the way for punk rock and heavy metal.

In their early days they were notorious for auto–destructive art displays, destroying their instruments at the end of shows (an activity favored both by infamous wildman Moon and by Townshend, whose guitar–smashing would become a rock cliché)