Classic Rock

The Who to release deluxe box set of Who’s Next/Life House in September

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Pete Townshend’s magnum opus Life House — parts of which became The Who‘s 1971 album, Who’s Next — will finally be released as he intended when he first started working on it over 50 years ago.

Dropping September 15, the Who’s Next/Life House Super Deluxe edition will feature a whopping 155 tracks, with 89 songs that have never been released and 57 fresh remixes. That includes Townshend’s Life House demos, various session recordings and two complete concerts from 1971: one recorded at London’s Young Vic theater and one recorded at San Francisco’s Civic Auditorium.

Townshend had hoped to tell one story with Life House but eventually scrapped the project, instead evolving it into Who’s Next. In a statement about the new releases, he describes the story as a “portentous polemic about the coming of a nation beaten down by climate issues and pollution.” 

The story also features a sort of proto-internet called the grid, to which people are forced to plug into for entertainment.

Noting the timeliness of his concept, Townshend writes, “Songs that depicted a dystopian world in which faceless corporations control our lives may have been fiction at the time, but they have come to be more like documentary.” 

The Super Deluxe edition will be released as a 10-CD set, with a 100-page hardcover book, new sleeve notes, the newly commissioned Life House – The Complete Graphic Novel, which tells the story behind project, plus concert posters, programs and more. The novel will also be available separately in a limited edition of 1,000 signed by Townshend and Roger Daltrey

Also coming is a limited-edition four-LP set that includes the 1971 San Francisco concert, a two-CD set and various other vinyl configurations.

All are available for preorder now.

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