The set will feature 89 previously unreleased tracks — including songs from the unfinished Life House project
The Who announced the release of multi-format Who’s Next/Life House on September 15 — the massive set will feature 155 tracks, of which 89 are previously unreleased and 57 include new remixes.
A press release touts the project as a “complete picture” of Pete Townshend’s songwriting, promising to captivate a new audience with his “visionary description of a future that has, in many ways, come true.” The set will pack songs from the unfinished Life House project (which started In 1969 as a follow-up to The Who’s Tommy) to the 1971 rock classic that it evolved into, Who’s Next — the band’s fifth studio album.
Townshend described science fiction rock drama Life House as “a portentous polemic about the coming of a nation beaten down by climate issues and pollution,” and how “an opportunist and autocratic government enforce a national lock-down in which every person is hooked up to an entertainment grid.”
According to Townshend, the previously abandoned project harbored “some wonderful music” and that “the idea has always held me in thrall, partly because so many of the strands of the fiction seem to be coming true.”
Across the course of 10-CD and multiple vinyl sets — remastered from the original tapes by longtime Who engineer Jon Astley, fans will be able to listen to how that concept helped birth Who’s Next, one of the most heralded album’s in the group’s catalog.
The 155-track format will include Townshend’s demos for Life House; The Who’s 1971 session recordings at New York’s Record Plant; Olympic Studios sessions in southwest London from 1970-1972; and classics like “Baba O’Riley,” “Behind Blue Eyes” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”
The project will be offered as limited edition 4-LP and 3-LP sets, featuring, respectively, the complete release of the 1971 San Francisco concert and vinyl replicas of Townshend’s original Life House.