The Who Announce Super Deluxe Multi-Format Release For Who’s Next | Life House

Lavish Set On Which Pete Townshend Foresaw The Birth Of The Internet And Virtual Reality, Features Dozens Of Unreleased Treasures

The suite of songs by The Who on which, more than half a century ago, Pete Townshend foresaw the invention of the internet, of virtual reality and pandemic-style lockdown, is to be heard as he intended for the first time. UMR will release Who’s Next | Life House as a lavish, multi-format Super Deluxe edition on September 15, now available for pre-order HERE.

Featuring 155 tracks, of which 89 are previously unreleased and 57 feature fresh remixes, the set will delight longtime Who fans with its long-sought, complete picture of Townshend’s incredibly prescient songwriting, while captivating a new audience with his visionary description of a future that has, in many ways, come true. It features all of his songs, in their many stages of development, from the abandoned, audacious Life House project, started in 1970 as a follow-up to The Who’s epic Tommy, and from the undisputed rock classic of 1971 that it evolved into, Who’s Next.

Across the course of ten-CD and multiple vinyl sets, Who’s Next | Life House sets out Townshend’s extraordinary vision of a world beset by climatic catastrophe and pollution, leading to a curtailing of personal freedom that will be all too familiar to the pandemic generation. Decades ahead of his time, he details how the population is then seduced and sedated by access to an entertainment “Grid,” piped into every home via the use of virtual reality experience suits.

In his introduction to the new editions, Townshend describes Life House as “a portentous polemic about the coming of a nation beaten down by climate issues and pollution.” He then explains how “an opportunist and autocratic government enforce a national lock-down in which every person is hooked up to an entertainment grid.” Music itself then becomes an inconvenient diversion, “a very real distraction to the subjugation of the population in suits,” with fascinating consequences. 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 unfulfilled project, which Townshend conceived as one part film script and one part blueprint for a live musical experiment, brought him to the edge of a breakdown. But, as he writes, “some wonderful music came from the project, and the idea has always held me in thrall, partly because so many of the strands of the fiction seem to be coming true.”

Listeners will hear, for the first time, how that concept folded into Who’s Next, widely regarded as not only one of the greatest albums in the band’s astonishing catalogue, but a seminal moment in music history. Here, The Who’s instinctive, scintillating cohesion reached new peaks, Townshend’s brilliant creativity as one of rock’s great auteurs brought thrillingly to life by Roger Daltrey’s unsurpassed vocal performances, John Entwistle’s visceral, fluid basslines and Keith Moon’s fiery potency on the drums.

The Super Deluxe edition of Who’s Next | Life House will contain 10 CDs, all remastered from the original tapes by longtime Who engineer Jon Astley, plus a Blu-ray Audio disc with newly-created Atmos and 5.1 surround mixes of Who’s Next and 14 bonus tracks by in-demand artist and producer Steven Wilson.

Highlights of the 155-track format include Townshend’s demos for Life House; The Who’s 1971 session recordings at the Record Plant in New York; sessions at Olympic Studios in southwest London from 1970-1972; and, for the first time, two newly mixed and complete 1971 concerts from London’s Young Vic Theatre and San Francisco’s Civic Auditorium. Timeless highlights of those sessions and performances include ‘Baba O’Riley’, ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ and ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’, on which Daltrey created the most awe-inspiring scream ever heard. Those classics continue to illuminate Who concerts to this day.

The box set also contains a 100-page hardback book with Townshend’s aforementioned introduction and new sleeve notes by Who experts and compilers Andy Neill and Matt Kent. Also included is Life House – The Graphic Novel, a newly commissioned, 172-page hardback book overseen by Townshend that tells the story behind the project. Completing the set are a 20” x 30” poster of a Who gig in Sunderland, England, on 7th May, 1971; a 25.5” x 34.25” poster of a date at Denver Coliseum, Denver, CO on 10th December, 1971; a 20-page concert programme from the Rainbow Theatre in London on 4th November, 1971; a 16-page programme from the band’s October/November 1971 tour of the UK; a collectible four pin button set; and an 8” x 10” colour photo of The Who with printed autographs.

The album will also be available as limited edition 4-LP and 3-LP sets, featuring, respectively, the first-ever complete release of the San Francisco concert from 1971 and vinyl replicas of Townshend’s original Life House acetates. The original Who’s Next album will also be available as a 1-LP half-speed remaster completed at Abbey Road Studios, and in other exclusive single vinyl versions.

With the hugely anticipated September 15 release of Who’s Next | Life House, one of rock’s great last untold stories is finally about to be recounted in full.

More information about the various formats here.


By Pete Townshend

1971. Life House was a double-barrelled project. One part film script, the other part the plan for a live musical experiment to be carried out at the Young Vic Theatre to be filmed and incorporated into the fictional movie.

After the success of Tommy, providing The Who with a very powerful and uplifting concert piece as well as a hit album, I tried to create an audacious music project that would replace it musically for stage and album. I hoped too for a movie. I framed Life House as a portentous polemic about the coming of a nation beaten down by climate issues and pollution. In a sci-fi setting an opportunist and autocratic government enforce a national lock-down in which every person is hooked up to an entertainment grid, provided with solace, food, peace, and spiritual succour. The population could enjoy this Grid safe at home, using virtual reality experience suits. Life experience programmes would be provided by a co-opted entertainment industry and piped down tubes and wires to every home.

Music is discovered to be a very real distraction to the subjugation of the population in suits. Slowly it is removed from the programming. Rebels and renegades who refuse to be compliant ride around in crude converted buses and vans, listening to rock ‘n’ roll. It is the rebels who begin to hear rumours of the “Life House,” a place somewhere in London where live music is being performed, and an outlandish experiment was taking place.

One aspect of both the story and the hopeful plan for the Young Vic live music experiment was for me as a composer to act as a computer to create tailor-made compositions for selected audience members who attended a series of workshops at the Young Vic. Two good examples of the kind of music I hoped to compose are the electronic music backing tracks of ‘Baba O’Riley’ and ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’. In the story a new leader (partly based on myself, and partly based on several technical advisors I was working with at the time) put on a series of concerts, where such tailor-made music is created, and eventually would be piped into the government Grid to allow the oppressed population to break free.

A side bar of the fiction is that many participants in the government Grid project begin to advance spiritually, partly because of the sheer number of lifetimes they can enjoy squeezed at high-speed into every moment they remain incarcerated. When the Life House experiment does reach its target, and music is secretly piped into every individual’s experience suit, a universal uprising with immense spiritual and congregational impact takes place. In the Life House itself, down at the Young Vic, the participants all disappear to a higher level.

Earlier, I used the adjective ‘audacious’ to describe my plans. In fact, the fiction and the experiment were both flawed, and neither were properly realised. But some wonderful music came from the project, and the idea has always held me in thrall, partly because so many of the strands of the fiction seem to be coming true.

52 thoughts on “The Who Announce Super Deluxe Multi-Format Release For Who’s Next | Life House”

  1. Mark Lurz says:

    Looking forward to it!

  2. Great news ! I purchased life house albums 20 years back. The Mansfield Massachusetts venue,formerly named great woods.i will be purchasing this 2023 life house as well. Can’t wait ,as I love the original one I have !

  3. Todd Lewis says:

    Wow…thank you Pete for that fascinating background to the story.

  4. Dear Pete and co, so much of what you have written about is now so real. We are unwittingly being fed music and information as though we are in subjugation suits. It flows directly into our brains or in augmented reality head sets. I hope someone with an imagination equal to yours takes up the story from here so we can see what the future really is

  5. Wesley C Swalley says:

    This is one of the most exciting things to happen in the music world to me because to have unreleased songs and hearing Lifehouse as a whole is something I have always dreamed of. I am a musician and huge fan of The Who and Townsend is one of my favorite song writers of this century. Cannot wait.

  6. Kevin says:

    The parallels with “The Matrix” are incredible. Love that music is the vibration of liberation and individuation. In this modern world music can be succor or savior, distracting from reality or deepening our understanding of it. An amazing project by any measure – glad Pete is sharing it with the world.

  7. Bob Lehman says:

    Please also make the Blu-ray disc, with the 5.1 and Atmos mixes, available separately, for those who can’t afford the extra expense for posters, 10 CDs, book, etc.

  8. Dude says:

    How is this possible? The Who original master tapes were among the thousands of artists that were destroyed in the Universal fire in 2008, that the record company tried to cover up for almost a decade.

    1. The Who says:

      No, they weren’t. We have the master tapes in our archive.

  9. This is fabulous! I was one of the first Lifehouse Method participants, creating my 3 song “portrait” and have enjoyed the Lifehouse Box Set recordings from 1999. I “created” my own versions of Lifehouse from songs and ideas over the years, and this release will fill in some emotional and spiritual spaces long overdue! Thanks Pete!

  10. John Stanley says:

    this box set looks amazing!! I can’t wait to get it!!

  11. Harry Keller says:

    Wow!!! Going to have to book a week off work to absorb all this.

  12. Mike Hatler says:

    Being born in 1960 I was too young to see the who in their heyday. I’ve always been obsessed with their live shows and the networks of amazing people sharing amazing shows including the 68 Fillmore show before it was officially released and multiple Tommy shows from 69 and 70 including Woodstock has let me sit in my chair and close my eyes and pretend I was there. the young Vic show in 71 has always been probably my favorite, I’m very curious to see if there are songs that were never released and of course the other show I have never heard and can’t wait to hear. As far as the project itself, Pete Townshend is a genius.

  13. Mario Breuer says:

    Who’s Next is my favorite album ever. I can’t wait to grab my special release

  14. Steven Morgen says:

    As a dedicated collector of anniversary and limited run deluxe box sets, all I can say is, “MY NEXT”.

  15. Steven Page says:

    Can’t wait for it to arrive, I know Mr T thinks it’s not as it should have been but “next” is , was and ever will be the album that captivated me first, all the others followed. Hence I have “pushed the boat out”.

  16. phil garrett says:

    I love the this album who’s next it was my first album I ever bought but the deluxe version is ridiculously expensive.
    It all sounds great but wow over £200

  17. Wah says:

    Fool me once, but I won’t get fooled again…. I have the Lifehouse box and love that, this will enhance the amazing period of the vand and all the great songs Pete wrote at this time…. long live rock, sorry about your breakdown, but I’m glad it comes to light. Embracing the past makes the present and the future bright and/or brighter…. the last who show was amazingly stunning, the orchestra illuminated soo much… thanks and Long Live Rock

  18. Alex Kaplan says:

    Shooting for the moon and ended up way past it!! I call that a bargain…the best I ever had!! What’s Next!?

  19. Greig Rasmussen says:

    I am so looking forward to this! I bought the original album in 1971 whilst on a holiday to the UK as a 13 year-old. It was stunning and since then I have bought all the remastered versions as well as the Lifehouse Chronicles set and one version or another is nearly always in circulation in my CD player (car and home). Thank you for this Pete!

  20. Luis says:

    Finally The Who is going to release this long time expected box set.

    I will of course be happy to save some money to get one !!!

  21. Steve Webster says:

    Thanks Pete –
    Await release of what is another Masterpiece.

  22. Bob wright says:

    I’m 74 in Colorado & mountain biker playing 101 WHO songs playlist while bombing down trails. Who’s Next included. Moons drums while my bike bounces over rocks. Pete & Roger your music keeps me young. Intriguing Life House I’ve followed even have Pete’s collaboration with Lawrence Ball “Method Music “. Wish The WHO had a SirisXM Channel

  23. Orin says:

    Hi. Extreme Who fan. Seen them 19 times starting in ‘04 and most recently at the O2 a week ago. I live in California and intended to purchase the box set + the live SF lp collection and accidentally did so in the UK store 😫 The price difference is immense, and like a lot of fans, it’s irresponsible for me to be buying ANYTHING right now, so the lack of response from customer service is making me panic a bit. I’m hoping somehow this comment will get my situation dealt with more promptly as I really bungled this purchase up. Discount code didn’t go through. No free shipping obviously. And on top of all that I REALLY WANT THIS BOXSET before they possibly sell out. I just don’t want it for an extra hundred dollars and no free t-shirt. I apologise for my buffoonery, but could really use some help

    1. The Who says:

      Go to the UK Store at and you will see a ‘Support’ box at bottom right of your screen. Type “How do I cancel my order” and follow the instructions.

  24. Orin says:

    Thanks. I left them 3 emails starting 2 days ago. Still no response. I figure I’ll give them another 4 days or so, but if you have any power to alert your team that someone is in need of assistance it would be greatly appreciated.

    Aside from that I’d just like to say, wow am I looking forward to this box set and live collection. Lifehouse Chronicles was just a little bit before my time and I’m a completist.
    I hope someday, somehow, there is a Lifehouse movie.

  25. Greg Swail says:

    This is brilliant release but it has just left me confused. I have all the Who’s Next CD releases, the original singles,The original Who’s Next vinyl and the Lifehouse Chronicles. What I really want is the San Francisco concert and the hat!

    1. The Who says:

      There is a 4-LP box set of Who’s Next plus the whole of the San Francisco show on vinyl. Both this and the hat are available at The WhoStore

  26. Barry D. says:

    I’m looking forward to the arrival of the box set that I ordered. I’ve a question though… in the email that I received from you announcing the release of the 50th anniversary of WHO’s Next, you indicated that a picture disk would also be available for purchase, but I don’t see that it’s available in your store. Will the picture disk be available at a later date?

    1. The Who says:

      The picture disc of Who’s Next is available on the UK Who Store.
      It may be on the US Who Store at a later date.

  27. Peter Kubsch says:

    Als Who Fan seit 1969 freue ich mich schon riesig auf dieses Meisterwerk, natürlich werde ich die CD- Box als auch die LPs kaufen.
    Habe The Who zuletzt in Berlin am 20.06.2023 gesehen und war wieder begeistert.

  28. Fred Herrman says:

    It’s clear that Pete’s idea was brilliant as all of the music that seems to have been generated by LifeHouse is so rich with life. I’m so glad to have discovered The Who as a teenagers because the music has been the background score as I’ve stepped into each of my life experiences. Thank you, Pete, Roger, John, Keith, Kenny, Simon, and Ray. I really, really love the music that you make for the world!

  29. David Wright says:

    I am 71. I have wanted to see the who for 59 years. I have the opportunity to see them recently at Derby Cricket Ground. The Who with an Orchestra. Well they were fantastic, with new arrangements to some new numbers. Then when the Orchestra had a rest, the Who played their early stuff and the crowd went wild. Yes the crowd were on the older side, but wow we partied!!! we met some guys who had seen them some 17 times, and are going again to Sandringham. Proper whooooligans they were!!!

  30. My Dad bought the Who’s Next LP for me in 1972. I was 12, at the time and it was the first Who LP I owned. Little did I know that it would set me on the path of becoming a life-long, hardcore Who fan.

    The “Lifehouse” (sic; Life House) project fascinated me from the first time I learned about it (I believe) in the 1974 Rolling Stone publication “The Who: Ten Great Years”. As the years passed, I learned more about Life House and, the storyline, as I understood it, made sense to me.

    Although I’ve got more bootlegs than you can shake a stick at, including the numerous Lifehouse Demo releases (bootlegs) as well as several versions of the Young Vic and San Francisco recordings on vinyl and CD, to finally get these as official releases will be a real treat in the hope of finally having these RENOWNED recordings in excellent sound quality (hopefully the won’t be too mucked about with, eh, Roger and Pete?).

    I placed my order last week and I can’t wait for it to arrive and indulge my soul in this fantastic rock performance and everything that went into making it! Thank you, Roger and Pete!

  31. Simon says:

    Really excited by the vinyl releases – Bought Who’s Next in Sep ’71 when I was 14 and loved it ever since – brilliant album.

    Just don’t understand that if I want the SF Concert and Life House on vinyl why I need (have to buy ) two copies of the remasterd Who’s Next, which neither are the ½ SPM.

  32. Paul H says:

    Why the change in Lifehouse to Life House? 🙂 Have we been getting it wrong all these years?

  33. John Dogh says:

    Looking forward to getting the Abbey Road remastered version!

  34. Jeff says:

    According to iTunes, I own 8,560 albums by 2,255 different artists. Who’s Next is my all-time #1, and has been for almost 50 years. Just thrilled for this release– the SF 71 show is gonna be on repeat for the rest of the year. Best wishes to all involved!

  35. Eike Christian Radtke says:

    Dear Who camp, these are exciting news…will the reissues be remastered or remixed as well?
    Thanks mates!

  36. Junio says:

    After the half speed release of Quadrophenia and Who By Numbers, what will be the release order of the next albums? Who Are You will come with Face Dances and It’s Hard and on another date Endless Wire and Who? Thank you for your attention and the space for questions.

    1. The Who says:

      Yes, the studio albums will be released in their original order for the half-speed remastered series.

  37. Craig Storey says:

    This is going to be an absolute must for me. I am really looking forward to hearing it ALL

  38. Alasdair Craik says:

    Huge (£50) price drop on the big set before release. Can I cancel and re-order?

  39. Michael J Redondo says:

    Well it’s about bloody time Pete

  40. Craig Bellise says:

    Why not make half speed master standard in all vinyl offerings or live and life house releases separate? I want the 4lp, but wish the who’s next LP was 1/2 speed.

  41. Steve Apicella says:

    This is great news

    I have pre-ordered the new Who’s Next / Lifehouse Box Set.

    Does this box set include all the music from the LIFEHOUSE box set released in 2000?

    Thank you

  42. William Duncan says:

    Who’s Next has always been my favourite album by The Who, to finally hear the Lifehouse project in its entirety will be amazing! Thanks Pete, Roger, John & Keith.

  43. DONALD R MILLER says:

    A couple of years ago, I noticed Pete’s demos on YouTube, so I placed placed them in order. His Who’s Next makes for an outstanding stand alone album. But YouTube is 128kbps. Drag.

    I’ve always had good reason to be annoyed with The Who. For instance, about the same time Yes released the live album YesSongs as a three record set, The Who released Live at Leeds as a 38 minute album. Decades later they released a bit more. Later, they released the entire concert.

    I certainly hope this Who’s Next/Lifehouse is going to end up on a streaming service – I mean a good one, like TIDAL. Right now, it’s “on sale” for $275 on Amazon. Chronicles is selling for $679.95. To me, that’s a lot of money.

    This is the Super Deluxe release. Maybe I should hold out for the Super Duper edition and hope I live long enough – and have enough funds – to buy it.

  44. DONALD R MILLER says:

    Of course not.

  45. Tim Smeltzer says:

    Got this delivered today. It is a gorgeous box of goodies. I unboxed it and recorded doing so. It is up on YouTube. @timsmeltzer64. It will take some time to digest all that is included. And I am so excited to listen to the new included 11 discs.

  46. So exciting. I bought Lifehouse Chronicles when it came out in 2000. I think I ordered it straight from the PT site at the time. I just read on Mojo that the graphic novel was created by storyboard artists which makes me even more intrigued being myself a storyboard and comic artist for 30 years and counting. I am a big fan of The Who, was lucky to catch a couple of concerts over the years. Having bought all releases in possible forms vinyl, cd, dvds 🙂 I can I not get this one. I discovered the band from my dad’s records when I was a kid and since then I got hooked, it was 5:15/Water 45″. Thanks to have been part of my life. Love

  47. Rob Guentner says:

    So many great songs in this box set allowing the listener to experience the artistic development of the “Who’s Next” album. Also, many great songs were developed during this time period that you will be familiar with. It would be wonderful to hear the Life House musical story fully developed after all these years. I have been listening to the entire set (less the Steven Wilson version) on Qobuz and now I feel the need to purchase the box set.

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