The Who's visionary masterpiece, "Who's Next," is set to receive an impressive revival this September with the highly anticipated release of the "Life House" Super Deluxe edition from UMG. This comprehensive collection will transport listeners back to an era when composer and guitarist Pete Townshend foresaw the dawn of the internet, virtual reality, and even pandemic-style lockdowns.
This massive box set boasts an incredible 155 tracks, including 89 previously unreleased gems and 57 freshly remixed classics. Through Townshend's ingenious songwriting, the album paints a vivid picture of a world grappling with climate disasters and pollution, ultimately leading to a society confined by a government-enforced national lockdown. Enter the "entertainment grid" - a virtual reality experience that captivates and numbs the population, eerily reminiscent of contemporary realities.
Originally born from the ambitious "Life House" project, which Townshend started in 1970 as a follow-up to The Who's epic "Tommy," the concept eventually evolved into the iconic "Who's Next." This landmark album not only stands as one of the band's greatest achievements but also reflects Townshend's exceptional creative prowess, synergizing brilliantly with Roger Daltrey's unparalleled vocal performances, John Entwistle's riveting basslines, and Keith Moon's explosive drumming.
The Super Deluxe edition comprises 10 CDs, all remastered from the original tapes by longtime Who engineer Jon Astley, plus a Blu-ray Audio disc featuring Steven Wilson's masterful Dolby Atmos and 5.1 surround mixes of "Who's Next" and 14 bonus tracks. The journey within the box set unfolds through Townshend's demos for "Life House," The Who's momentous 1971 sessions at the Record Plant in New York City, and riveting sessions at Olympic Studios in southwest London between 1970 and 1972. Moreover, for the first time, fans will be treated to two newly mixed and complete concerts from 1971, one held at London's Young Vic Theatre and the other at San Francisco's Civic Auditorium.
In addition to the captivating audio content, the limited box set is accompanied by a 100-page hardback book containing Townshend's insightful introduction and new sleeve notes by esteemed Who experts, Andy Neill and Matt Kent. An enthralling aspect of the set is "Life House - The Graphic Novel," a specially commissioned, 172-page hardback book overseen by Townshend himself, delving into the fascinating backstory of the "Life House" project.
Completing the box set are posters of historical Who gigs, concert programs from iconic performances, a collectible four-pin button set, and an 8" x 10" color photo of The Who, bearing their printed autographs.
For analog enthusiasts, the release extends to limited edition 4-LP and 3-LP sets, showcasing the first-ever complete release of the 1971 San Francisco concert and Townshend's original "Life House" acetates. Additionally, a half-speed remaster of the original "Who's Next" album, meticulously crafted at Abbey Road Studios, along with exclusive single vinyl versions will be available.
With the long-awaited release of "Who's Next / Life House" on September 15, the untold story of one of rock's greatest visions will finally be revealed in all its glory. Embrace this opportunity to be transported to the past and witness the breathtaking foresight of Pete Townshend as his musical genius transcends time and resonates with the present-day world.
CD1: Who’s Next Remastered
CD2: Pete Townshend’s Life House Demos 1970 – 1971, Part 1
CD3: Pete Townshend’s Life House Demos 1970 – 1971, Part 2
CD4: Record Plant, New York Sessions, March 1971
CD5: Olympic Sound Studios, London Sessions 1970 - 1972
CD6: Singles & Sessions 1970 - 1972
CD7: Live at the Young Vic, London 1971, Part 1
CD8: Live at the Young Vic, London 1971, Part 2
CD9: Live at the Civic Auditorium, San Francisco 1971, Part 1
CD10: Live at the Civic Auditorium, San Francisco 1971, Part 2
Disc 11: Blu-ray: Who’s Next & 14 Bonus Tracks, Steven Wilson Mixes in Dolby Atmos, 5.1 Surround, and Stereo
Scheduled for release September 15, 2023.
10 CD + 1 Blu-ray Super Deluxe Edition featuring Dolby Atmos, 5.1 Surround Sound, and Stereo mixes. Also available as CD or Vinyl editions, along with download and streaming sites.
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About the Author
Wesley is a lifelong music enthusiast. He started his career in the recording industry in New York City as an audio engineer, producer, and studio manager. Subsequently he toured across America as a guitarist with the short-lived band Land's Crossing. After many years in the technology sector and amassing a substantial vinyl and CD collection, he delved into immersive audio and created Hi-Res Edition to share with other listeners about the sound quality and discrete mixes available on many formats. He recently upgraded his system to 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos and continues to seek out and share about the best sounding releases.