In the coming months, Pete Townshend will be releasing two box sets based on his ongoing Lifehouse
project. The rock opera has been in the works for nearly thirty years, and Townshend has made numerous aborted attempts at turning the story -- a tale of a society in which music is the only force that can free citizens from totalitarian mind-control -- into a film.
will finally air as a radio play on the BBC's Radio 3 on Dec. 5 and, on the same day, Townshend is releasing a six-CD set called The Lifehouse Chronicles
, available only through his not-yet-launched commercial Web site, www.eelpie.com. According to www.petetownshend.com, discs one and two will consist of the radio play; discs three and four will feature re-mastered versions of the project's original demos, a complete list of which is included below; disc five will be orchestral pieces from the play; and disc six will have new versions of songs like "Pure and Easy," plus live recordings and new mixes.
Following the Chronicles
release, Townshend will release another CD set called The Lifehouse Method
, a "limited edition art package" featuring work by artist Alex Templeton and essays on the philosophy behind the Lifehouse
project. It's unclear if the set will include music. Each (handmade!) package will include a software key that allows users to input personal data to help generate a personal piece of music. The various resulting songs will then be played at the inaugural Lifehouse concert.
Plus, the BBC plans to put out a cassette version of the radio play and Simon & Schuster will release a transcript of it, both on Dec. 6.
Meanwhile, Townshend's site also mentions his plans to put out a limited edition box set of three albums by Eastern mystic Meher Baba, who had a huge impact on Townshend's songwriting. The set will include a bonus CD-ROM of the short film O Parvardigar
, which celebrates Baba's life and has a Townshend-penned soundtrack.
Track listing for Lifehouse Chronicles
' discs three and four:
"Time Is Passing"
"Love Ain't For Keeping"
"Too Much of Anything"
"Music Must Change"
"Behind Blue Eyes"
"Baba O'Riley (instrumental)"
"I Don't Know Myself"
"Put The Money Down"
"Pure and Easy"
"Getting In Tune"
"Let's See Action"
"Who Are You"
"Won't Get Fooled Again"
"Song Is Over"
Written by JENNY ELISCU for RollingStone.com News