The Who : Who’s Next / Lifehouse – 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition Box Set Review

Unboxing The Who’s “Who’s Next/Lifehouse” Super Deluxe Box Set: A Journey Through Music and Memories

I’m excited to share ( at last!) my experience with The Who’s “Who’s Next/Lifehouse” Super Deluxe Box Set. This isn’t just any box set; it’s a colossal tribute to one of rock’s most influential albums.

What’s Inside the Box?

This box set, one of the heaviest I’ve ever encountered, is a true collector’s item. It includes 10 CDs and a Blu-ray, each housed in individual card covers adorned with era-specific graphics. The set covers a range of material, from demos and New York sessions to live performances at Young Vic ’71 and San Francisco.

The memorabilia pack unfolds to reveal a treasure trove of items, including badges, a black and white photograph with autographs, a 1971 tour program facsimile, and a Rainbow program listing upcoming acts post-The Who. Three posters, each a snapshot from the era, add to the set’s historical value.

The Graphic Novel and Main Book

A massive graphic novel visualizes Pete Townshend’s vision of Lifehouse, offering a unique perspective on the project. The main book, now corrected from its initial issues, is a comprehensive guide to “Who’s Next” and the Lifehouse project. It includes rare photographs, background stories, track-by-track analysis, and insights into the recording sessions.

The Music and Remixes

The sound quality of this box set is impeccable. The remastering and remixing breathe new life into familiar tracks, making them sound fresh and invigorating. The Blu-ray features a 5.1 mix by Steven Wilson, known for his exceptional work in bringing classic albums to life in surround sound.

Personal Reflections on “Who’s Next”

“Who’s Next” holds a special place in my heart. It’s not just my second favorite Who album (after “Quadrophenia”), but it’s also a soundtrack to my life. Tracks like “Relay,” “Baba O’Riley,” and “Behind Blue Eyes” have been with me through various life stages, each carrying its own set of memories.

“Relay,” in particular, stands out with its ahead-of-its-time lyrics that resonate even in today’s social media-driven world. The unedited version of this track in the box set is a highlight, showcasing The Who’s perfection in songwriting and arrangement.

Value and Verdict

While the price of this box set has varied (I paid £195, though some lucky fans found it for much less), the value it offers to a true Who fan is undeniable. It’s more than just music; it’s an immersive experience that engages all your senses. The combination of music, memorabilia, and detailed books makes you feel part of the album’s history.

In conclusion, The Who’s “Who’s Next/Lifehouse” Super Deluxe Box Set is a remarkable collection that not only celebrates a pivotal album but also offers a deep dive into the creative process of one of rock’s greatest bands. It’s a must-have for any serious fan of The Who, a testament to the enduring power of their music.

Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine

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