Pete Townshend

Music From Lifehouse [Video/DVD]

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Pete Townsend conceived of the multimedia project Lifehouse before the technology existed to satisfy his desires. Other factors prevented the filming of this concept piece, so many of its songs were recorded by Townsend's group, the Who, particularly on their landmark album Who's Next, and a few others were released piecemeal as singles and on Townsend's solo LPs. Thirty years later, Townsend revisits this music in a live performance accompanied by an orchestra, several vocalists, a rock group, and some of the same taped keyboard backgrounds used by the Who. Unfortunately, without Townsend's blazing electric guitar (replaced by acoustic guitar due to the damage done to his ears) and the rhythmic drive of his former group, the new versions of most of the well-known pieces fall rather flat, due to the lack of any compelling supporting musicians, the unimpressive singers, and the lame percussion. Both the video and the audio of this DVD are well-produced, though anyone who has heard Who's Next has long since accepted its interpretations of "Won't Get Fooled Again," "Baba O'Riley," "Bargain," and "The Song Is Over," making the arrangements on this release seem like an attempt by an aging rocker to get by with a collection of weak substitutes.