Had The Who's "Lifehouse" been released, would it have been better or worse than "Who's Next"?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dr. Robert, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Album Reconstructor Thread Starter

    Location:
    Curitiba, Brazil
    Would the Who's scrapped rock opera, as released in 1971 as a double LP, have been an upgrade or downgrade on what we ended up getting? Also, to avoid confusion, use this version of it as your Lifehouse version.
     
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  2. 131east23

    131east23 Person of Interest

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Based on the music, the ideas, the continued obsession over the album by many including me (and Pete), I can't imagine it would have been worse. I always lamented that a song like Pure and Easy never made it onto Who's Next.

    I voted better...
     
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  3. raimiz1991inc

    raimiz1991inc Forum Resident

    Location:
    La Paz, Bolivia
    Probably more ambitious and as a result a more polarized audience as not everyone are into conceptual albums and therefore I don't believe it would've achieved the status as a near flawless classic rock album that attracts new audiences today. Besides, if they made two concept albums in a row would there have been a Quadrophenia afterwards?
     
  4. ribonucleic

    ribonucleic Forum Resident

    Location:
    SLC UT
    Worse.

    Nothing specific to this project. If you weed out the weakest songs - even if they're good ones - what's left will inevitably be stronger.

    Blonde on Blonde, London Calling, even Sign O' The Times... They're great at 2 LPs. They'd be even greater at 1 LP.
     
  5. RobCooper

    RobCooper Cobwebs & Strange

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    I get the sense that if Time Is Passing, Too Much of Anything and Love Ain’t For Keeping made it on, they may have been a bit too similar for some people. I still love them. But Who’s Next is awesome because there is no filler and no two songs sound the same. Still voted better as I’d always want more Who...
     
  6. The Lone Cadaver

    The Lone Cadaver Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bronx
    Without Entwistle's important (and frankly critical) contributions of My Wife, When I Was a Boy and Heaven and Hell it would be just a Townshend project. One of The Who's most endearing qualities was/is humor. Who's Next NEEDED My Wife. Fantastic songs are what we all expect from Pete, but his songwriting humor disappeared after Tommy. Moonie's vocals on Bell Boy aside, Quadrophenia needed a My Wife. Thank goodness By Numbers had Success Story, Who Are You had 905, Face Dances had The Quiet One and It's Hard had One at a Time.
     
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  7. JimSpark

    JimSpark Forum Resident

    As good as Who's Next, or better. I voted better than Who's Next. My sincere thanks goes to "soniclovenoize" for his reconstruction of the album and the information he provided on his webpage. He probably has a better understanding of the Lifehouse concept than Townshend ever did :righton:
     
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  8. Mitland

    Mitland Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    I think the most important thing to consider is who is in charge in the recording booth. With out Glyn Johns manning the console, there's no chance Lifehouse would have better. Glyn was instrumental in making WN as great as it is. The 5th Who as it were.
     
  9. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Mexico USA
    You were doing so well until paragraph three.

    :shake:
     
  10. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southwest
    "Who's Next" has become a classic, so for many, they would not want to change a thing. That being said, had "Lifehouse" been released as a double LP, I think it would have been a superior release because all of the music associated with "Lifehouse" was first-rate. "Pure And Easy," "Time Is Passing," "Too Much of Anything," "Let's See Action," "Mary" and other contenders such as "Naked Eye" and "Water" would have only enhanced the song cycle IMO. Few bands ever had so much high quality music in one place. 45 years later it could be seen as The Who's greatest achievement and perhaps rock and roll's greatest album.
     
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  11. The Big Guy

    The Big Guy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lomita, CA
    It's hard to imagine the album being weaker when you only get rid of one song (My Wife) but you add the likes of Time Is Passing, Too Much Of Anything, Greyhound Girl, Mary, I Don't Know Myself, Put The Money Down, Pure and Easy, Let's See Action, Relay and Join Together.
     
  12. wavethatflag

    wavethatflag Señor Member

    Location:
    Pacifica, CA
    It would have been the best rock double album and concept album of all time if only Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp would have got behind it. It would have been like "double" Who's Next, but with a unifying story. And even if the story had been hard to follow, that's all rock concept albums.

    So, I voted "better." (You better you bet.)
     
  13. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southwest
    My understanding is that circa 1971, "Relay" and "Join Together" were not yet composed by Townshend for inclusion in the "Lifehouse" song cycle.
     
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  14. soniclovenoize

    soniclovenoize Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Or use the revised version...
     
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  15. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Album Reconstructor Thread Starter

    Location:
    Curitiba, Brazil
    Sorry sonic, never been a fan of v2.0...
     
  16. Ryan Lux

    Ryan Lux Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, ON, CA
    Going Mobile is funny, if you ask me
     
  17. soniclovenoize

    soniclovenoize Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    ;_;
     
  18. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Album Reconstructor Thread Starter

    Location:
    Curitiba, Brazil
    If it serves as any consolation, v1.0 is my favourite Who album, bar none (also, where would you put "Naked Eye" and "Baby Don't Do It" on the first sequence?)
     
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  19. Ryan Lux

    Ryan Lux Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, ON, CA
    I’m not sure it could have been received any better, and the best songs would’ve had the same impact regardless of a few weaker tracks on the album, so I voted same.
     
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  20. John Harchar

    John Harchar Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I had to go with better, there are just too many good songs in the mix. You start with adding Pure and Easy, Let’s See Action, Too Much of Anything, Naked Eye, Water, I Don’t Know Myself...you can’t go wrong. It’s too bad they didn’t go with a 1972 follow up instead of spreading this stuff around.
     
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  21. Jim Walker

    Jim Walker Forum Resident

    Location:
    southeast porttown
    Great thread and interestingly enough, we talked about this very
    thing last night over drinks and food that was overpriced. A friend
    brought up the fact, actually he remembered it from a while back,
    that Who's Next was one of my two desert isle pieces of music.

    Then the Lifehouse subject came up, along with Tommy and Quadrophenia;
    whether it would have been a double lp had they stuck with it. I'm glad we have WN and maybe Glyn Johns was smarter than Pete at the time on this decision. I wouldn't mind a Lifehouse reprise, sort of surprised there hasn't been one officially released. I did not realize that there were aspects of Lifehouse on the Who Are You release until very recently.
     
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  22. Cymbaline

    Cymbaline Shiny Dog

    Location:
    Buda, TX
    Who's Next is perfection. Any changes would have made it worse.
     
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  23. PhoffiFozz

    PhoffiFozz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, 60173
    I voted "the same", but I think it would have liked it better. I'm a huge fan of those songs. But I voted "the same", because I kind of think the album would have been better, because all of the material was so wonderful, but commercially Who's Next was the right way to go, so it might not have been seen as better in general public view... long term.
     
    dee likes this.
  24. Incorrect opinion
     
  25. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southwest
    I think Glyn did make the right decision paring the project down to one disc because Lifehouse was a dead project by the time he worked on the final recording sessions, and Glyn was thinking of most viable, commercial way to present the material.

    As far as a "reprise" release, I would be more intrigued with seeing what Townshend was envisioning circa 1970/1971, not what ultimately became with his post-1971 rewrites and additions. It is unclear if he has any detailed notes pertaining to a track-listing from his journals and studio logs. And clearly a handful of songs were either not recorded, or only existed on missing session reels, so a "reprise" release would probably be an impossibility. That said, if there is ever a "Who's Next" super deluxe edition box set, it would be nice to see a thorough history of the sessions and 1971-material under consideration.
     

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