The Lifehouse Chronicles is a 6 CD box set released in 2000 by Pete Townshend, and only made available through his website.
The set collects songs and other compositions relating to Lifehouse, a musical concept developed by Townshend in 1970 as a followup to The Who's highly successful rock opera, Tommy. Rooted heavily in the teachings of Townshend's spiritual mentor Meher Baba as well as in science fiction literature, Lifehouse was meant to explore the idea that music is the fundamental basis of all life - that every human being on Earth has a unique musical melody that "describes" them, and only them, perfectly. When the unique songs of enough people are played in unison, the result would be a single harmonic note - the One Note - akin to the quintessence sought by ancient alchemists. Lifehouse was to be a true multimedia project: a double LP rock opera, a motion picture, and an interactive concert experience.
The story was to take place in 21st century Britain, in an age where pollution has become such a drastic problem that most people never set foot outdoors in their life. This populace spends most of their time in "experience suits", devices not unlike those seen in the 1999 film The Matrix. These suits provide the people with artificial lives superior to any they could eke out in the real world, yet devoid somehow of spiritual fulfillment. One discontented soul, known only as "The Hacker", rediscovers 20th century rock and roll music, and breaks into the computer network controlling the suits to invite people to leave their suits and come together for a concert. Despite the best efforts of the fascist government, thousands of people gather at the Hacker's concert, with millions more watching through their suits, as the musicians and audience perform experimental songs like those described above. Just as the police storm in and shoot the Hacker, the audience and band manage to produce the One Note, and everyone participating in and watching the concert simply vanishes, presumably having departed for a higher plane of existence. The story is seen through the eyes of a middle-aged farmer named Ray, an "air-conditioned gypsy" from a remote unpolluted corner of Scotland, who travels south looking for his daughter who has run away to the concert.
A single-disc sampler of this box set, entitled "Lifehouse Elements", is available at most record stores.
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CD1 - Lifehouse Demos: 1. Teenage Wasteland, 2. Going Mobile, 3. Baba O'Riley, 4. Time is Passing, 5. Love Ain't For Keepin', 6. Bargain, 7. Too Much of Anything, 8. Music Must Change, 9. Greyhound Girl, 10. Mary, 11. Behind Blue Eyes, 12. Baba O'Riley (Instrumental), 13. Sister Disco.
CD2 - Lifehouse Demos Cont.: 1. I Don't Even Know Myself, 2. Put the Money Down, 3. Pure and Easy, 4. Getting in Tune, 5. Let's See Action, 6. Slip Kid, 7. Relay, 8. Who Are You, 9. Join Together, 10. Won't Get Fooled Again, 11. The Song Is Over.
CD3 - Lifehouse Themes & Experiments: 1. Baba M1 (O'Riley 2nd Movement 1971), 2. Who Are You (Gateway Remix - From Shepherds Bush Empire 1998), 3. Behind Blue Eyes (New version 1999), 4. Baba M2 (2nd Movement Part 1 1971), 5. Pure and Easy (Original Demo Reworked 1999), 6. Vivaldi (Baba M5 on Psychoderelict) with Hame 1999), 7. Who Are You (Live and Uncut at the Shepherds Bush Empire 1998), 8. Hinterland Rag (Piano Rag for Three Hands - Yamaha Disklavier 1999), 9. Pure & Easy (New Version 1999), 10. Can You Help the One You Really Love? (Demo 1999), 11. Won't Get Fooled Again (Live and Uncut at the Shepherd's Bush Empire 1998).
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CD4 - Lifehouse Arrangements & Orchestrations: 1. One Note - Prologue, 2. Fantasia Upon One Note [Quick Movement], 3. Baba O'Riley, 4. Sonata K-212, 5. Tragedy, 6. No. 4 Aria, 7. No. 2 Giga, 8. No. 6 In D Minor, 9. No. 3 Adagio and Allegro, 10. Hinterland Rag, 11. Sonata K-213, 12. Overture, 13. Allegro, 14. Air, 15. Rondeau Minnet, 16. Air, 17. Jig, 18. Chaconne, 19. Air, 20. Minuet, 21. Overture [Reprise], 22. Tragedy Explained, 23. One Note - Epilogue, 24. Fantasia Upon One Note.
CD5 - Lifehouse Radio Play - Part 1: Track 1-10.
CD6 - Lifehouse Radio Play - Part 2: Track 1-9.