Pete Townshend-Music from Lifehouse (2000)

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Released 15-Apr-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Booklet
Menu Animation & Audio
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 100:20
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Hugo Currie
Toby Leslie

Warner Vision
Starring Pete Townsend
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $39.95 Music Pete Townsend

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Following the phenomenal success of the rock opera Tommy, Pete Townsend from The Who decided to embark on a project of a similar nature yet larger and more ambitious in scope. The year was 1970 and the project was Lifehouse. A quote directly from the booklet that accompanies this disc is certainly the best way to provide some background to this story; was originally planned as a film which would be an amalgam of science fiction, spirituality, eastern mysticism, rebellion, domination, and good rock and roll. It's a story set in post-apocalyptic society where environmental disaster has led to urban communities living indoors. Here, within the safety of their homes, the population live within their protective suits which are connected by cables to their TVs through which they are fed life experiences. Everything required to sustain the individual is provided this way: food, entertainment, news, advertising, even sex. All of this is under government control and censorship and is facilitated by a system known as The Grid.

    A revolutionary hacks into The Grid and entices people to attend a real life event staged at the Lifehouse. This event just happens to be a rock concert performed by The Who, where those attending are able to remove their suits and experience the power of banned rock and roll.

    When Pete Townsend announced this idea in 1971, the whole concept was either misunderstood, misinterpreted, or simply deemed impossible and too grand in scope to become reality. As a result, the film has never been made, and Pete Townsend has been carrying this project around with him for over thirty years in its incomplete form. A radio play was commissioned by the BBC in 1999, and this is also available as part of a six-CD box set that contains much of the original recordings and demos. This concert is not so much a culmination of the project, but simply a concert that sets out to celebrate the songs that are part of the Lifehouse experience. Maybe one day someone will come up with the funding for the film to become reality.

    This disc features a concert performance that was recorded over two nights on February 25 and 26, 2000 at Sadler's Wells in London. Backed by the London Chamber Orchestra and a small band, Pete Townsend plays eighteen songs with the unbridled passion of someone who holds this whole project close to his heart. Songs featured include Song is Over, Baba O'Riley, and Won't Get Fooled Again, all of which appeared on The Who album Who's Next released in late 1971.

    The following set is played in the one hundred minute performance;

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Track Listing

1. Fantasia Upon One Note
2. Teenage Wasteland
3. Time Is Passing
4. Love Ain't For Keeping
5. Greyhound Girl
6. Mary
7. I Don't Know Myself
8. Bargain
9. Pure And Easy
10. Behind Blue Eyes
11. Baba O'Riley
12. Let's See Action
13. Getting In Tune
14. Relay
15. Join Together
16. Won't Get Fooled Again
17. Song Is Over
18. Can You Help The One You Really Lve

Transfer Quality


    We are greeted with a transfer in the full screen aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Obviously there is no 16x9 enhancement.

    This is not the greatest concert footage that I have experienced, which when the youth of the material is taken into consideration, is surprising. It is simply not as highly detailed or as sharp as some of the more recent titles I have viewed, but is still mostly pleasing nonetheless. There are some issues with shadow detail, though this would be more likely caused by the lighting for the show and is no doubt just as the audience present would have experienced it. There is no grain and no low level noise problems.

    Overall, this is a fairly dark performance in terms of colour. With most of the performers wearing black clothing, they occasionally blend into the background. There is some of the usual concert-style intense blue lighting towards the end of the show that borders on oversaturation, but it is mostly well-controlled.

    I noticed no MPEG artefacts. Video artefacts were also absent which was pleasing. Overall, this was a very clean transfer.

    There are no subtitles present.

    This disc is dual layered, but I was not able to spot the layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are two audio tracks available on this DVD for selection, a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack at the higher bit-rate of 448 Kb/s and a PCM 2.0 soundtrack at 1536 Kb/s. I listened to the concert in its entirety with the Dolby Digital track and briefly sampled the PCM track on a couple of selected songs. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is excellent, as is expected from all modern-day DVD releases of concerts. The listener is placed front and centre in the audience for much of the show and there is excellent separation of instruments and lyrics.

    The lyrics were clear and well balanced in the overall soundmix. I noticed no audio sync problems.

    There is in general some really great music on offer here. A real mix of acoustic, synthesised, and orchestral, all blended together to create a very distinct sound. A couple of the tracks are real gems and will definitely get repeat plays in my house. Songs such as Won't Get Fooled Again and Let's See Action are excellently performed.

    There is a reasonable amount of surround activity, though mostly limited to the audience sounds. There are also scattered examples of various instruments being pushed to the rear channels particularly during Relay at 67:30.

    The subwoofer is seamlessly integrated in the soundtrack, providing the right amount of low-end response when needed.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There is not much on offer in the extras department, though the background information on the Lifehouse Project is a welcome addition.


    An eight page booklet that explains in some detail the genesis of the Lifehouse project and how Pete Townsend came to put these shows on despite never fully realising the potential of the project as a whole.

Menu Animation & Audio

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Looks like the Region 1 disc is identical to the local product.


    Fans of Pete Townsend and The Who will most certainly want this in their collections. While it lacks any extra content and the video is not up to the absolute high standard that I have come to expect, it is nonetheless an excellent disc with a very good Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Friday, May 03, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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