Tower Records and Rockbox Studios to Release Exclusive Edition of “Life House,” a Graphic Novel by The Who

Life House, the heavily anticipated, long-awaited rock opera by The Who is finally seeing grand-scale release after over 50 years in the making. Tower Records, the legendary music chain that shaped the landscape of the pre-digital music industry, and Rockbox Studios are set to release an edition of the graphic novel signed by Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, limited to 1,000 units now available for pre-order. Later this year, standard and deluxe versions of the graphic novel will be available.

Additionally, a Who’s Next/Life House Edition box set from UMe will be released on Sept. 15. Additional information is available here. Featuring 155 tracks, 89 of which are previously unreleased and 57 feature fresh remixes, the Super Deluxe edition of Who’s Next/Life House will contain 10 CDs and a 100-page hardback book and Life House – The Graphic Novel.


Townshend originally conceived “Life House” in 1970, a motion picture rock opera following the success of The Who’s multi-platinum selling album, Tommy. The science fiction narrative centers on a dystopian, totalitarian society where music is prohibited, successfully anticipating phenomena such as climate change, the internet, streaming media, and racial equality.

The Who worked for almost a year developing the album at the Young Vic Theatre in London, but ultimately decided to release elements on their 1971 bestselling album, Who’s Next. In 1999, Townshend released a solo compilation of the project entitles The Lifehouse Chronicles. For decades, Life House has been considered a prized item for fans of The Who, one which will be realized later this year.

’Life House’ has always needed a story that makes sense but without the egos of new creatives who think they can ‘fix’ what was wrong with my first draft. The graphic novel is built around that first draft written prior to recording sessions and workshops at the Young Vic in 1971. A second draft with some good ideas from Roger in 1976 added some cohesion and more exciting collateral which really suits the comic format. I’m delighted with the comic. The art is beautiful and dense, colourful of course and engaging. The artists and their team have made an amazing and hugely collectible piece that adds depth and clarity to an otherwise complex story. ‘Life House’ is reborn. Tower Records was an iconic L.A. vinyl store in the ‘70s. I never failed to visit when touring and it’s possible that around 75% of my remaining collection is from the store. It’s great news to hear Tower is back in black!

Pete Townshend

The graphic novel, a 172-page sprawling sci-fi epic, is presented in an album-sized square format. The Tower Records edition, signed by Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey is extremely limited and will carry a retail price of $1,000 and is available for pre-order now exclusively on Tower Records’ website. Universal’s Who’s Next/Life House box set will be launching later this year and the book’s release from Image Comics will come on Dec. 6, 2023.

“At Tower Records, our main goal is to help artists tell their stories in music and beyond,” said Danny Zeijdel, President of Tower Records. “’Life House’ embodies this, and we are honored to be a platform for the legendary Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, and The Who as they share this exciting project with the world.”

Townshend met Rockbox Studios CEO, Jeff Krelitz, several years ago and discussed the potential for the project. They worked with writer and artist James Harvey to develop the story and look at the world as a future seen from a 1970 point of view. British writer David Hine and Australian artist, Max Prentis, were brought in to complete the project, which was edited by former Bleeding Cool Editor-In-Chief, Hannah Means-Shannon. Additionally, letters were provided by Micah Myers with inks by the Eisner Award-winning artist, Mick Gray.

“’Who’s Next’ has always been one of my favorite albums and the opportunity to help Pete advance his vision for ‘Life House’ with this graphic novel is a dream come true,” said Krelitz. “Having been a part of the team rebuilding Tower Records’ legacy for the last few years, I couldn’t imagine a better home for this exciting epic that music fans have been waiting half a century on.”

About Tower Records

Founded in 1960 by Russ Solomon, Tower Records developed from a business he founded as a teenager to resell 78 rpm jukebox records in his father’s Sacramento drug store, into a record retail behemoth that operated dozens of stores across the United States. Tower Records defined the retail music business in the pre-digital era and at its peak had nearly 200 stores across 15 countries, and more than $1 billion in annual sales.

Known for its enormous volume and its audiophile behind-the-counter staff, Tower Records became the mecca for in-store performances and recording artist events, placing it at No. 1 among U.S. music merchants. Today, Tower Records is transcending its historic past by creating online experiences and exciting partnerships with artists, labels, and brands for all music fans to “Know Music, Know Life.”

Since the relaunch of Tower Records in 2020, the iconic music brand has been offering music and art fans exclusive merchandise drops including limited edition vinyl releases and branded products. Tower Records quickly rose to be a top online retailer for physical music in North America and the brand recently launched an additional online store in Europe. For news and to sign up for upcoming events and vinyl drops at Tower Labs visit here.

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