The Who are releasing new material to mark their 50th anniversary.

The legendary band are planning to record new tracks to coincide with their landmark achievement and their upcoming world tour, which stars in the UK this December before heading to North America in 2015.

Guitarist Pete Townshend told Billboard: ''I'm trying to [look] through my 20,000 hours of complete and utter disorganized music [to find possible songs]. I'll be pulling some songs out of [his long-gestating project] 'Floss' to give to Roger [Daltrey] to see if we've got enough to make an album. It might be a big waste of time, but I'm hoping there will be an album.''

Pete, singer Roger and bassist John Entwistle started performing together in 1961, but finally settled on the name The Who in 1964 when drummer Keith Moon joined the band.

Although surviving members Pete and Roger have embarked on several ''final tours,'' starting in 1982, the guitarist feels ''this is what we should be doing.''

The rocker added: ''I was ready for the 50th, but it happens when everything else is changing. I'll be 69 in May and all my friends are getting ill or dying. I knew it would happen. I will be happy if I give people something that makes fans happy. It takes some great planning and I hope it opens up other things that we can avail ourselves of.''