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The Who: BBC Sessions Live

3.9 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, February 15, 2000
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Product Description

Who was the greatest live rock band ever? You know who, and now here's a chance to hear them live in the studio, performing 26 tracks culled from the vaults of the British Broadcasting Corporation spanning the years 1965 to 1973. Includes: My Generation Radio One Jingle ; Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere ; Good Lovin' and Just You and Me (both songs released for the first time in any form); Leaving Here ; The Good's Gone ; La La La Lies ; Substitute ; Man with Money , and more.not styled correctly (see below for correct form)

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One of the most creative and explosive bands of the '60s, the Who didn't record an official live album until 1970. For fans of the revved-up, introspective, and humorous fare that made records such as My Generation, Sell Out, and A Quick One instant classics, 1970 was a good three years too late. Rather than referring to sometimes-dodgy bootlegs to discover what "Pictures of Lily," "Disguises," or "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" sounded like live, we are now presented with a surprisingly clear document of the band at--arguably--their peak. The CD, culled from archival live-in-the-studio radio broadcasts made between '65 and '73, keeps all the radio-announcer introductions and short interview segments intact, with a few bonus, real-life Sell Out jingles for good effect. A fabulous portrait of the artists as a young band, the disc brims with minor revelations--chief among them that they were pretty sorry as an R&B outfit and that (surprise) with Moon, Entwhistle, and Townshend bashing about, even a midtempo number like "Happy Jack" was a total scorcher live. --Mike McGonigal
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 15, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: February 15, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: MCA Records
  • ASIN: B00004D3DH
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,997 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It's sort of funny how some of these reviews are written. Five-star ratings are given out as though some reviewers had a personal stake in the sales of the CD. Other reviewers want to simply share their knowledge of the history of every track on the release. Unfortunately, none of these kinds of reviews tell you much about how the CD sounds, nor do they help the average music fan (and I'm not talking about the average Who fan, either) decide whether this CD is worth buying.
I consider myself a pretty die-hard Who fan. I've got just about every CD or Video released by the Who (including some imports), as well as some "unofficial" CDs, LPs, and videos. Frankly, this release comes in a little higher than halfway down the list of CD's that I'd think of popping into the player. Is that worth a five star rating? Let's see. Does the intrusive announcer voice-overs during the song introductions rate five stars? Does Pete Townshend's forgetting the lyrics to "Long Live Rock" rate five stars (except to the fans who see ANYTHING as yet another sign of Pete's genius)? Does the heavy handed echo on some of the vocals rate five stars? Does the somewhat inconsistent sound quality rate five stars? Catch my drift? This album may be pretty entertaining (for Who fans, at least), but it's no "Live at Leeds" (far better live album), "Who's Next" (far better studio album), "Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy" (far better compilation), or "Tommy" (just plain great). In my mind (addled as some may find it), all of these are releases that deserve a five star rating. "The BBC Sessions", however, does not. Yeah, it's worth buying if you're a Who fan (...
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Format: Audio CD
Previous reviewers have aired some legitimate concerns. Being live (albeit on radio) performances are not always going to be perfect. Also live on radio doesn't provide the band with the instant feedback and adrenalin rush of a live concert audience. Yes, this album is available with an 8-song bonus disc (I got mine at a store that rhymes with "Test Guy"). Yes the announcer's occasional interruptions serve only to remind us that these recordings are from a radio show.
With that said, get over it. There is plenty here for Who fans to be excited about. No, it is not as revelatory as the Beatles' Live at the BBC. But the Beatles appeared on the BBC more than 50 times over three years, compared to the Who's mere ten times over five years. The Beatles' set included 29 songs that never appeared on previous official releases. The Who's set offers up a mere three rarely heard songs from their early repertoire.
Beyond those comparisons these performances provide a snapshot look at the growth of one of the world's greatest rock 'n' roll bands. Much of the 1965-66 material shows Townshend developing as a songwriter from the rather anemic "The Good's Gone" and "La La La Lies" to the anthemic "My Generation" and Who classics like "Substitute" and "I'm a Boy." There are also several R&B covers, like the Olympics' "Good Lovin'" (a year before the Young Rascals made it a hit), James Brown's "Just You and Me, Darling" and the Holland-Dozier-Holland "Leaving Here."
Beginning with 1967, the more familiar Who-sound has been fully developed with tracks like "Happy Jack" and "Pictures of Lily.
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Comment 21 of 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on April 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The first three-quarters of this CD was enjoyable because I got to hear many early Who classics performed live. The sound quality isn't great, but it isn't too bad either. The voice-over by the announcer didn't bother me at all (although I can see where it would bother some). The dissapointing part for me was the later songs (Relay, Long Live Rock, etc.). I expected them to be done totally live. Instead they have a live vocal track sung over pre-recorded music. I wanted to hear what "Relay" sounded like in a live setting. Well, it pretty much sounds like it does on the studio recording, only with live vocals on it, pretty much defeating the purpose of wanteing to hear it. That's pretty much how it goes for the last part of the CD and for all of the bonus CD. As far as this being compared to Live at Leeds, to me there's no comparison. On Live at Leeds, they played completely live, not using pre-recorded tapes, you had feedback from the audience, and they exhibited far more power in that setting than in a studio. As far as Who fans go, this is an enjoyable purchase. If you're a casual listener, buy the other albums first, especially Live at Leeds or Live at the Isle of Wight.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a superb collection of live tracks recorded for the BBC from the 60's and early 70's. "Relay" and "Long Live Rock" are the latest tracks included here (from a whistle test in January 1973), while "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" and "Leaving Here" are the earliest (from May 1965). The sound quality is quite good, and, just like the Hendrix and Led Zeppelin BBC sets, there is running commentary culled from the actual broadcasts between the songs. While this set would have been much nicer as a double-disc set, it doesn't disappoint at all. Recommended strongly for any Who fan out there. Extra note: This version is excellent, but if you're someone who wants to hear "Pinball Wizard", "See Me, Feel Me", "I Don't Even Know Myself", "I Can See For Miles", "Heaven and Hell", "Summertime Blues", a second broadcast of "The Seeker" and a short interview with Pete Townshend, then I have to recommend swinging by Best Buy, they, for now, have an extra disc with those songs on it that comes free with the CD.
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