Most helpful critical review
193 of 217 people found the following review helpful
Five Stars? Who are you kidding?
on February 29, 2000
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 (...but if you're a Who fan you've already bought it and don't need these reviews), but for other buyers who are not that familiar with the band, I wouldn't recommend this CD until the above-noted releases were in their collections.
I hate to draw the wrath of the other reviewers (I can already see the cursors hitting the "This Review Was Not Useful" button), but I'd hate it even more to see a potential Who fan turned off by this CD when buying something better could turn him or her into a lifelong fan of the greatest rock band in the world. This isn't a bad CD, and I'm sure the producers did their best with the source tapes they had. It just isn't perfection, and wishing (or reviewing) won't make it so.