Friday, August 07, 2020

The Who - BBC Sessions

I find it extremely hard to believe that I have not ranted'n'raved about the release before, but I'll be damned if the blogger search will show me anything. I know I bought this when I first saw it, so maybe I've had it for longer than I've had this blog, but it's still strange. In any case...

I am a huge Who fan and have been since I first heard them blasting over the AM radio in the 60's - probably "I Can See For Miles" first and then their subsequent terrific hits and FM radio cuts and amazing albums. This disc is, obviously, BBC Radio sessions, mostly from the 60's, with enough variations on the songs that you know'n'love to make you need this album!

Apparently, most artists did a take-off Radio One jingle during their sessions and the Who were no exception, with a modification on "My Generation" ("talkin' 'bout my favorite station"), before a brief interview with Pete and a tough "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" with an incredible feedback section. Being good Mod boys, they take on the Young Rascals "Good Lovin'" with fun energy, followed by James Brown's "Just You and Me, Darling" (they were a bit too white to really do an effective James Brown cover, but it's a cute try), but their version of "Leavin' Here" is right up there with the Birds for a r'n'r interpretation, "My Generation" is pretty damn close to the original take, although the noise ending is amped up a bit (in a great way!), and they pull out a couple of fine album cuts highlighting their harmonies, "The Good's Gone" and "La-La-La-Lies" then a fast'n'biting "Substitute", a pretty hip take on "Dancing in the Street" with a ferocious fuzz solo, another relatively obscure, but cool, one, "Disguises", and a bane of Roger's existence, the gender-bending hit "I'm a Boy".

More good, clean fun with "Run, Run, Run" (with an extended guitar break), Entwistle's "Boris the Spider", the whimsical "Happy Jack", Daltrey's "See My Way" (although, I know Pete said that he helped with Roger and Keith's numbers, and this has some real Townsend-isms in it), but the biggest revelation is "Pictures of Lily" with a hip organ part! The arrangement is essentially the same, but no French Horn, the guitars seems somewhat changed and the keys effect the entire feel, in a neat way! I actually covered "A Quick One" in a band due to the intensity of their appearance on the Stones' Rock'n'Roll Circus, but this earlier representation is pretty damn perfect, as well. Then we jump from '67 to 1970 for another crack at "Substitute", my fave obscurity, "The Seeker", the stunningly powerful "I'm Free", their extraordinary take on "Shakin' All Over" then another jump to 1973 for a couple of the weaker numbers on the disc - "Relay" and "Long Live Rock" - both good, but not up to their previous standards, and the whole shebang closes with another jingle, this time changing up "Boris the Spider" very briefly!

I'd say that this is a must for any fan - great cuts all the way through!