Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Who - BBC Sessions, 1967-1970

This is the second of three albums dealing with the Who's performances at the BBC.

As I said with the first album, I think I improved on the official BBC album in a few ways. I got rid of BBC DJs talking over the music with some careful edits that you hopefully won't notice. I also removed some songs (such as a version of "See Me, Feel Me" that was exactly the same as the album version except for the DJ talking), and I added some others.

"Our Love Was" is an actual BBC performance is fine audio quality, so I'm not sure why it wasn't on the official album. "So Sad about Us" is merely from a 1967 concert, but it's in unusually good sound quality for pre-1968 live Who recordings, which means it doesn't sound awful. I didn't have any other good spot to put it in my music collection, so I stuck it here. "Naked Eye" was done live for a Lulu-hosted TV show, of all things. Unfortunately, it fades out before the end of the song, but the vast majority of the song got recorded.

A couple of the songs aren't entirely live, because as the Who's music grew more complicated, they found difficulty in performing them with just the four band members on stage. "I Can See for Miles" is mostly the same as the studio version, but new vocals and bass were used instead. And "The Seeker" is the same as the studio version except for new vocals.

Also, the version of "Naked Eye" here IS lip synced. But they taped a unique version of the song just for the show, and lip synced to that. So I'm including it here because it's a different version than the officially released one. They did this same style of lip syncing to unique versions for some other TV performances.

I didn't include "Shakin' All Over - Spoonful" even though it's on the official BBC album, because I put it on my "Who's for Tennis" compilation. There are a couple of other performances that actually come from BBC sessions, but weren't included on the official BBC album (or here), due to them appearing first on the compilation "Odds and Sods." The cover "My Way" is an example of that. (I put it on my double album version of "The Who Sell Out.")

One strange thing about this album is that about half of it comes from 1967 and the other half from 1970, with nothing from 1968 or 1969. That's because the band didn't perform at the BBC for those two years, and only did lip sync performances if they appeared anywhere else. 1968 was a low-profile year for the band, with only a couple of singles released. And they had a very popular album with "Tommy" in 1969, but apparently they didn't promote it much or TV or the radio until after 1970 began. Two of the 1970 songs here are from "Tommy."

01. Boris the Spider [Radio 1 Jingle] (Who)
02. Run, Run, Run (Who)
03. Happy Jack (Who)
04. See My Way (Who)
05. Boris the Spider (Who)
06. So Sad about Us (Who)
07. Pictures of Lily (Who)
08. A Quick One while He's Away (Who)
09. I Can See for Miles [New Vocals and Bass Only] (Who)
10. Our Love Was (Who)
11. Pinball Wizard (Who)
12. I'm Free (Who)
13. The Seeker [New Vocals Only] (Who)
14. Heaven and Hell (Who)
15. Naked Eye (Who)

I believe the cover photo comes from a 1969 performance on a TV show called "Sounds of the Sixties." I didn't include any audio from that because they lip synced to their studio versions. By the way, I find it interesting that the photo puts drummer Keith Moon in the foreground. The Who is just about the only major band I can think of where the drummer tended to steal the spotlight.

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