It seems as if every British rock band of any note recorded at least a few sessions for the British Broadcasting Corporation in the 1960s, and the Pretty Things were nothing if not notable; they spent more than their fair share of time at the BBC's radio and television studios, and this jam-packed two-disc set offers up the lion's share of their "Beeb" material in (generally) strong sound quality and a well-appointed package. Like most BBC collections, these performances sound drier and more stripped-down than the versions most fans are used to, but since "stripped-down" was a thing the Pretty Things did quite well back in the day, this isn't much of a drawback; if these takes of "Big Boss Man," "Big City," and "Road Runner" have a bit less bite than the official recordings, they still sound like the Pretty Things, with enough swaggering attitude to face an army (best reflected in Phil May's gloriously insolent vocals and Dick Taylor's switchblade guitar). The band's psychedelic period kicks off midway through disc one, and while the studio gingerbread of S.F. Sorrow and Parachute doesn't quite make it onto tape here, these simpler and more organic arrangements make a fine case for the strength of the material, and testify to the Pretties' continued strength and range as a live act (and a bit of taped effects of "Defecting Grey" adds some amusing but welcome ambience). Disc two is where this set gets to be rough sledding for many fans; while the band's punky R&B and alternately graceful and furious psych numbers have long been cherished by their followers, the boogie-centric rock of their '70s period commands far fewer partisans, and that's what dominates the second half of this program (though versions of "Route 66" and "Big City" show Phil May and his partners could still make with the shake when the spirit moved them). Nevertheless, it makes for a complete and well-detailed portrait of the band's long (and not yet concluded) career, and the liner notes from über-fan Mike Stax (of Ugly Things magazine) follow their time-line well and offer plenty of insight into these sessions. If you're a Pretties fan, The BBC Sessions will sound like manna from heaven, and if you're just getting your feet wet, it's a fine road map through the nooks and crannies of their music. Either way, this is well worth a spin.