BBC Sessions

The BBC Sessions

by The Pretty Things
     
 
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

Overview

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/25/2003
Label:
Repertoire
UPC:
4009910493823
catalogNumber:
4938

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Big Boss Man
  2. Don't Bring Me Down
  3. Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut
  4. Roadrunner
  5. Big City
  6. Midnight to Six Man
  7. Sittin' All Alone
  8. Midnight to Six Man
  9. Buzz the Jerk
  10. Lsd
  11. Defecting Grey
  12. Turn My Head
  13. Walking Through My Dreams
  14. Balloon Burning
  15. Sf Sorrow is Born
  16. She Says Good Morning
  17. Send You With Loving
  18. Spring
  19. Sickle Clowns
  20. She's a Lover
  21. Cries from the Midnight Circus
  22. Stone Hearted Mama
  23. Cold Stone
  24. Summertime
  25. Rosalyn
  26. All Night Sailor
  27. Religion's Dead
  28. Havana Bound
  29. Love is Good
  30. Route 66
  31. Onion Soup/Another Bowl
  32. Route 66
  33. Peter/Rip Off Train
  34. Atlanta
  35. Bridge of God
  36. Singapore Silk
  37. Torpedo
  38. Come Home Momma
  39. Dream/Joey
  40. Not Only But Also
  41. Big City
  42. Belfast Cowboys/Bruise In the Sky

Disc 2

  1. Havana Bound
  2. Love Is Good
  3. Route 66
  4. Onion Soup/Another Bowl
  5. Route 66
  6. Peter/Rip Off Train
  7. Atlanta
  8. Bridge of God
  9. Singapore Silk Torpedo
  10. Come Home Momma
  11. Dream/Joey
  12. Not Only But Also
  13. Big City
  14. Belfast Cowboys/Bruise in the Sky

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Pretty Things   Primary Artist
Phil May   Vocals
Stuart Brooks   Bass
Gordon Edwards   Vocals
John Povey   Keyboards
Viv Prince   Drums
Pete Tolson   Guitar
Victor Unitt   Guitar
Wally Allen Waller   Bass,Vocals
Skip Alan   Drums

Technical Credits

Bobby Troup   Composer
Phil May   Composer
Robert C. Smith   Composer
Dick Taylor   Composer
John Alder   Composer
Bo Diddley   Composer
Bobby Graham   Composer
James Moore   Composer
John Povey   Composer
Pete Tolson   Composer
Wally Allen Waller   Composer
Luther Dixon   Composer
Alan Klein   Composer
Johnny Dee   Composer
Jimmy Duncan   Composer
Bill Farley   Composer
Mike Stax   Liner Notes

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