BBC Sessions

This compilation culls eight years of live in-studio performances for the BBC, broken up with introductions by the smooth and hearty Beeb announcers. The early Who romp through covers with breathtaking confidence — there's nothing sedulous about the crashing, sugar-free "Good Lovin'." They turn the blues into a stately twist with James Brown's "Just You and Me, Darling" and play "Shakin' All Over" as properly spectral. Encompassing the Who's prime years, The BBC Sessions delineates how the band resolved social and musical anxieties of the age, youthful frustration careening like an American muscle car on "Disguises," "Substitute," "I'm Free" and a funkified "Relay" (after which Keith Moon must have collapsed); British eccentricity takes a droll promenade with "Happy Jack," "A Quick One (While He's Away)" and John Entwistle's "Boris the Spider." But more than anything, The BBC Sessions highlights how mad, bad and dangerous the Who were in 1965.

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