This compilation of 22 Cream BBC tracks from 1966-1968 marked a major addition to the group's discography, particularly as they released relatively little product during their actual lifetime. All of but two of these cuts ("Lawdy Mama" and the 1968 version of "Steppin' Out," which had appeared on Eric Clapton's Crossroads box) were previously unreleased, and although many of these had made the round on bootlegs, the sound and presentation here is unsurprisingly preferable. As for actual surprises, there aren't many. It's a good cross section of songs from their studio records, though a couple, "Steppin' Out" and "Traintime," only appeared on live releases, and some of these BBC takes actually predate the release and recording of the album versions, which makes them of historical interest for intense Cream fans.
Whether it was the immediacy of recording or some other unexplainable element, Bauhaus always thrived when doing British radio appearances, with no less than five of the 18 tracks collected here seeing official release by the band on singles or albums during its first lifetime. That one of these was Bauhaus' biggest-ever British hit, the completely and perfectly over-the-top rendition of Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust," is further testimony to the band's success at the Beeb. The five show appearances here, including both John Peel sessions and guest spots with other DJs, make for an excellent sampling of the band in many different guises, from obscure rarities to redone versions of some of Bauhaus' most successful songs.
This 24-song collection of tracks recorded for the BBC from 1964-1966 sounds very good, thanks to the Paul Jones-fronted lineup (although a few of the songs are instrumentals). Of most interest are four tunes the band never released in the 1960s, including a version of "Parchman Farm" that features only Jones and his harmonica, and the obscure, mediocre Barry-Greenwich composition "That's the Way I Feel." More unexpected are a couple of Jones originals the band never did in the studio, the bluesy and derivative "I Need You" and "It Took a Little While." There's no "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy," but most of the other big mid-'60s hits are played ("Sha La La," "Come Tomorrow," "Pretty Flamingo," "If You Gotta Go, Go Now"), as well as some of their better LP and EP cuts. This is recommended a little above the usual BBC archive compilation, because Manfred Mann played extremely well live, and because there are actually some notable changes from the familiar studio arrangements from time to time. That's especially evident on "Machines," which is decisively better than the studio version; this take, powered by a great bass riff, even sounds strong enough to have been an off-the-wall hit single.
By and large, the musical landscape of the mid-to-late 1980s, at least in the rock world, was pretty barren, but hardy souls like Green on Red, the Long Ryders, and Jason & the Scorchers provided a valuable bright spot with their punk-informed country rock. BBC SESSIONS captures Green on Red live in the studio, recorded at various points between 1989 and 1992…
9-disc box set released on the Great Dane label, Italy, 1993. Contains every existing Beatles performance on BBC radio, from March 1962 through their final set in June 1965. Only a relatively small portion of these performances, all recorded exclusively for BBC broadcast (and thus different from the familiar LP studio versions), are otherwise available. Sound quality varies, particularly on the earlier discs, with much of the material derived from personal collections when it could not be located in the BBC archives.
Back in 1997, Led Zeppelin released BBC Sessions, the band's first attempt to chronicle its heavily bootlegged live recordings for the British Broadcasting Corporation. That double-disc set didn't contain all of Zep's BBC Sessions: a full nine songs from 1969 were left behind, including three songs recorded in March – a session highlighted by the otherwise unavailable original "Sunshine Woman" – that were believed to be lost. The 2016 triple-disc set The Complete BBC Sessions adds those songs as a third disc to a remastered version of the original 1997 compilation, an addition that doesn't greatly alter the overall picture of Zeppelin's BBC Sessions but offers a whole lot of additional value…
The resurrected Buddha acquired the rights to much of Rory Gallagher's prime material in 1999. They began their reissue program with his first two albums, then they moved to what most hardcore fans would consider the crown jewel of the series, a double-disc collection of Gallagher's BBC sessions. Like most lead guitarists (at least those of his generation), he would often expand his music when playing live, turning in vibrant, exciting versions of his material, peppered with great guitar solos. Although it lacks the kinetic spark generated whenever a musician performs in front of a live audience, BBC Sessions is one of the finest live sets in his catalog, thanks to its crystalline fidelity, strong performances, and classy presentation. Certainly, this collection isn't for anyone that isn't already devoted to Gallagher, but for those who are, there's plenty to cherish here – individual solos, impassioned vocals, and good liner notes. It's an excellent, worthy addition to his catalog, and it helps confirm Gallagher's gift as a blues-rock guitarist.