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Liner Notes › BBC Sessions

BBC SESSIONS

Pete Townshend Guitar, Keyboards and Vocals 
Roger Daltrey Vocals 
John Entwistle Bass Guitar and Vocals 
Keith Moon Drums

BBC Sessions cover


Mastered by Jon Astley at Close To The Edge 
Artwork and design by Andie Airfix at Satori

BBC Sessions was released worldwide Feb. 15, 2000. In the U.K. it was Polydor 547727-2 and reached #24 in the music charts. The U.S. issue was MCA 088111960-2 and peaked at #101 in theBillboard charts. 
  
Liner notes compiled by Brian Cady from the wonderful book Anyway Anyhow Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle Of The Who 1958-1978 by Matt Kent and Andy Neill.

The Who applied three times and auditioned twice before the British Broadcasting Corporation finally relented and allowed these ruffians access to the public airwaves. Pete filled out an application for an audition on the BBC Light Programme on 19 Dec. 1963 when the band was known as The Detours. With no response and after a name change to The Who, Pete filled out another application 4 March 1964. This completely confused the BBC, which held up their audition until the name change could be sorted out. The Who, with Doug Sandom on drums, auditioned at 8:10pm 9 April 1964 at Studio S2 in the sub-basement of Broadcasting House. On 28 April, the BBC sent a letter to The Who/Detours declining their services. With a change of drummer, managers and name (twice!), Pete again applied for a second chance for The Who 15 Jan. 1965, the same day as the release of "I Can't Explain." The second audition was at 9am 12 Feb. 1965, again at Studio S2. On 19 Feb. the results came in. This time The Who passed, but only by a slim 4/3 majority.

The Who's first official performance for the Beeb was on the BBC-1 television programme Top Of The Pops 11 March 1965 as a last-minute replacement for the "Tip For The Top" slot. This performance has vanished along with almost all the rest of the classic rock 'n' roll performances on BBC television in the Sixties. Also missing is their first and second appearances on BBC radio. The first session was recorded at 10am 2 Apr. 1965 as replacements for Freddie and the Dreamers. Listeners that day to The Joe Loss Pop Show were the only ones to hear The Who's live performances of "Heat Wave," "I Can't Explain," "Please Please Please," and "Shout And Shimmy." The second session, recorded 24 May for Top Gear, is also missing although two of the tracks turned up on their third session that did survive. This left missing from the second session live performances of James Brown's "I Don't Mind" and Otis Blackwell's "Daddy Rolling Stone." After that session, Auntie began to hold onto the tapes, yielding the album below.


 

MY GENERATION (RADIO 1 JINGLE) (0'57) 
(Pete Townshend) Devon Music, Inc./Fabulous Music, Ltd./Westminster Music, Ltd., BMI

Recorded at De Lane Lea Studios, London Oct. 10, 1967. First broadcast on Top Gear Oct. 15, 1967. 
Produced by Kit Lambert.


There are five surviving jingles from this set. "My Generation" and "Boris The Spider" are included here. "Happy Jack" can be found on the Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B boxset. All were intended for the BBC's new pop music service, Radio One. Since pirate radio had been outlawed less than two months before, BBC Radio One was then the only game in town for The Who. They had no choice but to play along if they wanted their records on the air. But the pirates would not be forgotten as The Who Sell Out, then being recorded, would show. The other two jingles recorded on this date were for Top Gear one of which can be found between tracks 14 and 15 on the 1995The Who Sell Out re-issue CD.

 
cover to one of the many bootleg versions of this set prior to the release of BBC Sessions


 

ANYWAY ANYHOW ANYWHERE (2'44) 
(Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey) Devon Music, Inc./Suolubaf Music/ABKCO Music, Inc., BMI 
Recorded between 2pm and 6:30pm at Studio 2, Aeolian Hall, 135/137 New Bond Street, London May 24, 1965. Broadcast on May 29, 1965 on Saturday Club and June 19, 1965 on Top Gear .
Produced by Bernie Andrews.


The Who recorded their second and third BBC Radio sessions back-to-back on May 24 and 25, 1965 for Top Gear and Saturday Club. Both featured this live-in-studio performance (except for an overdubbed feedbacking guitar) of the single released May 21. Unlike that single, this version does not include Nicky Hopkins' piano part. The interview between Pete and announcer Brian Matthew that precedes the track also appears on the Who boxset Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B introducing the studio version.


 

GOOD LOVIN' (1'49) 
(Rudy Clark and Arthur Resnick) Alley Music Corp., Inc./Trio Music Co. Inc., BMI 
Recorded between 2pm and 6:30pm at Studio 2, Aeolian Hall, 135/137 New Bond Street, London May 24, 1965. Broadcast on May 29, 1965 on Saturday Club and June 19, 1965 on Top Gear .
Produced by Bernie Andrews.


A live-in-studio cover by The Who done very shortly after the release of the original version by the Compton, California R&B act The Olympics that hit the Billboard charts May 1st but only got to #81. The Young Rascals' version that went to #1 in the U.S. came out nine months after The Who's recording. This is the only version of this song by The Who.

 


another bootleg BBC cover 

JUST YOU AND ME, DARLING (2'01) 
(James Brown) Fort Knox Music, Inc./Trio Music Co. Inc., BMI 
Recorded between 4pm and 6:30pm at Studio Five, Delaware Road in Maida Vale May 25, 1965. First broadcast on Saturday Club May 29, 1965. 
Produced by Jimmy Grant.
Engineered by Brian Willey.


Out of four James Brown songs covered by The Who in 1965, this was the most obscure. The original version hit the Billboard R&B charts Sept. 18, 1961. It reached #17 on that chart but did not crossover to the pop charts. This live-in-studio recording is The Who's only released version.



 LEAVING HERE (2'34) 
(Brian Holland/Lamont Dozier/Edward Holland, Jr.) Stone Agate Music, BMI 
Recorded between 4pm and 6:30pm at Studio Five, Delaware Road in Maida Vale May 25, 1965. First broadcast on Saturday Club May 29, 1965. 
Produced by Jimmy Grant.
Engineered by Brian Willey.


One of three different recordings by The Who of this 1964 Eddie Holland hit and the only recording by them anyone heard until another version was released in 1985 on Who's Missing. After all The Who's attempts, it was their fellow Mod band, The Birds, who had the U.K. hit with it. In addition, The Who also performed James Brown's "Please Please Please" during the May 25, 1965 session.

MY GENERATION (3'23) 
(Pete Townshend) Devon Music, Inc./Fabulous Music, Ltd./Westminster Music, Ltd., BMI 
Recorded between 7pm and 9:30pm at Studio Four, Maida Vale Nov. 22, 1965. First broadcast on Saturday Club Nov. 27, 1965. 
Produced by Jimmy Grant and Brian Willey.


The fourth BBC radio session centered around The Who's new single "My Generation" released three and a half weeks before this live-in-the-studio version was recorded. The original BBC tape has an interview with Pete conducted by Brian Matthew in which he describes this song as "autobiographical" and added that it was about "a kid who's not really satisfied with his life and is trying to complain, but can't." Prior to BBC Sessions this version appeared on the soundtrack of Austin Powers - The Spy Who Shagged Me.


 

THE GOOD'S GONE (2'59) 
(Pete Townshend) Towser Tunes, Inc./Suolubaf Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific/ABKCO Music, Inc., BMI 
Recorded between 7pm and 9:30pm at Studio Four, Maida Vale Nov. 22, 1965. First broadcast on Saturday Club Nov. 27, 1965. 
Produced by Jimmy Grant and Brian Willey.


The Who recorded this live-in-studio take as a BBC preview of their first album, My Generation, that was to be released six days after the broadcast.


 

LA LA LA LIES (2'11) 
(Pete Townshend) Towser Tunes, Inc./Suolubaf Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific/ABKCO Music, Inc., BMI 
Recorded between 7pm and 9:30pm at Studio Four, Maida Vale Nov. 22, 1965. First broadcast on Saturday Club Nov. 27, 1965. 
Produced by Jimmy Grant and Brian Willey.


Another live-in-studio recording of a track from the My Generation LP. In addition to the above three tracks, The Who also performed Pete's "It's Not True" and Marvin Gaye's "Baby Don't You Do It" during the Nov. 22, 1965 session.

 

SUBSTITUTE (3'30) 
(Pete Townshend) Devon Music, Inc./Fabulous Music, Ltd., BMI 
Recorded at Studio One, Aeolian Hall, London March 15, 1966 for Saturday Club broadcast March 19.
Produced by Jimmy Grant and Brian Willey.


A live-in-studio version of the single that had been released two weeks before. The U.S. issue Pete refers to in the introduction was on Atco and came out three weeks later. It was to be The Who's only release on that label before they returned to Decca. This take is the longest live version The Who did of this song, shortening it considerably by the time of Live At Leeds.


 

MAN WITH MONEY (2'31) 
(Don Everly/Phil Everly) Acuff Rose Music, Inc., BMI 
Recorded at Studio One, Aeolian Hall, London March 15, 1966 for Saturday Club broadcast March 19.
Produced by Jimmy Grant and Brian Willey.


A live-in-studio cover of the obscure 1965 Everly Brothers song. The Who did not release a regular studio recording until the 1995 issue of A Quick One. This BBC take does not appear on the MCA issue of BBC Sessions in the U.S.


 

DANCING IN THE STREET (2'23) 
(Marvin Gaye/Ivy Hunter/William Stevenson) Stone Agate Music, BMI 
Recorded at Studio One, Aeolian Hall, London March 15, 1966 for Saturday Club broadcast March 19.
Produced by Jimmy Grant and Brian Willey.


A live-in-studio cover of Martha & The Vandellas biggest hit that entered the Billboard charts Aug. 22, 1964. The arraignment of the song, however, comes from The Everly Brothers' cover on their album Rock 'n' Soul. The Who recorded a live-in-concert version in 1979 that was released in 1988 on a 12" single and CD single of "Won't Get Fooled Again" and hasn't been re-released since. In addition to the above three tracks, The Who recorded versions of The Regent's "Barbara Ann" and an instrumental entitled "You Rang" during the March 15, 1966 session.

DISGUISES (2'57) 
(Pete Townshend) Towser Tunes, Inc./Suolubaf Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific/ABKCO Music, Inc., BMI 
Recorded at The Playhouse Theatre, London Sept. 13, 1966. First broadcast on Saturday Club Sept. 17, 1966. 
Produced by Jimmy Grant and Brian Willey.


"Disguises" was probably intended as a single when the studio version was recorded in July 31-August 1, 1966, but was rejected for "I'm A Boy." This live-in-studio version was broadcast almost two months before the studio version was released on the EP Ready Steady Who!

 

 

I'M A BOY (2'39) 
(Pete Townshend) Hampshire House Pub. Corp., ASCAP 
Recorded at The Playhouse Theatre, London Sept. 13, 1966. First broadcast on Saturday Club Sept. 17, 1966. 
Produced by Jimmy Grant and Brian Willey.


A live-in-studio version of the single that came out three weeks before the broadcast. Again the interview with Pete before the song is conducted by the only slightly flappable Brian Matthew. In addition to the above two tracks, The Who also recorded a live-in-studio version (and first recording of this song by The Who) of "So Sad About Us" that had them singing the words "last night" over the final chords. They also performed the Lovin' Spoonful's "On The Road Again."


 

RUN RUN RUN (2'39) 
(Pete Townshend) Essex Music, Inc., ASCAP 
Recorded at The Playhouse Theatre Jan. 17, 1967. First broadcast on Saturday Club Jan. 21, 1967. 
Produced by Bill Bebb and Jimmy Grant.


The kick-off track to The Who's second album A Quick One that had been released seven weeks before this broadcast.


 

BORIS THE SPIDER (2'13) 
(John Entwistle) ASCAP 
Recorded at The Playhouse Theatre Jan. 17, 1967. First broadcast on Saturday Club Jan. 21, 1967. 
Produced by Bill Bebb and Jimmy Grant.


Following along with A Quick One, this is a live-in-studio version of the album's second track.


 

HAPPY JACK (2'09) 
(Pete Townshend) Essex Music, Inc., ASCAP 
Recorded at The Playhouse Theatre Jan. 17, 1967. First broadcast on Saturday Club Jan. 21, 1967. 
Produced by Bill Bebb and Jimmy Grant.


By the time this was broadcast, the "Happy Jack" single had also been out for seven weeks and was then reaching its U.K. chart peak at #3. Brian Matthew conducts the interview before this track.


 

SEE MY WAY (1'50) 
(Roger Daltrey) 
Recorded at The Playhouse Theatre Jan. 17, 1967. First broadcast on Saturday Club Jan. 21, 1967. 
Produced by Bill Bebb and Jimmy Grant.


The Who manage to squeeze Roger's one contribution to A Quick One into the broadcast in this version that is generally considered to be superior to the LP version. In addition to the above four tracks, The Who also performed Pete's "Don't Look Away" during the Jan. 17, 1967 performance.


 

PICTURES OF LILY (2'34) 
(Pete Townshend) Essex Music, Inc., ASCAP 
Recorded at De Lane Lea Studio, London Oct. 10, 1967. First broadcast on Top Gear Oct. 15, 1967. 
Produced by Kit Lambert.


The Who's Jan. 17, 1967 session was to be their last performing live takes in front of BBC engineers. From this point on The Who gave the BBC only studio-crafted alternate takes of their songs. This one is a studio version with overdubs (the organ, for instance, played by Pete) but is a completely different performance from the single release that had come out six months before.

 

 

A QUICK ONE WHILE HE'S AWAY (7'01) 
(Pete Townshend) Essex Music, Inc., ASCAP 
Recorded at De Lane Lea Studio, London Oct. 10, 1967. First broadcast on Top Gear Oct. 15, 1967. 
Produced by Kit Lambert.


The album on which this song had originally appeared had been out for 10 1/2 months before this broadcast, but in the meantime the "mini-opera" had become a centerpiece of their live act which is probably why this BBC version was recorded at such a late date. Another completely new studio version. Also on Oct. 10, 1967, The Who recorded covers of two Eddie Cochran songs, "Summertime Blues" and "My Way," both of which are included on the 1998 Odds and Sods re-issue and the former on the Live At The BBC bonus disc (see below), and remixes of "Our Love Was," "Relax," "I Can't Reach You," and "I Can See For Miles." The latter featured a bass overdub by John and was released on the 1985 European LP The Who: The Singles.



SUBSTITUTE (VERSION 2) (2'12) 
(Pete Townshend) Devon Music, Inc./Fabulous Music, Ltd., BMI 
Recorded at IBC Studios, London Apr. 13, 1970. First broadcast on The Dave Lee Travis Show Apr. 19, 1970. 
Produced by Paul Williams.


Thirty months after their last BBC session, The Who recorded these final tracks exclusively for the BBC. These recordings were quickly produced studio run-throughs of their current stage act that had been recorded two months before at Leeds University. That recording, Live At Leeds, was not to be released in the U.K. for over a month after this broadcast and, as with that album, this is the short version.


 

THE SEEKER (3'04) 
(Pete Townshend) Suolubaf Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific/ABKCO Music, Inc., BMI 
Recorded at IBC Studios, London Apr. 13, 1970. First broadcast on The Dave Lee Travis Show Apr. 19, 1970. 
Produced by Paul Williams.


The single version of "The Seeker" had been released almost a month before this broadcast. The song had just entered The Who's live act at the time but was dropped within a couple of months.


 

I'M FREE (2'24) 
(Pete Townshend) Towser Tunes, Inc./Suolubaf Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific/ABKCO Music, Inc., BMI 
Recorded at IBC Studios, London Apr. 13, 1970. First broadcast on The Dave Lee Travis Show Apr. 19, 1970. 
Produced by Paul Williams.


Another alternate studio take that reflects the more athletic reading The Who had given this song from Tommy after eleven months of live performances.


 

SHAKIN' ALL OVER (Johnny Kidd) EMI Mills Music, Inc., ASCAP/SPOONFUL (Willie Dixon) Hoochie Coochie Music, BMI (3'41) 
Recorded at IBC Studios, London Apr. 13, 1970. First broadcast on The Dave Lee Travis Show Apr. 19, 1970. 
Produced by Paul Williams.


The U.K. issue of BBC Sessions presents this track in its complete state. However The Who could not come to what they felt was a proper royalty payment for the U.S. rights to Willie Dixon's "Spoonful", so the U.S. MCA version of BBC Sessions has that part of the medley excised. The edit comes at 2'34 on the U.S. version and picks up again 34 seconds later.


 

RELAY (4'56) 
(Pete Townshend) Towser Tunes, Inc./Suolubaf Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific/ABKCO Music, Inc., BMI 
Recorded at Presentation Studio B, Television Centre, Wood Lane, London Jan. 29, 1973. First broadcast on The Old Grey Whistle Test (BBC2-TV) Jan. 30, 1973. 
Produced by Michael Appleton.


This is not from a BBC radio show but rather from a BBC television show. The Who made many appearances on BBC TV throughout their career although this was to be one of their last. The performance here is the studio version of "Relay" with a live vocal. What makes it interesting is that it carries on another 1'04 pass the end of the regular version with some more delicious Townshend guitar soloing. Where are the original stereo tapes of this long version? The video (presently unreleased commercially) features Pete performing energetic but wildly inaccurate air guitar.

 


LONG LIVE ROCK (3'52) 
(Pete Townshend) Towser Tunes, Inc./Suolubaf Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific/ABKCO Music, Inc., BMI 
Recorded at Presentation Studio B, Television Centre, Wood Lane, London Jan. 29, 1973. First broadcast on The Old Grey Whistle Test (BBC2-TV) Jan. 30, 1973. 
Produced by Michael Appleton.


Another live vocal over studio track. The Who had recorded the studio version eight months before but it would be another 21 months before it was finally released on the Odds and Sods LP. The video of this performance shows Pete doing a better job of air guitar but not only does he get the words wrong, he also attempts a scissors kick and falls over into Keith's cymbals!

 

 

 

BORIS THE SPIDER (RADIO ONE JINGLE) (0'10) 
(John Entwistle) ASCAP 
Recorded at De Lane Lea Studios, London Oct. 10, 1967. First broadcast on Top Gear Oct. 15, 1967. 
Produced by Kit Lambert.


On Oct. 10, 1967, in addition to this and the other tracks recorded included here, The Who also recorded the studio versions of "Summertime Blues" and "My Way" that appear on the 1997 Odds and Sods, and alternate versions of "I Can See For Miles," "Relax," "Our Love Was," "I Can't Reach You," and "Someone's Coming." Some of these tracks were intended for the CD below but only two would make it. 



  
 

LIVE AT THE BBC

This disc, available at the time of the 2000 release and only through the Best Buy Music chain in the United States was originally to have been fourteen tracks and Jon Astley did master those tracks. Unfortunately, due to the insistence of The Who, it was cut at the last minute to only eight. The original running order was to have been "Happy Jack (Radio One Jingle)"/"Pete Townshend Interview - Townshend Talks 'Tommy'"/"Pinball Wizard"/"See Me Feel Me"/"I Don't Even Know Myself"/"I Can See For Miles"/"Heaven and Hell"/"So Sad About Us"/"I Can't Reach You"/"Our Love Was" (the still unreleased mono version with the slide guitar solo)/"The Seeker (2)"/"Top Gear Jingle"/"Summertime Blues"/"My Generation (Radio 1 Jingle)". "So Sad About Us" was mentioned as one track Pete wanted cut because he felt it was an inferior performance. "My Generation (Radio 1 Jingle)" was moved to the general release. It was issued on the same day as the general release as Point PNT 9019.

 

 

PETE TOWNSHEND INTERVIEW - TOWNSHEND TALKS "TOMMY" (2'08) 
Recorded at Studio 2, Kensington House, Richmond Way, West London Apr. 11, 1969.

 
Pete does the best job ever of explaining Tommy in one minute. This was recorded for the BBC transcription service a little over a month after the release of the "Pinball Wizard" single and six weeks before the release of the Tommy album.
  
 

PINBALL WIZARD (2'21) 
(Pete Townshend) Suolubaf Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific/ABKCO Music, Inc., BMI 
Recorded at IBC Studios, London Apr. 13, 1970. First broadcast on The Dave Lee Travis Show Apr. 19, 1970. 
Produced by Paul Williams.


"Pinball Wizard" was thirteen months old when this version was recorded but it was the last single The Who had released in the U.K. prior to "The Seeker" a month before this. This is a different studio take from the official release.


 

SEE ME FEEL ME (2'49) 
(Pete Townshend) Towser Tunes, Inc./Suolubaf Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific/ABKCO Music, Inc., BMI 
Recorded Early 1969.


This "live" version of "See Me Feel Me" is, of course the familiar studio version from the Tommy album. Was anyone fooled? Probably included for Dave Lee Travis' hilariously inappropriate closing remark.


 

I DON'T EVEN KNOW MYSELF (4'53) 
(Pete Townshend) Towser Tunes, Inc./Suolubaf Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific/ABKCO Music, Inc., BMI 
Recorded at Olympic Studios, London May-June 1971.
Produced by Glyn Johns


A new track that The Who hadn't yet gotten around to performing live. It would be featured during their 1970 summer concerts and a studio version partially re-recorded in 1971 would be released as the B-side of "Won't Get Fooled Again". [It was in fact, completely re-recorded in 1971. This version features different guitar and keyboards from the version first released on the b-side of "Won't Get Fooled Again."]


 

I CAN SEE FOR MILES (3'49) 
(Pete Townshend) Essex Music, Inc., ASCAP 
Recorded at De Lane Lea Studio, London Oct. 10, 1967. First broadcast on Top Gear Oct. 15, 1967. 
Produced by Kit Lambert.


A mono version of the studio single track smothered in a new bass line by Entwistle. The album from which this song comes, The Who Sell Out, has John's bass mixed very low. He makes up for it here. This version was previously available on the European LP The Who: The Singles. Very telescopic?


 

HEAVEN AND HELL (3'27) 
(John Entwistle) Winnokie Music, BMI 
Recorded at IBC Studios, London Apr. 13, 1970. First broadcast on The Dave Lee Travis Show Apr. 19, 1970. 
Produced by Paul Williams.


The studio version of "Heaven and Hell" was recorded first during this quick session for the BBC. A slightly different mix was used for the official release on the flip side of "Summertime Blues". It was apparently the only attempt The Who made to record a studio version of this magnificent Entwistle composition. No wonder John was always disappointed by it.

 

 

THE SEEKER (2) (3'11) 
(Pete Townshend) Suolubaf Music/Songs of Windswept Pacific/ABKCO Music, Inc., BMI 
Recorded at Television Centre, Shepherd's Bush, London Mar. 19, 1970. First broadcast on Top of the Pops Mar. 26, 1970.


This is the audio from The Who's television appearance on Top of the Pops promoting the single. Roger sings live over the studio recording.

 

 

SUMMERTIME BLUES (3'07) 
(Eddie Cochran/Jerry Capehart) Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Co., BMI 
Recorded at De Lane Lea Studio, London Oct. 10, 1967. First broadcast on Top Gear Oct. 15, 1967. 
Produced by Kit Lambert.


"Summertime Blues" had been in The Who's set for a few months by the time they recorded this, their one studio version of the song. This same recording, minus the announcer, appears on the 1997 version of Odds and Sods.



If you want to contact me about something on this page, click on my name. I want corrections! 
Brian Cady

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