Fam­ily At The BBC MadFISh

Classic Rock - - Reviews - Paul hen­der­son

Patchy, not-so-live ‘live’ tracks.

The 96 tracks on this seven-CD box set were recorded for/by the BBC be­tween ‘67 and ‘73 for var­i­ous pro­grams in­clud­ing Colour Me Pop and John Peel’s Top Gear. Among them are 20 pre­vi­ously un­re­leased, some real gems, lots of work­man­like and the odd real stinker. Ar­ranged chrono­log­i­cally, with sev­eral ver­sions of some songs, they tell the story of a great, trail­blaz­ing Bri­tish pro­gres­sive band of the late 60s mor­ph­ing into OK rock also-rans.

For many fans much of the gold here will be the ear­lier record­ings, of songs (See Through Win­dows, Peace Of Mind, Drowned In Wine) from their stand-out first three al­bums, and a cou­ple (Be­tween Blue And Me, Span­ish Tide) from the re­turn-to-form Fear­less. Mind you, many of the tracks are far from live, with swathes of track­ing from the al­bum ver­sions – some are the al­bum ver­sion.

But then that kind of shenani­gans was the norm for Beeb ses­sions. Other tracks clearly don’t em­ploy that ap­proach, such as the May ‘69 ver­sion of The Weaver’s An­swer, in which Char­lie Whit­ney’s gui­tar solo sounds like he’s play­ing a dif­fer­ent song.

Also in­cluded is a nine-track DVD of Whis­tle Test, Top Of The Pops and other TV ap­pear­ances, a hard­back book with an es­say, rare pho­tos, poster, record­ing and broad­cast dates and per­son­nel (Roger Chap­man on sax through­out? I don’t think so).

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