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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will you miss The Mission?
These are odd days for a Mission fan. The band, having split in March with a series of career-spanning epic shows, have disappeared in a flurry of activity, that have seen eight Mission live shows released on CD, a solo album, five reissued albums, and an imminent solo tour and live DVD.

"Live at The BBC" covers just four short years over 46 songs and four...
Published on 5 Aug 2008 by Mr. M. A. Reed

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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Left me a bit cold
Well, as a big Mission fan of old I was excited to see this release and promptly coughed-up the hard earned. I'm distinctly underwhelmed though. Nothing wrong with the songs, high quality material was The Mission's trademark but this collection seems to have no soul for me - I get much more oomph from the studio albums. The sound quality is poor, all bass and treble with...
Published on 9 Sep 2008 by Adamski


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will you miss The Mission?, 5 Aug 2008
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Live At The BBC (Audio CD)
These are odd days for a Mission fan. The band, having split in March with a series of career-spanning epic shows, have disappeared in a flurry of activity, that have seen eight Mission live shows released on CD, a solo album, five reissued albums, and an imminent solo tour and live DVD.

"Live at The BBC" covers just four short years over 46 songs and four hours , and sees The Mission turn from eager upstarts to arena rock gods. The first CD is a sequel/replacement for the long deleted and much sought after "Salad Daze" compilation : containing every radio session recorded by the band for BBC, it sees an embryonic band's first ever studio recordings in a blaze of bravado, of a wilful determination over-riding a bands cautious first steps.

The Mission came out guns blazing with the type of naked ambition that was fuelled by an overconfidence bordering on arrogance, but thankfully was neither unwarranted or ugly. This band, an unlikely combination of former members of The Sisters Of Mercy, an early and unknown Pulp, and Goff alumni Red Lorry/Yellow Lorry had within them a unique chemistry, a seemingly endless pool of material that raced unstoppably for their first five years with an album every year until Nirvana came and destroyed everything. These recordings are raw, enthusiastic, fuelled with no shortage of ego - but importantly - backed up with a talent that justified it. Within 18 months they were headlining the Reading Festival, and that headline show is also here.

The radio sessions see a band growing into themselves, moving from competently padding out their sets with cover versions of ancient rock classics to creating their own mythology (covers across the 3 CD's include The Beatles, Free, The Stooges, Patti Smith, Neil Young, and Aerosmith). The sessions also include two abandoned and unbroadcast recordings never previously heard by anyone outside of the BBC. The band were also unafraid to constantly move forward, constantly creating something new and unique. The 1988 session sees embryonic and incomplete versions of material that would surface two years later as their beautiful, brilliant, defining work that was "Carved In Sand". Even now, the "Sand" album divides fans as, faced with an embarrassment of riches in their recordings, The Mission made their first mis-step and tried to craft a record as big as `Four Symbols' and ended up ... choosing some of the wrong songs. (Eight months later, they released "Grains of Sand", a separate companion piece to "Carved" that proved that the album probably should've been an old-fashioned double that could've conquered the world).

The live portion of CD`s 2 and 3 cover three near-complete live shows : 9 songs headlining Reading fuelled by adrenalin, thundering and relentless drumming, and breakneck renditions for their first album. The set is short and hungry, over in the blink of an eye and the sound of a eager band feasting on their ambitions made flesh. By this stage the band had reached a near telepathy in their work and thus, were an efficient and ruthless hard rock band of the type that thankfully managed to curb and avoid the stupid and degrading misogyny and excess of many parts of the genre. The second show is a 13 song set recorded on their first arena headlining tour at Wembley Arena : it contains almost an entire set of the band at the peak of their power - casually throwing away masterwork "Tower Of Strength" a third way into the set, for example - it also features a multitude of songs not heard or broadcast since 1988.

Third concert is probably the definitive live document of the group - a set at Manchester Apollo in 1990 just weeks before guitarist Simon Hinkler abandoned ship - recorded during the "Carved In Sand" tour. The band are on rare form, and no live recording of theirs before or since ever quite captured the groups essence quite so accurately. Sadly, the original hour long broadcast is curtailed to a mere forty minutes (removing an element of duplication between this and the Wembley show), and when there is 20 minutes of spare space across the three discs, it is a little baffling. Also confusing is the track listing : whilst chronological, the three concerts come on two discs, and the Wembley show is divided in the middle. Personally, I'd've preferred each show on a separate CD, book ended with the studio sessions. In addition, there are three versions of the less than brilliant "And The Dance Goes On", which does nobody any favours as its not a very good song.

However, "Live At The BBC" does not completely replaced the ancient "No Snow, No Show" live record. Though drawn from the same shows, the song selection means that there are still some songs you can only find on that long-deleted and expensive rarity.

The world of The Mission was unique, an assortment of semi-Eastern guitar arpeggios and sleek effects pedals that set them free as much as entrapped them within one set `sound', coupled with Hussey's nakedly amateurish lyrics that could also be seen as the naïve language of mystical Zeppelin-esqe rock and enormous, fist punching anthems : sadly, some of the most awful lyrics of all time are here ("hocus-pocus, mumbo jumbo" and the nonsensical "there's a ten inch wall running through the streets of New York" both appear in just one song, and there's equal howlers elsewhere), as well as some of the best. Hussey was a lyric writer who fundamentally didn't quite know exactly what he was doing sometimes, and sometimes scored with a genius idea, and often didn't - and couldn't tell the difference.

The comparisons to Zeppelin are deliberate. The Mish had it within their grasp to become as big and as important as The Zep, and, through no fault of their own, didn't quite achieve it. When The Sisters Of Mercy returned in late 1990 to touring after a five year hiatus, the void previously filled by The Mission didn't seem quite so small, and The Mission slowly fell into a descendent. By 1992, when Nirvana and the fickle press rendered every musician who wasn't a scruffy American junkie redundant, The Mission, who by this point were unable to tour, slowly retreated from the cusp of international mega stardom to becoming an effective cottage industry. Radio support dried up, and nowhere is this more evident that, after five years of column inches and radio play, the material on this record ceases abruptly in early 1990.

Overall, "Live At The BBC" is an excellently assembled value-for-money exhaustive package that finally sees the bands fearsome live reputation captured for posterity. It is imperfect, and fails to comprehensively cover the entire broadcasts of the time with some questionable omissions and slightly odd sequencing, but is a worthy companion piece to the bands studio records of the time. If you had any interest in them then or now, you should purchase this and see it as a fitting memorial, a time capsule, to an age no longer remembered fondly and undeserved forgotten. We'll miss The Mission, and this proves why.
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5.0 out of 5 stars About Time, 24 Aug 2008
By 
Mr. J. R. Messham (Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Live At The BBC (Audio CD)
Well this exellent collection is well over due and about time it was released.
This album really does catch this band at their very best.
This really was The Mission doing what they do best and thats play Live.
The band that was probably the most unsung band of the late eighties are wonderfully captured here playing their hearts out to their mad crazyed eskimo fans with a few radio one Live sessions thrown inbetween.Its a great introduction to a very fine band indeed.
These guys kept it real and what nice pleasant gents they were too always wanting to give something back to their fans as Mr Simon Hinkler once said "Were just Four Yorkshire lads"
Its filled with many great gems from all the Hits to the slightly less known songs....but they are all great....With Mick browns drums Craig Adams thundering bass, Mr Husseys vocals and who could forget Simon Hinklers Roaring Zematis cranking through the Pa system...its a great bit of history..the reading rock show is explosive..maybe the bbc will realease the video of it next .Hint Hint
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Left me a bit cold, 9 Sep 2008
By 
Adamski (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Live At The BBC (Audio CD)
Well, as a big Mission fan of old I was excited to see this release and promptly coughed-up the hard earned. I'm distinctly underwhelmed though. Nothing wrong with the songs, high quality material was The Mission's trademark but this collection seems to have no soul for me - I get much more oomph from the studio albums. The sound quality is poor, all bass and treble with a sucked-out and compressed midrange. Live I don't think the Miss were *that* amazing either, truth be told. The songs are just slightly ragged versions of what's on the albums. That to me isn't the definition of a great live band. The packaging is superb, the artwork lovely and as I said before, there's no doubting the material...it's all just a bit cold to these ears and I doubt I'll play this much at all.
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