Live At The BBC is a live album of the Jess Roden Band live in concert in December 1976 from The Hippodrome, London with four extra live in the studio recordings from 1975. These were broadcast on the John Peel show and that’s where I first heard Jess Roden.
In fact it might be the only place I’ve heard this great singer on the radio.
I was thrilled when I found this album was released on CD in 1996 and I think it could be the best live album ever.
A bold statement but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played this CD. It’s a perfect mix of rock, soul, blues and funk. I adore it.
I used to have a previous live album by Jess Roden called Blowin’ which I loved as an LP.
Jess Roden Live At The BBC
My Rating – 29/30
Jess Roden Live At The BBC Set List – Rating 10/10
- Ballad Of Big Sally (Play It Dirty, Play It Cheap)
- On A Winner With You (Keep Your Hat On)
- In A Circle (Keep Your Hat On)
- Desperado (Keep Your Hat On)
- Stay In Bed (Play It Dirty, Play It Cheap)
- Crystal Eye (Play It Dirty, Play It Cheap)
- You Can Leave Your Hat On (Keep Your Hat On)
- Blowin’ (Keep Your Hat On)
- Can’t Get Next To You (Play It Dirty, Play It Cheap)
- Jump Mama (Keep Your Hat On)
- All Night Long (Play It Dirty, Play It Cheap)
- Lies (John Peel session)
- Honey Don’t Worry (John Peel session)
- Under Suspicion (John Peel session)
- What Took Me So Long (John Peel session)
Tracks 1-11 were recorded in December 1976 for the Radio 1 In Concert programme broadcast on 15.1.77.
Tracks 12-15 were recorded for the John Peel Show in April 1975 and are live in the studio rather than in front of an audience.
At this stage, the Jess Roden Band had only recorded these two albums so that inevitably means that the album is shorter than I’d want.
This is one if those situations where this part of my review rating improves with the addition of the in session studio recordings but the album is then penalised in the third category, atmosphere and authenticity because it’s not all recorded live in concert.
I love this album and I give it 10/10 for the songs on it. I don’t understand why the band didn’t get the success they deserved except that, by this stage, punk and new wave was dominating the music press.
Performance Rating 10/10
The Jess Roden Band on this tour consisted of:
Jess Roden – Vocals, Guitar
Bruce Roberts – Guitar, Vocals
Steve Webb – Guitar, Vocals
John Cartwright – Bass
Pete Hunt – Drums
Ronnie Taylor – Saxophone
Chris Gower – Trombone
Billy Livsey – Keyboards
This is a full sound from such a large group but it’s always beautifully balanced as the group drift from blues to soul to funk. Jess Roden is one of my favourite male singers and he may even take the top spot. His material isn’t always as consistently good as it was with the Jess Roden Band so this is very much the high water mark.
His studio albums around this time are very good but I don’t think they can stand comparison with his live recordings.
Atmosphere & Authenticity 9/10
The point the album gained from the inclusion of the in session songs is deducted here because we lose the live atmosphere in the final four songs although there is still an intensity of the recording.
Overall Rating – 29/30
This is possibly my favourite live album although I love the live disk included in the Jess Roden box set Hidden Masters as well along with Blowin’ the first JRB album that I bought on vinyl back in 1977.
It’s not perfect but I can’t imagine being without it.
What Do You Think About Jess Roden Live At The BBC?
If you’re lucky enough to have this album, what do you think about it?
Buying Jess Roden Live At The BBC
Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be generally available at the moment but is a terrible shame. Second hand copies are very expensive.
These links will help you get to the albums quickly and easily but I recommend that you still search for the best deal.
More Information About Jess Roden
Jess Roden should have been a huge star.
It’s difficult to find out much information about him but there is a website.
What Are The Best Live Albums Of All Time?
Please help me to find the best live albums by voting in the readers polls. This album is included in two polls and I really believe it would be much higher rated if it was better known.