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The La's - BBC In Session

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Album Review

It's quite possible that the La's showcased on BBC in Session is the closest to the ideal sound Lee Mavers had in mind when he sweated over the group's debut. The group is so lean and clean in these 17 radio sessions that their pop sparkles. It sounds genuinely out of time, hearkening back to the golden age of British pop and pointing toward the golden age of Brit-pop, especially when stripped of the lightest production flair Steve Lillywhite imposed on the band's debut. This doesn't necessarily make for a revelation — there's no change on the arrangement, not even on the funky outtake "Come In Come Out," the tunes are just brought down to the bone — but that doesn't make BBC Sessions any less valuable for die-hard La's fans: this is the group at their purest, arguably at their best, and it's as addictive as the classic studio LP.

Customer Reviews

Songwriting Genius

This album is a wonderful document capturing the energy that was lost on their lone studio LP. Mavers is unstoppable as the various line-ups add different twists to his AMAZING songs. Absolutley essential.

One of the most UNDERATED Bands of all time

The La's are a great band that had the songwriting talents of the Stone Roses and the energy of the early WHO. LA Mavers is quite a good songwriter.

As good as it gets

The La's one and only studio album has been a staple in my music library since its release in 1990 - infectious, poppy songs filled with a joie de vivre rarely seen before or since ("Faded Seaside Glamour" by The Delays comes the closest, in my mind). The only complaints I've ever had is that a) there were no more albums and b) the production quality of the album was fairly poor, with muddy sound quality threatening to derail things at times. Both of these complaints are answered with this collection... crisp production from the Beeb allows the sheer quality of the songs to shine through. Great versions of "Son Of A Gun" and "I Can't Sleep" especially.


Formed: 1986 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

When the La's released their debut album in 1990, it made immediate waves in the British pop scene, as well as American college radio. Drawing from the hook-laden, ringing guitars of mid-'60s British pop as well as the post-punk pop of the Smiths, the La's' self-titled first album had a timeless, classic feel. It seemed like effortless music, yet that was not the case. From their inception in 1986, lead singer/guitarist/songwriter Lee Mavers was a perfectionist with a nearly obsessive eye for detail....
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