On Air - Live At The BBC Volume 2 [2 CD]
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In the studios of the British Broadcasting Corporation, The Beatles performed music for a variety of radio shows. On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2 presents the sound of The Beatles seizing their moment to play for the nation. Thrilled to hear these exciting recordings again, Paul McCartney said, 'There's a lot of energy and spirit. We are going for it, not holding back at all, trying to put in the best performance of our lifetimes.'
Ten of On Air's songs were never recorded by the group for EMI in the 1960s, including two making their debuts with the new release: The Beatles' direct-to-air performance of Chuck Berry's 'I'm Talking About You' and a rocking cover of the standard 'Beautiful Dreamer.' On Air also includes different versions of six rarities heard on the 1994 BBC collection: Little Richard's 'Lucille,' Chuck Berry's 'Memphis, Tennessee,' Chan Romero's 'The Hippy Hippy Shake,' Ray Charles' 'I Got A Woman,' and two songs they learned from records by Carl Perkins, 'Glad All Over' and 'Sure To Fall.'
The Beatles' tribute to the BBC's most important pop show of the early '60s - 'Happy Birthday, Dear Saturday Club' - is another surprise. As John Lennon recalled in 1980, 'We did a lot of tracks that were never on record for Saturday Club - they were well recorded, too.' Paul remembers, 'We'd been raised on the BBC radio programs. One of the big things in our week was Saturday Club - this great show was playing the kind of music we loved, so that was something we really aspired to.'
Between March 1962 and June 1965, no fewer than 275 unique musical performances by The Beatles were broadcast by the BBC in the U.K. The group played songs on 39 radio shows in 1963 alone. Ringo Starr said in 1994, 'You tend to forget that we were a working band. It's that mono sound. There were usually no overdubs. We were in at the count-in and that was it. I get excited listening to them.' On their busiest BBC day, 16 July 1963, The Beatles recorded 18 songs for three editions of their Pop Go The Beatles series in fewer than seven hours.
The group played 88 distinct songs in their BBC sessions - some were recorded many times; others performed just once. At the time, three national BBC stations provided all daytime radio broadcasting in the U.K. Only the Light Programme network might occasionally play a record. Most broadcast music was live music. Consequently, to promote their releases, The Beatles had to play live at the BBC. 'Everything was done instantly,' remembered George Harrison, 'But before that, we used to drive 200 miles in an old van down the M1, come into London, try and find the BBC and then set up and do the program. Then we'd probably drive back to Newcastle for a gig in the evening!'
On Air also features BBC recordings of 30 well-loved songs from The Beatles' catalogue, including five number ones and other favorites such as: 'I Saw Her Standing There,' 'Twist And Shout,' 'Do You Want To Know A Secret,' 'Boys,' 'Please Mister Postman,' 'Money,' 'And I Love Her,' and 'If I Fell.'
Top Customer Reviews
John, Paul, George, and Ringo appeared no less than 52 times at the Beeb between 1962 and 1966, performing for "The Light Programme" at the beginning of their careers both in studio and before audiences on a variety of live shows. However, it's been nearly 20 years since the first volume of selected recordings from that era was officially released in 1994. "On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2" at last brings us more of these broadcasts, two CDs full of great music, youthful exuberance, wit and humor. As on the first set, a 48-page booklet is enclosed, this one with an introduction by Paul McCartney. There's also a long essay, numerous photos, session details, and track-by-track commentary.
This package contains 40 musical performances, 37 of them never before issued by the BBC, EMI, Apple or Capitol (the first volume had 56 songs, 30 of them previously unreleased).Read more ›
Rock and Roll can be seen as a modern day smoke signal. At their best, the Beatles embody that signal and a lot of the music herein is not just for crazed collectors. In sticking more closely to the Buddy Holly original, their glad spirits are infectious on "Words of Love", with those delectable two-part harmonies and George's gift of absorbing rockabilly. On a longer version of "Lucille" (this time without the host speaking over the intro), Paul continues to get thrilled at singing those high notes. And it's a thrill in hearing him. Heading their covers repertoire are the peppiness of Chuck Berry's "I'm Talking About You" and a blistering and punked-up version of "Money (That's What I Want)", in which John utilizes his greatest expressive tool to its fullest. It's the Cavern Club and Hamburg all over again.
A few of the originals benefit too. "Misery", with the din of a young audience, rocks more than the studio cut. George's guitar runs supplant the piano runs. "And I Love Her" is even more striking with strength-over-beauty in its electric arrangement. The dual guitars and harmonies on "If I Fell" are wondrous as it's done at a slightly faster tempo. "I'll Follow the Sun" is given a fresh treatment with its alternate bass pattern.Read more ›
It is a slight shame that we don't get to hear the fun openings for shows, such as 'Pop Go the Beatles', which the band recorded specially. However, these CD's are packed with really good quality tracks and interview snippets as the Beatles read out cards and generally cause mayhem in the studio. George reads out a very strange card about the Flowerpot Men (Bill and Ben, not flower power just yet), Paul is asked about his 21st birthday party (not quite the success he suggests, as all fans know!), Ringo calls John a "College Puddin'" and both John and Paul are heard laughing at George when they are asked about writing the songs for "A Hard Days Night," among lots of other interview clips. Most of the songs are excellent quality and they include lots of early hits as well as great cover versions, showing how versatile the Beatles were and giving you an idea of the set list they would have played live in Liverpool and Hamburg. The poorest audio is heard on John singing Chuck Berry's, "I'm talking about you," which was presumably worth including because of its rarity. There are lots of early tracks on here which the Beatles never recorded and they give you an excellent flavour of the band in those early days. Lastly, there are four bonus interviews, approx 8 minutes, for each member of the group.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
GREAT REPRODUCTION OF WONDERFUL MUSIC AND AN INSIDE LOOK AT STUDIO SESSIONS.Published 19 days ago by Michael Gerhards
Review no. 330. Almost as much as a vital release as their 'Live At The BBC' 2-CD (see my review). Tunes here I found on this Beatles 'BBC 2' follow-up to be the most inspiring... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mike Reed
I didn't know there were recordings of the Beatles live, so I bought this to find out. They sound just like on their albums. A very talented working band in other words.Published 1 month ago by Captain
I like this CD. It's has some decent live versions of their top hits along with covers of various artists such as Elvis, Little Richard, etc. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Stephen J. Doersom