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Live At The BBC [2 CD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 235 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In 1994, The Beatles' Live at the BBC was released to worldwide acclaim - hitting number one in the U.K. and number three in the U.S. and selling more than five million copies within six weeks.

In the studios of the British Broadcasting Corporation, The Beatles performed music for a variety of radio shows. Live at the BBC 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.'

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!'

Newly remastered for reissue, The Beatles' first Live at the BBC album sounds and looks better than ever. This collection of the group's BBC sessions mixed versions of their hits with a treasure trove of 30 songs The Beatles performed on air but never released on record in the 1960s. The compelling track list ranged from a rare performance of the little known Lennon-McCartney original 'I'll Be On My Way' to covers of classic rock 'n' roll and contemporary rhythm and blues songs. At the time of its release, Live at the BBC was hailed by Rolling Stone as 'an exhilarating portrait of a band in the process of shaping its own voice and vision.'. It earned a GRAMMY Award nomination for Best Historical Album.

Live at the BBC was assembled by George Martin in 1994.

Package Description:
- 2 CDs packaged in soft pack
- 58 songs (plus 13 intros) recorded live by the Beatles in the BBC studios between 1962 and 1965
- 48 page booklet

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Beatle Greetings (Speech)
  2. From Us To You (Opening)
  3. Riding On A Bus (Speech)
  4. I Got A Woman
  5. Too Much Monkey Business
  6. Keep Your Hands Off My Baby
  7. I'll Be On My Way
  8. Young Blood
  9. A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues
  10. Sure To Fall (In Love With You)
  11. Some Other Guy
  12. Thank You Girl
  13. Sha La La La La! (Speech)
  14. Baby It's You
  15. That's All Right (Mama)
  16. Carol
  17. What Is It, George? (Speech)
  18. Soldier Of Love
  19. A Little Rhyme (Speech)
  20. Clarabella
  21. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You)
  22. Crying, Waiting, Hoping
  23. Dear Wack! (Speech)
  24. You Really Got A Hold On Me
  25. To Know Her Is To Love Her
  26. A Taste Of Honey
  27. Long Tall Sally
  28. I Saw Her Standing There
  29. The Honeymoon Song
  30. Johnny B. Goode
  31. Memphis, Tennessee
  32. Lucille
  33. Can't Buy Me Love
  34. From Fluff To You (Speech)
  35. Till There Was You

Disc: 2

  1. Crinsk Dee Night (Speech)
  2. A Hard Day's Night
  3. Ringo? Yep! (Speech)
  4. I Wanna Be Your Man
  5. Just A Rumor (Speech)
  6. Roll Over Beethoven
  7. All My Loving
  8. Things We Said Today
  9. She's A Woman
  10. Sweet Little Sixteen
  11. 1822! (Speech)
  12. Lonesome Tears In My Eyes
  13. Nothin' Shakin'
  14. The Hippy Hippy Shake
  15. Glad All Over
  16. I Just Don't Understand
  17. So How Come (No One Loves Me)
  18. I Feel Fine
  19. I'm A Loser
  20. Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby
  21. Rock And Roll Music
  22. Ticket To Ride
  23. Dizzy Miss Lizzy
  24. Medley: Kansas City/Hey!-Hey!--Hey!-Hey!
  25. Set Fire To That Lot! (Speech)
  26. Matchbox
  27. I Forgot To Remember To Forget
  28. Love These Goon Shows! (Speech)
  29. I Got To Find My Baby
  30. Ooh! My Soul
  31. Ooh! My Arms
  32. Don't Ever Change
  33. Slow Down
  34. Honey Don't
  35. Love Me Do
  36. From Us To You (Closing)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 11, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00F4BJ4M0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (235 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,181 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Bradley on June 6, 2001
Format: Audio CD
As much as the Beatles were loved in the USA, we were short-changed. We thought we were getting a lot with an album every ten months, a handful of singles each year, a movie every two years, an occasional tour, and a sloppy Saturday morning cartoon.
But, in the UK, the Beatles were doing stage shows--not just their own act, but pantomime and vaudeville-type things--and tons of live radio, where "From Me To You" was converted to "From Us To You" and made their signature tune. LIVE AT THE BBC collects more than 60 of the best moments from their radio appearances in one fabulous package.
There are a couple odd glitches--the solo on "A Hard Day's Night" is an obvious edit of the studio solo patched over a live performance, for instance--but the vast majority of the music here is superb.
The cover of "Sweet Little Sixteen" is fantastic, really hard stuff the way Lennon always said he preferred the Beatles to sound. Harrison shines on "Nothin' Shakin'" and "Everybody's Tryin' To Be My Baby." McCartney wails on "Long Tall Sally," "Lucille," and "The Hippy Hippy Shake." The whole band delivers a jolt with my very favorite early Beatles rocker, "Some Other Guy."
Ringo, as always, is the heart of the Beatles sound. On "Thank You Girl" he sounds like he's going to knock the bandstand to pieces. Why he isn't universally acclaimed as one of the 2 or 3 greatest Rock drummers of all time is beyond me.
This is a great record of the Beatles early days, when they were just beginning to step away from a very 1950s sound. Who could have guessed how far they'd go in less than a decade?
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Format: Audio CD
When "Live at The BBC" was released back in 1994, it was the first time that the BBC archive had been tapped for these unique releases aside from the various bootleg releases (going back as early as the mid-1970's as John Lennon bought one and gave it to Paul thinking it was their Decca auditions). What's fun and fascinating to hear on "Live at the BBC" are the various covers the band did of favorites from their record collection that they never performed anywhere else. It's also fun to hear the band in its early stages bristling with energy and with decent (mono) sound quality.

This remaster is different from the 1994 original release in a number of ways. These recordings have been remastered from scratch without the overuse of noise reduction, various pops and clicks removed (since many of these are drawn from a variety of sources including acetates pressed for overseas broadcast, the few original tapes that exist and, in a few cases, from amateur recordings made off of the radio back in the day when other sources didn't exist) and, in a handful of cases, improved source tapes/acetates that improve the sound. Having said all of that, these releases don't show a huge improvement in sound quality--there is only so much you can do with 50 year old mono tapes and vinyl pressings--but the sound quality improvement will be important to hardcore Beatles fans.

A couple of tracks ("Soldier of Love" and "I Forgot to Remember" are the only two I could identify but there may be some others with minor tweaking) are speed corrected as well as they were running slightly too fast.

The packaging is different for this reissue compared to the original 1994 CD release. These are presesnted in a mini cardboard sleeve with each disc tucked into one portion of the packaging.
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Format: Audio CD
This CD should settle once and for all that the Beatles were fine performers live. It would be hard to prove that on copies of broadcasts from Shea Stadium and the Hollywood Bowl. With the exception of one obvious edit on "Hard Day's Night" (though to rectify it, they play the ending fadeout riff ad nauseum at the end of the song "Here's proving that they're playing live!" says the BBC emcee), this is the Beatles live (and usually without the fanfare of screaming teenage fans).

From 1962 to 1965, the Beatles performed live on the BBC featuring not only their own songs but other popular songs from other artists (Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Ray Charles and Buddy Holly, to name a few). There's even a few out of the ordinary songs included, like Ann Margaret's "I Just Don't Understand" (sung by John) and "The Honeymoon Song" (sung by Paul).

This is the Beatles at their most fun (and it sounds like they're indeed having fun!). Featured on this CD are are many songs never before released on LP or CD, like "Please Don't Change a Thing" and "Nothin' Shakin' (But the Leaves on the Trees" (both sung by George), "Double Shot of Rhythm and Blues," "I Got a Woman" (sung by John), "Lucille" (sung by Paul, why did that DJ have to pipe in on the instrumental introduction?
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