On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2

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On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2
Live album / compilation album by The Beatles
Released 11 November 2013
Recorded 1963 – 1966, London
Genre Merseybeat, rock and roll
Length 130:34
Label Apple, Capitol, UMe
Producer Jeff Jones, Mike Heatley, Kevin Howlett
The Beatles chronology
Tomorrow Never Knows
(2012)
On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2
(2013)
The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963
(2013)

On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2 is a 2013 live/compilation album featuring 40 previously unreleased tracks from the Beatles' 1963–1964 BBC Radio broadcasts (accompanied by 23 interview tracks from the associated broadcasts). It was released on 11 November 2013, along with a remastered and repackaged Live at the BBC Volume 1, which was originally released in 1994. The album is available as a two-CD set and a three-LP set. An exclusive limited edition lithographic print is also available from the Beatles online store.[1]

The release was timed to extend their copyright of the recordings under E.U. law by 20 years; the E.U. protects recordings for 70 years only if they are formally released.[2]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 82/100[3]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[4]
The Daily Mail 5/5 stars[5]
MOJO 4/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[7]

The album received very positive reviews upon release. The Daily Mail reviewer Adrian Thrills gave this compilation a rating of 5 stars. He points to the version of Chuck Berry’s "I’m Talking About You" as being a highlight as it "reiterates John Lennon’s credentials as a rock ’n’ roller". Thrills also stated, "Other highlights include a fresh take on Arthur Alexander’s 'Anna', a heartfelt 'Please Mr Postman' and a countrified stroll through the Carl Perkins hit 'Lend Me Your Comb'."[5]

Another reviewer, Damian Fanelli from Guitar World, stated the album is "an exceedingly satisfying release, yet another example of how talented, charming and generally 'different' the Beatles were. In terms of George Harrison's guitar playing, we get to hear the good (his whammy-bar-laced guitar solo on 'Till There Was You'), the not so good (his solo on 'Lucille') and the intriguing (His better-than-the-EMI-version solo on 'I Saw Her Standing There' inspires a few 'What ifs?')."[8]

Mojo music writer Jon Savage reviewed the album, giving it four stars, and stated, "There are several surprises: a tough version of Chuck Berry’s 'I’m Talking About You', an early 'Words of Love', covers of 'Lend Me Your Comb' and 'Beautiful Dreamer'."[6]

Content[edit]

Most of the songs performed on the album are taken from the Beatles' first four LPs Please Please Me, With the Beatles, A Hard Day's Night, and Beatles for Sale. Many of the other songs performed are the band's covers of early rock and roll classics by American artists such as Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Buddy Holly, many of which were never recorded in a studio or released on a Beatles album.

There are several witty and irreverent moments among the 23 speech tracks of in-studio conversation and banter. "A Hard Job Writing Them", for example, includes the moment where Ringo describes the trouble he had writing songs for A Hard Day's Night and Paul launches the ship "Top Gear" in an unusual voice.

Track listing[edit]

Speech tracks are in italics.

Disc one
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "And Here We Are Again"   0:15
2. "Words of Love"   Buddy Holly John Lennon, Paul McCartney 1:56
3. "How About It, Gorgeous?"   0:27
4. "Do You Want to Know a Secret"   Lennon–McCartney George Harrison 1:48
5. "Lucille"   Little Richard, Albert Collins McCartney 2:29
6. "Hey, Paul..."   0:21
7. "Anna (Go to Him)"   Arthur Alexander Lennon 2:50
8. "Hello!"   0:19
9. "Please Please Me"   Lennon–McCartney Lennon 1:56
10. "Misery"   Lennon–McCartney Lennon, McCartney 1:50
11. "I'm Talking About You"   Berry Lennon 1:52
12. "A Real Treat"   0:37
13. "Boys"   Luther Dixon, Wes Farrell Ringo Starr 2:29
14. "Absolutely Fab"   0:27
15. "Chains"   Gerry Goffin, Carole King Harrison 2:15
16. "Ask Me Why"   Lennon–McCartney Lennon 1:54
17. "Till There Was You"   Meredith Willson McCartney 2:16
18. "Lend Me Your Comb"   Kay Twomey, Fred Wise, Ben Weisman Lennon, McCartney 1:46
19. "Lower 5E"   0:23
20. "Hippy Hippy Shake"   Chan Romero McCartney 1:46
21. "Roll Over Beethoven"   Berry Harrison 2:22
22. "There's a Place"   Lennon–McCartney Lennon 1:49
23. "Bumper Bundle"   0:49
24. "P.S. I Love You"   Lennon–McCartney McCartney 1:59
25. "Please Mister Postman"   Georgia Dobbins, William Garrett, Freddie Gorman, Brian Holland, Robert Bateman Lennon 2:17
26. "Beautiful Dreamer"   Stephen Foster, Gerry Goffin, Jack Keller McCartney 1:46
27. "Devil in Her Heart"   Richard Drapkin Harrison 2:22
28. "The 49 Weeks"   0:17
29. "Sure to Fall (in Love with You)"   Carl Perkins, Bill Cantrell, Quinton Claunch McCartney 2:21
30. "Never Mind, Eh?"   0:34
31. "Twist and Shout"   Phil Medley, Bert Berns Lennon 2:25
32. "Bye, Bye"   0:24
33. "John – Pop Profile (Bonus interview track)"   8:22
34. "George – Pop Profile (Bonus interview track)"   8:06
Disc two
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "I Saw Her Standing There"   Lennon–McCartney McCartney 2:36
2. "Glad All Over"   Aaron Schroeder, Sid Tepper, Roy Bennett Harrison 1:53
3. "Lift Lid Again"   0:37
4. "I'll Get You"   Lennon–McCartney Lennon, McCartney 2:02
5. "She Loves You"   Lennon–McCartney Lennon, McCartney 2:15
6. "Memphis, Tennessee"   Berry Lennon 2:15
7. "Happy Birthday Dear Saturday Club"   Mildred J. Hill, Patty Hill, arr. Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Starr Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Starr 0:33
8. "Now Hush, Hush"   0:25
9. "From Me to You"   Lennon–McCartney Lennon, McCartney 1:51
10. "Money (That's What I Want)"   Janie Bradford, Berry Gordy Lennon 2:43
11. "I Want to Hold Your Hand"   Lennon–McCartney Lennon, McCartney 2:23
12. "Brian Bathtubes"   0:59
13. "This Boy"   Lennon–McCartney Lennon, McCartney, Harrison 2:16
14. "If I Wasn't in America"   0:45
15. "I Got a Woman"   Ray Charles, Renald Richard Lennon 2:36
16. "Long Tall Sally"   Enotris Johnson, Robert Blackwell, Little Richard McCartney 1:58
17. "If I Fell"   Lennon–McCartney Lennon, McCartney 2:09
18. "A Hard Job Writing Them"   1:20
19. "And I Love Her"   Lennon–McCartney McCartney 2:20
20. "Oh, Can't We? Yes We Can"   0:20
21. "You Can't Do That"   Lennon–McCartney Lennon 2:32
22. "Honey Don't"   Perkins Starr 2:24
23. "I'll Follow the Sun"   Lennon–McCartney Lennon, McCartney 1:51
24. "Green with Black Shutters"   0:59
25. "Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!"   Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Little Richard McCartney 2:43
26. "That's What We're Here For"   0:24
27. "I Feel Fine (Studio outtake sequence)"   Lennon–McCartney Lennon 3:29
28. "Paul – Pop Profile (Bonus interview track)"   7:50
29. "Ringo – Pop Profile (Bonus interview track)"   8:04

[1]

Personnel[edit]

Sources Programes: Disc 1:

  • Track 1 - Pop Go The Beatles, 23 July `1963 (10 July 1963)
  • Track 2 - Pop Go The Beatles, 20 August 1963 (16 July 1963)
  • Tracks 3,4,17,25 - Pop Go The Beatles, 30 July 1963 (10 July 1963)
  • Track 5 - Pop Go The Beatles, 17 September 1963 (3 September 1963)
  • Tracks 6,8,12,13,14,15,23,24 - Pop Go The Beatles, 25 June 1963 (17 June 1963)
  • Track 7 - Pop Go The Beatles, 27 August 1963 (1 August 1963)
  • Track 9 - Pop Go The Beatles, 13 August 1963 (16 July 1963)
  • Track 10 - Here We Go, 12 March 1963 (6 March 1963)
  • Track 11 - Saturday Club, 16 March 1963 [Transmitted Live]
  • Tracks 16,27,28,29,30,32 - Pop Go The Beatles, 24 September 1963 (3 September 1963)
  • Track 18 - Pop Go The Beatles, 16 July 1963 (2 July 1963)
  • Tracks 19,20 - Pop Go The Beatles, 10 September 1963 (3 September 1963)
  • Tracks 21,22 - Pop Go The Beatles, 3 September 1963 (1 August 1963)
  • Track 26 - Saturday Club, 26 January 1963 (22 January 1963)
  • Track 31 - Pop Go The Beatles, 6 August 1963 (16 July 1963)
  • Tracks 33,34 - BBC Transcription Service, 30 November 1965

Disc 2

  • Tracks 1,4,5,6,7 - Saturday Club, 5 October 1963 (7 September 1963)
  • Tracks 2,3 - Saturday Club, 24 August 1963 (30 July 1963)
  • Tracks 8,9 - Easy Beat, 20 October 1963 (16 October 1963)
  • Tracks 10,11 - From Us To You, 26 December 1963 (18 December 1963)
  • Tracks 12,13 - Saturday Club, 21 December 1963 (17 December 1963)
  • Track 14 - Saturday Club, 15 February 1964 (7 January 1964)
  • Track 15 - Saturday Club, 4 April 1964 (31 March 1964)
  • Tracks 16,17,18,19,21 - Top Gear, 16 July 1964 (14 July 1964)
  • Track 20 - From Us To You, 30 March 1964 (28 February 1964)
  • Tracks 22,23,26 - Top Gear, 26 November 1964 (17 November 1964)
  • Track 24 - Top Of The Pops BBC Transcription Service, May or June 1965
  • Track 25 - Saturday Club, 26 December 1964 (25 November 1964)
  • Track 27 - Top Gear (17 November 1964)
  • Tracks 28,29 - BBC Transcription Service, 2 May 1966

Charts[edit]

Charts (2013) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[9] 28
Top Canadian Albums (Billboard) 7
Greek Albums (IFPI)[10] 11
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[11] 16
UK Albums (OCC)[12] 12
US Billboard 200 7
US Billboard Rock Albums 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Position
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[13] 56

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Beatles On Air Live At The BBC Volume 2". The Beatles Store. 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Beatles rarities being released to beat copyright laws". BBC News. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2014. The Beatles are to release 59 rare and unheard recordings in a bid to stop their copyright protection expiring. 
  3. ^ "On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2 - The Beatles". Metacritic. 
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "On Air: Live at the BBC, Vol. 2". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Thrills, Adrian (8 November 2013). "Live on air: Beatles at the Beeb is a rough and ready gem". Daily Mail. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Savage, Jon (11 November 2013). "The Beatles - On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2". Mojo. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Fricke, David (12 November 2013). "The Beatles 'On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2'". Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Fanelli, Damian (10 November 2013). "Album Review: The Beatles, 'On Air — Live At the BBC Volume 2'". Guitar World. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "The Beatles – On Air - Live At The BBC Volume 2". Australiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Official Cyta-IFPI Charts – Top-75 Albums Sales Chart (Week: 48/2013)" (in Greek). IFPI Greece. Archived from the original on 9 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "The Beatles – On Air - Live At The BBC Volume 2". Spanishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  12. ^ "The Beatles | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  13. ^ "Top Rock Albums: 2014 Year-End Charts". Billboard.