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On Air: Live at the BBC 2 [Import]

The Beatles Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
Price: 51.91 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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"The story began in Harold Macmillan’s “never had it so good” ’50s Britain. It should be fiction: four teenagers with no more than eight O’Levels between them, running and biking and busing and busking all over Liverpool in search of new chords and old guitars and half-decent drum kit and any gig at all.

They were determined to amount to something ... Read more in Amazon's The Beatles Store

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Frequently Bought Together

On Air: Live at the BBC 2 + Live At The BBC + Anthology 1
Price For All Three: 85.63

Buy the selected items together
  • Live At The BBC 14.73
  • Anthology 1 18.99

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Nov 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Universal Japan
  • ASIN: B00F5H3A3W
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 758,005 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All together on the wireless machine 11 Nov 2013
By Mr. D. K. Smith TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Between March 1962 and June 1965 The Beatles performed a total of 52 BBC sessions. Some 275 performances were taped, comprising 88 unique songs (as some songs were repeated at various sessions).

Out of these 88 songs, 36 were never recorded for the Beatles' studio albums, so therefore it wasn't surprising that the majority of these were included on the first release, Live At The BBC, originally issued in 1994 and now available as a 2013 remaster.

Whilst this does mean that this second collection is slightly less essential than Volume 1, On Air - Live At The BBC Volume 2 does contain a couple of songs never previously officially released - Chuck Berry's "I'm Talking About You" and the evergreen "Beautiful Dreamer", a favourite from their Hamburg days. There are also a number of alternative versions of songs released on Volume 1, such as "Memphis, Tennessee", "The Hippy Hippy Shake" and "Lucille" but most of the songs on this CD are BBC versions of tracks from the Beatles albums and singles of the period.

The BBC's recording facilities at the time were quite primitive, so whilst the BBC recordings lack the polish of the Beatles own album versions they're not without interest, as it's fascinating to hear these essentially "live" performances.

In addition to the 40 songs, there's 25 or so speech tracks, interspersed between the music. They capture the heady, early days of Beatlemania very well, as the fabs banter with the various DJ's hosting the shows, such as Brian Matthew, Alan Freeman, Lee Peters and Rodney Burke.

There are also four interviews each lasting about eight minutes (one per Beatle) recorded by Brian Matthew in 1965 and 1966 for the series Pop Profile.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Live At the BBC - The Collection 11 Nov 2013
By Marc B
Format:Audio CD
This is a review of the Live At The BBC - The Collection but contains specific reference to On Air - Live At The BBC Volume 2, hope people find it useful.

When Live At The BBC was released in 1994 it kicked off a major archival excavation that culminated in the Beatles Anthology Project but to my mind the Live At The BBC was the most interesting of these archival releases and the one that I have listened to the most over the years. It wasn't without it's flaws though and with the bootleg releases that included most of their complete shows, a volume 2 seemed like a no brainer. So it's a surprise that it's taken nearly 20 years for that to happen, especially as volume 1 shifted something like 5 million units.

Anyway, with regards to volume 1 the question is whether its worth purchasing the remaster if you already have the original from 1994. I would certainly say yes, if you don't have volume one then its essential and the stronger of the 2 volumes as it contains the most unreleased tracks. Although there isn't any new music or major upgrades in sources to what you would already have, the use of noise reduction is a lot better and less heavy handed than the previous issue and the key thing is the completely unnecessary cross fading between tracks have been removed, meaning you can compile both volumes chronologically without cutting of the start or end of tracks. There are also a few more snippets of dialogue like the inclusion of the amusing introduction from George to Soldier of Love, wish they'd also included the equally amusing intro to the Honeymoon Song or the `Honeyboot Song' as George calls it because of his `terrible nose'.

As for `On Air - Live At The BBC Volume 2' this is long overdue.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Air - Live at the BBC Vol 2 11 Nov 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Nearly twenty years since the first Beatles at the BBC album comes Volume 2, nicely packaged in a double CD digi pack with a 46 page booklet. In my opinion it was worth buying the actual CD rather than downloading the music simply for the informative booklet, with an introduction by Paul, all the track details and lots of photographs. I know you can download it on your ipod, but the actual paper version is easier to read and ideal to peruse while you sit down and enjoy this great collection.

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.
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