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Customer Review

TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 13 November 2013
The complete official set of recordings Beatles Live at the BBC makes a great purchase. Both the original re master of volume one and the new edition volume two are contained in a card box that is about an inch thick.

Live at the BBC volume one
Is it worth re buying this album Live at the BBC originally issued in 1994? Well yes, yes defiantly. This new issue is better on many levels and its easy to say that it is worth getting again.
The sound is better for a start. There is noticeably more body to the sound and it is not as tinny as the 94 issue. There is clear noise reduction and it all sounds brighter and sharper. The 94 issue is very good and if you are a casual fan of the Beatles it is still going to serve well. But anyone that is a serious fan really should consider re buying the album on the re master sound alone providing of course you liked the music content and historical aspect of this album.
Secondly this new release comes into line with the more recent official re mastered albums in terms of presentation. We now have the familiar card gatefold album cover with no plastic case or trays. I much prefer the art work with the front picture changing from the 94 sepia image that made it look as if it was historically from the Victorian period rather than the 1960s to a more accurate black and white image. In keeping with this there is good photo art work on the inside gatefold with black and white picture of the bbc broadcasting house. Then the booklet is great with nice presentation with good colour and black and white photos and track details. It is a really nice presentation.

The concept of the album was always great anyway, even back in 94. First of all the Beatles were so successful in the 1960s and they appeared in magazine interviews, TV appearances and Radio which all helped to raise their profile. Just the same as any other famous pop act that came after them or today. But there is not much that is available of the Beatles so this release helps us to be connected to the Beatles as people, the sixties and the atmosphere of the era with the group as a currently popular and modern pop group. It is a time capsule. We get bits of conversation and banter between DJs and the fab four which adds that human personality to the people behind the music. Its interesting to hear the opinions of the group at the time and there is good fun humour in the banter.

Of course that is where the other interest is. The music. The Beatles recorded so much during the sixties and they often performed some songs many times. And that was true on Radio as well. But thankfully the Beatles performed other songs on these Radio recordings that are mostly covers of already established songs. This gives this album is value and its potential. There are at least 28 songs that are recorded here that do not appear on the official album releases.
The other tracks offer us an alternative version with great live performance. And to add to that there is the fact that despite the reality that the BBC made these recordings for radio transmission on equipment that wasn't as good as studio quality it is actually better sound quality than the majority of alternative archive recordings of the Beatles. Bootleg material and other live recordings were usually poor. Lets face it the sound on these recordings is actually very good indeed and not that far off the studio album quality. And the live versions don't have thousands of screaming fans on them spoiling the music or over powering the recording levels.

This is a really great release and it is easily a good addition to the official album releases.

Live at the BBC volume two
After the great album Live a the BBC released originally in 1994 and now re mastered and a superior edition, There comes the Live at the BBC volume two.
It may have taken nearly twenty years but it is more than a welcome release.

Like the re master of volume one this new release comes into line with the more recent official re mastered albums in terms of presentation. We now have the familiar card gatefold album cover with no plastic case or trays. I like the art work with the front picture being a colour image similar to the black and white picture of the Beatles on volume one. In keeping with this there is good photo art work on the inside gatefold with the same black and white picture of the bbc broadcasting house that appeared on volume one but this time with hints of colour. Then the booklet is great with nice presentation with good colour and black and white pictures and track details. It is a really nice presentation.

Out of all of the songs the Beatles recorded at the BBC it is no surprise that the original volume one Live at the BBC used the majority of songs that had not appeared on any of their albums. This means that this second volume Live at the BBC volume two does not have so much original song recordings. But that does not mean it is pointless. In fact there is so much to praise about this release.
There are at least two songs that do not appear on the official studio album releases. And although these are recorded live for radio they are great recordings.
The same has to be said for the other tracks. There are Live recordings of songs that do appear on the studio albums. Also there some alternative versions of songs that actually appeared on volume one.

The sound quality is great throughout the two disc set and there is interesting spoken word tracks with banter between DJs and the group. The concept of the album was always great anyway, even back in 94 with volume one. And the same concept continues here. First of all the Beatles were so successful in the 1960s and they appeared in magazine interviews, TV appearances and Radio which all helped to raise their profile. Just the same as any other famous pop act that came after them or today. But there is not much that is available of the Beatles so this release helps us to be connected to the Beatles as people, the sixties and the atmosphere of the era with the group as a currently popular and modern pop group. It is a time capsule. We get bits of conversation and banter between DJs and the fab four which adds that human personality to the people behind the music. Its interesting to hear the opinions of the group at the time and there is good fun humour in the banter.
Also in addition this time there are four interview sections with each member of the group. These are interesting and since they may not be so interesting after repeated play they are thankfully added at the end of each disc. (two interviews per disc)

This album doesn't have the same originality as the volume one but it is a great addition and is worth getting. It is a very interesting release indeed.

Together this box set makes a unique quality release of Beatles magic
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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