On Air : Live at the BBC Volume Two
It’s a little known fact nowadays, but The Beatles recorded 88 songs in 53 live recording sessions for the BBC between 1962 and 1965. It was a way for the band to connect with its audience without thousands of screaming fans present and it offers charming, if not a little fake at times, interviews with the band from the beginning of their world domination. The Beatles: On Air – Live a the BBC Volume 2 is the second album of songs from these sessions – Volume 1 was released in 1994. There are no unreleased originals on the new record, but there are some wonderful covers, including Buddy Holly’s Words for Love and Chuck Berry’s I’m Talking About You, and 30 well-known songs from band’s catalogue, like Twist And Shout, Please Mister Postman and Money.
STACK Magazine says: 43 years after their disbandment, it’s remarkable yet more is mined from The Beatles’ archives, more remarkable still it’s as vibrant, engaging and energised as this second set of BBC live recordings from the innocence of 1963/64. Before video clips – and decades before the internet – over-awed fans wrote to fan clubs and radio stations. It’s endearing to hear 22-year old Beatles reading dedications to fawning school girls between covers of Buddy Holly’s Words of Love, Chuck Berry’s Lucille, and their early originals. But it’s the one-take professionalism and already keen sense of restless evolution that define these sessions. Still fab.
Pitchforck says: “…approached on its own terms, Vol. 2 is still a pleasure to behold. While it’s designed to evoke a bygone era when congregating around the living-room radio was British-household ritual, the grab-bag sequencing and strategically stitched between-song banter lend the collection a frenetic, cut-and-paste momentum that’s remarkably attuned to modern listening habits.”
The Guardian says: “Lacking any unreleased originals, leaning heavily on covers (most rarely Stephen Foster’s Beautiful Dreamer and Chuck Berry’s I’m Talking About You) and sounding ragged owing to the band recording up to 18 songs a day, the echoes of Hamburg and ramshackle takes on the classics here will thrill historians, but there’s as much value in their Goon-like banter during the interspersed chats with various Cholmondley-Warners.