On Air: Live at the BBC, Vol. 2

On Air: Live at the BBC, Vol. 2

by The BeatlesThe Beatles
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Nearly two decades after the first volume, the second installment of the Beatles BBC recordings arrives and, like its predecessor, On Air: Live at the BBC, Vol. 2 condenses the Fab Four's voluminous BBC sessions into an easily digestible double-disc of highlights. The generous 63-track running length is slightly misleading as this, more than the 1994 set, is peppered with dialogue, interviews, and silly sketches -- a total of 24 of them, to be exact, including the five-minute "Pop Profile" interviews tacked onto the end of each disc (CD 1 showcases John and George on the eve of the release of Rubber Soul, CD 2 Paul and Ringo prior to the release of Revolver). Such a heavy emphasis on on-air banter winds up cementing On Air as something like a documentary: it is capturing a specific moment in the Beatles history. Specifically, this moment is 1963, with three quarters of the collection dating from that year. It was a momentous year, of course, the beginning of Beatlemania in Britain and, appropriately, there's a greater emphasis on original Beatles music than there was on the covers-laden 1994 set. This is a mild disappointment, as much of the really interesting material is hearing the Beatles tear into the rock & roll classics that were staples of their club set; not only does their kinetic interplay leap alive, but it's possible to appreciate just how good McCartney and, particularly, Lennon were as interpretive singers (John kills on the Chuck Berry songs "I'm Talking About You" and "Memphis, Tennessee"). Which isn't to say these early Beatles originals are tossed off without a care. They're also treated with exuberance and, at times, the enthusiasm is intoxicating (they punch hard on "I Saw Her Standing There," "Roll Over Beethoven" swings with purpose, "You Can't Do That" retains a glinting, hard edge, and Paul's Little Richard impression always dazzles). Crucially, the banter contains a similar sense of excitement; as this concentrates on 1963, the Beatles have yet to grow tired of their shtick, so it's fun to hear them trade barbs with the BBC hosts and with each other. When the dialogue is combined with those wonderful performances, On Air: Live at the BBC, Vol. 2 helps paint a portrait of the Beatles just reaching the peak of their powers.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/11/2013
Label: Capitol
UPC: 0602537491698
catalogNumber: 001941502
Rank: 33281

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Beatles   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Stephen Foster   Composer
Arthur Alexander   Composer
Chuck Berry   Composer
Ray Charles   Composer
Buddy Holly   Composer
Carole King   Composer
John Lennon   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Carl Perkins   Composer
Gerry Goffin   Composer
Jerry Leiber   Composer
Roy Bennett   Composer
Quinton Claunch   Composer
Pete Dauncey   Producer
Wes Farrell   Composer
Berry Gordy   Composer
Brian Holland   Composer
Jack Keller   Composer
Phil Medley   Composer
Aaron Schroeder   Composer
Mike Stoller   Composer
Sid Tepper   Composer
Ben Weisman   Composer
Meredith Willson   Composer
Fred Wise   Composer
Bernie Andrews   Producer
Ron Belchier   Producer
Ian Grant   Producer
Terry Henebery   Producer
Kevin Howlett   Liner Notes,Executive Producer
Bryant Marriott   Producer
Bert Russell   Composer
Chan Romero   Composer
Luther Dixon   Composer
Georgia Dobbins   Composer
Richard Penniman   Composer
William Garrett   Composer
Guy Massey   Remastering Engineer
Robert "Bumps" Blackwell   Composer
Janie Bradford   Composer
Enotris Johnson   Composer
Robert Bateman   Composer
Kay Twomey   Composer
Brian Willey   Producer
Jimmy Grant   Producer
Freddie Gorman   Composer
Stuart Crouch   Art Direction
Jeff Jones   Executive Producer
Richard Drapkin   Composer
Alex Wharton   Remastering Engineer
William Cantrell   Composer
Melanie Fordyce   Art Direction
Mike Heartley   Executive Producer
Peter Pilbeam   Producer
Albert Collins   Composer

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