The Beatles – Live At The BBC

The Beatles: Live At The BBC (Originally released in 1994, Remastered for 2013)
On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2 (2013)

2013, Universal Music
Rating: 4.5

The Beatles "On Air: Live At The BBC Vol 2" Cover The Beatles Live At The BBC Vol 1 Artwork

For this historic release I will attempt something slightly unique with my review. I will review both releases in this single article. The main focus will be the ON AIR album as it is an entirely new set whereas the other is a Remaster. I will begin with the Remastered LIVE AT THE BBC collection.

Without doing a side by side comparison to the original issue I can say that this new version sounds much nicer. They have gone back and searched out new tapes as the BBC never properly kept archives back in those days and reused tapes. The Ringo “Have A Banana” has ben replaced by “Yep” which is more authentic to the original broadcast. Much care has been put into this remastering and it shows, or should I say s heard? Either way, this new BBC release is worth a re-buy but do hold onto your original copy.

The ‘New’ BBC release.
Titled as On Air to help the general public avoid confusion with the original release. For those of us Beatlefan’s the Volume 2 is a welcomed companion to the original ’94 release. As with the original this one is a mix of performances by the Fab Four at The BBC intertwined with little snippets of them talking. At the end of each CD are two lengthly interviews with individual members. The first disc has John and George and CD 2 is Paul and Ringo. Lennon’s is slightly more interesting than the others but not as witty or satirical as you’d expect from him. It id pretty much a straight forward interview.

Musically on par with the ’94 release as some songs are repeated but with different performances. The first song on the collection is the old Buddy Holly track “Words Of Love” which really stands out amongst the rest and begins the listening experience on a high note. Another fantastic cover is “Memphis, Tennessee” which is the old Chuck Berry tune. All the music on here shows what a great talent The Beatles were and that they never needed studio trickery to make those amazing albums, even though it added to those latter albums.

This new collection (and Remastered ’94 set) are definitely worth getting if you are a fan of the group. It shows them in a new light and not what some media has portrayed them to be. They were real musicians. Both of these BBC releases are highly recommended.