A new release from The Beatles reveals just how groundbreaking the band were, even back in the early part of their career.
On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2 taps into the treasure trove of songs that the Fab Four recorded at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) studios from 1963 to 1964. It comprises 63 remastered tracks, including more than 30 songs, that were never released commercially.
“It’s often forgotten that 1963 was a year that was just as revolutionary as some of their later years,” said BBC radio producer Kevin Howlett, who co-produced the recording with fellow producer Mike Heatley.
“It was very different back then, there was no rock business.
They changed everything. “And you can hear them on this album, they were really quite radical at the time, being cheeky, irreverent and playing unusual material.”
Mr Howlett is an award-winning Beatles expert who has been producing programmes for the BBC since 1981.
Released as two-CD and three-vinyl sets, the new collection is a follow-up to the first Live At The BBC album launched in 1994, which went to No. 1 on the British charts, No. 3 in the United States and was nominated in the Best Historical Album category at the 1996 Grammys.
Fans will be pleased with Volume 2’s inclusion of two rare tunes, the covers of Chuck Berry’s I’m Talking About You and 19th-century standard Beautiful Dreamer, as well as live renditions of Beatles tunes such as Please Please Me and Do You Want To Know A Secret.
The tracks include 23 in-studio conversations and banter which were never released. These, according to Mr Howlett, “really conjure up the feelings of the time”.
“BBC radio in the 1960s was quite formal, quite straight and The Beatles really shook it up.
They were cheeky and funny and you’ll hear some lovely conversations,” he said.
On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2 is released with the blessings of surviving Beatles members Paul McCartney, 71, and Ringo Starr, 73, as well as the widows of John Lennon, who died in 1980 at 40, and George Harrison, who died in 2001, aged 58.
The CD costs $23.90 in music stores here and is available on iTunes for $24.98. The vinyl set is available only in Britain.
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