The Beatles Live At The BBC on Limited Edition 180g 3LP + Booklet
Assembled by George Martin In 1994
Newly Remastered by Engineers Guy Massey & Alex Wharton at Abbey Road Studios in Correlation with the Release of the Companion Album On Air: Live At The BBC Volume 2
No Overlap with The Beatles’ Second BBC Release
Booklet includes Kevin Howlett’s Essays on the History of The Beatles’ BBC Radio Sessions & Detailed Commentaries on All of the Tracks
In 1994, The Beatles’ Live at the BBC was released to worldwide acclaim - hitting #1 in the U.K., #3 in the U.S. and selling more than five million copies within six weeks. Newly remastered for reissue for the first time on 180g 3LP in correlation with the release of its companion album On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2, The Beatles’ first Live at the BBC album sounds and looks better than ever.
This collection of the group’s BBC sessions mixed versions of their hits with a treasure trove of 30 songs The Beatles performed on air but never released on record in the 1960s. The compelling track list ranged from a rare performance of the little known Lennon-McCartney original “I’ll Be On My Way” to covers of classic rock ’n’ roll and contemporary rhythm and blues songs.
At the time of its original 1994 release, Live at the BBC was hailed by Rolling Stone as “an exhilarating portrait of a band in the process of shaping its own voice and vision" and it earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Historical Album.
Between March 1962 and June 1965, no fewer than 275 unique musical performances by The Beatles were broadcast by the BBC in the U.K. The group played songs on 39 radio shows in 1963 alone. Ringo Starr said in 1994, “You tend to forget that we were a working band. It’s that mono sound. There were usually no overdubs. We were in at the count-in and that was it. I get excited listening to them.” On their busiest BBC day, July 16, 1963, The Beatles recorded 18 songs for three editions of their Pop Go The Beatles series in fewer than seven hours.
The group played 88 distinct songs in their BBC sessions – some were recorded many times; others performed just once. At the time, three national BBC stations provided all daytime radio broadcasting in the U.K. Only the Light Programme network might occasionally play a record. Most broadcast music was live music. Consequently, to promote their releases, The Beatles had to play live at the BBC. “Everything was done instantly,” remembered George Harrison, “But before that, we used to drive 200 miles in an old van down the M1, come into London, try and find the BBC and then set up and do the program. Then we’d probably drive back to Newcastle for a gig in the evening!”
The Beatles Live At The BBC also includes audio of The Beatles talking to DJs Brian Matthew and Alan Freeman and Pop Go The Beatles hosts Lee Peters and Rodney Burke. When first broadcast, pop fans were amazed to hear such witty irreverence on the rather formal BBC and it is great fun to hear these extracts now.
Live at the BBC was assembled by George Martin in 1994 and has been newly remastered by engineers Guy Massey and Alex Wharton at Abbey Road Studios. The accompanying booklet includes Kevin Howlett’s essays on the history of The Beatles’ BBC radio sessions and his detailed commentaries on all of the tracks.