Beatles BBC Bonanza!


The new companion to The Beatles’ first BBC collection (which was released in 1994 and sold 5 million copies), On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2, is available now for digital pre-order and will be released on Friday, November 8; the digital version also includes a 48-page booklet.

On Air’s 63 tracks, none of which overlaps with The Beatles’ first BBC release, include 37 previously unreleased performances and 23 previously unreleased recordings of in-studio banter and conversation between the band’s members and their BBC radio hosts.

Newly remastered, The Beatles’ Live at the BBC will also make its global digital debut on November 8 and is now available for pre-order.

This first collection of the group’s BBC sessions mixed versions of their hits with 30 songs The Beatles performed on air but never released on record in the 1960s.  The track list ranges 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.  It earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Historical Album.

Live at the BBC and On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2 present the sound of The Beatles playing for a variety of BBC radio programs.

Paul McCartney said of the new releases, “There’s a lot of energy and spirit. We are going for it, not holding back at all, trying to put in the best performance of our lifetimes.”

Ten of On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2’s songs were never recorded by the group for EMI in the 1960s, including two making their debuts with the new release:  The Beatles’ direct-to-air performance of Chuck Berry’s ‘I’m Talking About You’ and a cover of the standard ‘Beautiful Dreamer.’  On Air also includes different versions of six rarities heard on the 1994 BBC collection:  Little Richard’s ‘Lucille,’ Chuck Berry’s ‘Memphis, Tennessee,’ Chan Romero’s ‘The Hippy Hippy Shake,’ Ray Charles’ ‘I Got A Woman,’ and two songs they learned from records by Carl Perkins, ‘Glad All Over’ and ‘Sure To Fall.’

The Beatles’ tribute to the BBC’s most important pop show of the early ’60s – ‘Happy Birthday, Dear Saturday Club’ – is also included. As John Lennon recalled in 1980, “We did a lot of tracks that were never on record for Saturday Club – they were well recorded, too.”  Paul remembers, “We’d been raised on the BBC radio programs.  One of the big things in our week was Saturday Club – this great show was playing the kind of music we loved, so that was something we really aspired to.”

Between March 1962 and June 1965, no fewer than 275 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.

On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2 also features BBC recordings of 30 well-loved songs from The Beatles’ catalogue, including five number ones and other favorites such as: ‘I Saw Her Standing There,’ ‘Twist And Shout,’ ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret,’ ‘Boys,’ ‘Please Mister Postman,’ ‘Money,’ ‘And I Love Her,’ and ‘If I Fell.’

In addition, On Air releases, for the first time, the group’s interviews for the Pop Profile series recorded in November 1965 and May 1966.

Live at the BBC was assembled by George Martin in 1994 and On Air – Live at the BBC Volume Two was compiled and researched by producers Kevin Howlett and Mike Heatley.  Both albums have been mastered by engineers Guy Massey and Alex Wharton at Abbey Road Studios.  The booklets for both collections include Kevin Howlett’s essays on the history of The Beatles’ BBC radio sessions and his detailed commentaries on all of the tracks.


1. And Here We Are Again (Speech)
2. Words Of Love
3. How About It, Gorgeous? (Speech)
4. Do You Want To Know A Secret
5. Lucille
6. Hey, Paul… (Speech)
7. Anna (Go To Him)
8. Hello! (Speech)
9. Please Please Me
10. Misery
11. I’m Talking About You
12. A Real Treat (Speech)
13. Boys
14. Absolutely Fab (Speech)
15. Chains
16. Ask Me Why
17. Till There Was You
18. Lend Me Your Comb
19. Lower 5e (Speech)
20. The Hippy Hippy Shake
21. Roll Over Beethoven
22. There’s A Place
23. Bumper Bundle (Speech)
24. P.S. I Love You
25. Please Mister Postman
26. Beautiful Dreamer
27. Devil In Her Heart
28. The 49 Weeks (Speech)
29. Sure To Fall (In Love With You)
30. Never Mind, Eh? (Speech)
31. Twist And Shout
32. Bye, Bye (Speech)
33. John – Pop Profile (Speech)
34. George – Pop Profile (Speech)
35. I Saw Her Standing There
36. Glad All Over
37. Lift Lid Again (Speech)
38. I’ll Get You
39. She Loves You
40. Memphis, Tennessee
41. Happy Birthday Dear Saturday Club
42. Now Hush, Hush (Speech)
43. From Me To You
44. Money (That’s What I Want)
45. I Want To Hold Your Hand
46. Brian Bathtubes (Speech)
47. This Boy
48. If I Wasn’t In America (Speech)
49. I Got A Woman
50. Long Tall Sally
51. If I Fell
52. A Hard Job Writing Them (Speech)
53. And I Love Her
54. Oh, Can’t We? Yes We Can (Speech)
55. You Can’t Do That
56. Honey Don’t
57. I’ll Follow The Sun
58. Green With Black Shutters (Speech)
59. Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!
60. That’s What We’re Here For (Speech)
61. I Feel Fine (Studio Outtake)
62. Paul – Pop Profile (Speech)
63. Ringo – Pop Profile (Speech)


1. Beatle Greetings (Speech)
2. From Us To You (Opening)
3. Riding On A Bus (Speech)
4. I Got A Woman
5. Too Much Monkey Business
6. Keep Your Hands Off My Baby
7. I’ll Be On My Way
8. Young Blood
9. A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues
10. Sure To Fall (In Love With You)
11. Some Other Guy
12. Thank You Girl
13. Sha La La La La! (Speech)
14. Baby It’s You
15. That’s All Right (Mama)
16. Carol
17. What Is It, George? (Speech)
18. Soldier Of Love
19. A Little Rhyme (Speech)
20. Clarabella
21. I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You)
22. Crying, Waiting, Hoping
23. Dear Wack! (Speech)
24. You Really Got A Hold On Me
25. To Know Her Is To Love Her
26. A Taste Of Honey
27. Long Tall Sally
28. I Saw Her Standing There
29. The Honeymoon Song
30. Johnny B Goode
31. Memphis, Tennessee
32. Lucille
33. Can’t Buy Me Love
34. From Fluff To You (Speech)
35. Till There Was You
36. Crinsk Dee Night (Speech)
37. A Hard Day’s Night
38. Ringo? Yep! (Speech)
39. I Wanna Be Your Man
40. Just A Rumour (Speech)
41. Roll Over Beethoven
42. All My Loving
43. Things We Said Today
44. She’s A Woman
45. Sweet Little Sixteen
46. 1822! (Speech)
47. Lonesome Tears In My Eyes
48. Nothin’ Shakin’
49. The Hippy Hippy Shake
50. Glad All Over
51. I Just Don’t Understand
52. So How Come (No One Loves Me)
53. I Feel Fine
54. I’m A Loser
55. Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby
56. Rock And Roll Music
57. Ticket To Ride
58. Dizzy Miss Lizzy
59. Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!
60. Set Fire To That Lot! (Speech)
61. Matchbox
62. I Forgot To Remember To Forget
63. Love These Goon Shows! (Speech)
64. I Got To Find My Baby
65. Ooh! My Soul
66. Ooh! My Arms (Speech)
67. Don’t Ever Change
68. Slow Down
69. Honey Don’t
70. Love Me Do
71. From Us To You (Closing)

Brian Wise

Brian Wise was the Editor of Addicted To Noise‘s Australian site from 1997 – 2002. The site won two ONYA Awards as Best Online Music Magazine in 1999 & 2000. He has also been Editor since its reincarnation in 2013. He also presents the weekly music interview program Off The Record on 102.7 Triple R-FM ( in Melbourne. It is networked to 45+ stations across Australia on the Community Radio Network and is a four-time winner of the Best Music Program Award from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. In 2012, it was nominated as a finalist in the Excellence in Music Programming category. Brian was also the Founding Editor & Publisher of Rhythms Magazine and is now its Senior Contributing Editor.

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