By Nicholas Jennings on Monday, 06 January 2014
Category: Reviews

The Beatles - On Air: Live at the BBC Volume 2

It’s hard to believe, but there’s still more Beatles gold in the mine. This 2-CD set, a sequel to 1994’s bestselling predecessor, features an astonishing 63 new tracks, including two previously unreleased songs. Recorded between 1962 and 1965, these raw performances capture the band at the peak of its stage power. The sound quality, unhampered by screaming fans, is a revelation. “There’s a lot of energy and spirit,” Paul McCartney admits. “We are going for it, not holding back at all, trying to put in the best performances of our lifetimes.” And they do. Along with many of the Fab Four’s biggest hits, the 39 music tracks include never-before-released rollicking versions of Chuck Berry’s “I’m Talking About You” and Stephen Foster’s “Beautiful Dreamer.” The Beatles’ legendary wit is evident in interview excerpts with BBC announcers and each CD ends with extended dialogue clips from John, Paul, George and Ringo. A real treasure trove, the collection amounts to yet another Beatles bonanza.