In the Spotlight: The Beatles – On Air: Live at the BBC Volume 2
The Beatles – On Air: Live at the BBC Volume 2 (Capitol, 2013)
The Beatles saved my life when I was 11 or so. At the time I was in the middle of a heavy top 40 R&B phase and my favorite albums included Mariah Carey’s MTV Unplugged and SWV’s (not) classic It’s About Time. I think my mom was a little tired of this ongoing slow-dance hit parade (did I mention, though, that I was also infatuated with Ace of Base? I know, I know), so she took me to the local branch of the county library and together we checked out three Beatles albums: A Hard Day’s Night, Rubber Soul, and Revolver.
For whatever reason, these three records connected with me in a way that, up to that point, nothing had ever done before. I became mildly obsessed with all things Beatles. I needed to hear everything ever recorded by them, see every film, look at every photograph, read every book and magazine article. It helped that this was 1994/95, which was when when the Beatles Anthology and Live at the BBC Volume 1 had just surfaced and the band was enjoying a second wave of huge popularity. The anthology and the BBC sessions gave uber-fans a glimpse into the unscripted (though heavily edited) secret-feeling world of the Beatles; a chance to sit in on studio outtakes and live performances, which of course wasn’t possible really, since all the action happened three decades earlier.
I’m 31 years old now, and the Beatles fan in me is quite happy that Capitol Records has released a new slough of BBC Sessions from the years 1964 and ’65, featuring unheard live performances of various Beatles classics and covers. Also present on this extremely well-put-together 6-sides of wax are snippets of interviews and the characteristic witty-Beatles banter that fans love so dearly. Listening to the BBC Sessions Volume 2 is like stepping into a time machine, landing in 1964 and clicking on the radio. In short it is an awesome treat for fans and a window into a different time for everyone.
Watch the AWESOME video for the Beatles cover of Buddy Holly’s “Words of Love”: