Hitting Stores Today “On Air Live at the BBC Volume 2″ Compilation
The new Beatles compilation, On Air — Live at the BBC Volume 2, hits stores today. The two-CD set features highlights from the numerous appearances the Fab Four made on various radio shows from 1962 to 1966.
Not only does the album include dozens of previously unreleased performances, it also includes many rarely heard interview segments with the band members.
One interesting series of conversations involve individual interviews John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr gave to BBC host Brian Matthew for the radio show Pop Profile. The band members discussed how the group’s success had changed their lives and, in some instances, even gave some insights into where their careers would be headed in the future.
In his classic 1971 song “Imagine,” Lennon sang about imagining having “no possessions,” but in his November 1965 chat with Matthew, he was singing a different tune. He discussed the very large house he’d moved into outside of London and all the stuff with which he was filling it up.
“I’ve got one room…with about 14 guitars in it, 20 pianos, organs, tape recorders, everything,” he declares. “The next room’s full of those racing cars. The next room’s got a desk in where I write and draw. And the next room’s got one-armed bandits and football games and all those things.”
Harrison also spoke with Matthew in November 1965, and focused on the fact that he was beginning to contribute more of his own songs to the group. He admits that being in a band with Lennon and McCartney inspired him to hone his songwriting skills while also noting that it was difficult to get his compositions heard.
“It was hard trying to get in on it,” he admitted. “I’ve written so many songs that I’ve just thrown away as I’ve been writing them because when I finally recorded one of mine, I’ve wanted it to be worth putting on the LP alongside Paul and John’s. I feel now I’ve got more idea about how to write songs.”
McCartney, whose Pop Profile interview took place in May 1966, talked about how he was beginning to embrace more types of music.
“There are millions of kinds of music I haven’t listened to yet,” explained McCartney, who eventually went on to record classical albums, electronic projects and a standards collection. “I’ve heard few kinds, only sort of extracts of them, really, but I suddenly realized I like them…And, I always thought I didn’t.”
Starr also chatted with Matthew in May 1966, and told him that he was enjoying the fact that the band didn’t have to work as hard as in its early days. He also admitted that he couldn’t envision a more ideal situation than his then current one.
“I just like being in The Beatles,” he said. “It’s the best thing for me, anyway. There’s nothing better than that.”
As previously reported, On Air also features live recordings of The Beatles playing such classic tunes as “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Twist and Shout” and “I’ll Follow the Sun,” as well as songs like Chuck Berry’s “I’m Talking About You” and the standard “Beautiful Dreamer” that the group never recorded in the studio.