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Thursday, August 29, 2013

LIVE AT THE BBC - side one

It had been a long wait since the last official release from the Beatles - six years, in fact - and even longer since fans had had the pleasure of hearing something completely "new," but in 1994, that wait was finally over.  Was it worth it?  Sadly, many were unimpressed by this collection when it first appeared and quite a few maintain that opinion to this day.  And while I must admit that it took a while for it to grow on me, I now consider it to be an indispensable part of the group's canon - not for the renditions of their own numbers, mind you, but rather for the many covers of songs by other artists, revealing more than ever the Fab Four's encyclopedic knowledge of popular music.

Though this package was conceived as a two-CD release, it was also issued on vinyl.  Thus, as usual, I will be making my entries as the tracks appear on the four sides of the records, even though they are incredibly long sides.

Beatle Greetings - The band members introduce themselves to the radio audience from a 1963 broadcast.

From Us to You - The title song of a 1964 series, derived from their third hit single, of course.

Riding on a Bus - A brief discussion of life as celebrities.

I Got a Woman - The first real number on the collection is this great version of a Ray Charles song with John handling the lead vocal.

Too Much Monkey Business - John sings lead again on this high-energy Chuck Berry number.

Keep Your Hands Off My Baby - John yet again (with Paul and George backing him up this time) on a tune from Goffin and King.

I'll Be on My Way - One of the real finds of the collection is this Lennon/McCartney original first recorded by Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, sung as a duet by the composers.

Young Blood - George sings lead on this comedy number from Lieber and Stoller originally done by the Coasters.  Paul and John join in the vocal antics.

A Shot of Rhythm and Blues - John and Paul tackle a song released by Arthur Alexander, whose Anna (Go to Him) they had covered on their album Please Please Me.

Sure to Fall (In Love with You) - Paul takes the lead on a Carl Perkins cover.

Some Other Guy - This song and the next were recorded in front of an audience at the Playhouse Theatre in London.  John and Paul share the lead on this Lieber and Stoller rocker that was a favorite of every band in Liverpool.

Thank You Girl - At the time of this performance, this song was the B-side of their most recent single.

Sha la la la la! - The group engages in some amusing banter with Lee Peters, host of their Pop Go the Beatles series, before launching into...

Baby It's You - ...this Burt Bacharach tune which they had covered on Please Please Me.

That's All Right (Mama) - Paul boldly tackles Elvis Presley's debut single.

Carol - This Chuck Berry tune is given a surprisingly lackluster performance by John and the band.

Soldier of Love - A wonderfully strange song that had been recorded by Arthur Alexander.  With strong backing by Paul and George, John puts his all into this one.