The Beatles – 60’s At The Beeb (Unicorn UC 176)


The Beatles, “60’s At The Beeb” (Unicorn UC 176)

Introduction / Andy Peebles / Long Tall Sally / Things We Said Today / Interview / A Hard Days Night / Andy Peebles / I’m A Loser / Interview / Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby / Interview / She’s A Woman / I Feel Fine / Interview / Rock And Roll Music / Interview / Kansas City / I’ll Follow The Sun / Andy Peebles / Brian Matthews / Dizzy Miss Lizzy / Interview / Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby / Ticket To Ride / BBC Light Programme ‘Pop In’ 1965 (54:20)

Original broadcast in 1987, Westwood One syndicated with the BBC a series of shows based around the 1960’s output of radio shows bringing the newest and grooviest pop acts to the airwaves, live sets were something that the pirates couldn’t bring to British teenagers transistor radios and so thats where the BEEB stepped in, rounding up several singers and bands of the time, having presenters play the straight man to their wacky, sharp witted guests. it was through this syndication that many fans in the states released that the BBC was a leader in these sessions, even though the tracks may not have been brand new to some Beatleg fanatics, they could now be placed as BBC sessions rather than the often assumed ‘studio sessions’ that they had been considered and so the work could start dating these sessions as played. These shows were introduced by DJ and chronicler Andy Peebles, most famously the last British interviewer to speak to John Lennon in 1980.

A set of these transcription disks was sold on eBay in 2011 with the description as thus;
“‘The Sixties At The Beeb’ is a detailed radio program produced by the BBC featuring full music performances by the biggest artists of the decade, all recordings culled from the vaults of the BBC. Short interviews are also included. Some of this material was not even aired in the Sixties and is presented in this program for the first time.

Don’t settle for bootleg editions of this fab program where the original source is unknown or inferior, such as somebody’s cassettes taped off the air and then recorded to CD. You can own this original Westwood One vinyl edition, free from FM radio broadcast noise and compression. This vinyl edition of course is also free from the compression of Westwood One’s own CD edition!

Complete listing of performances are on cue sheets scanned for you to inspect above. Original seven page cue sheets are in VG condition. There are hand written notes on the last two pages containing song titles, which are actually helpful because they identify which performances are contained within the large banded tracks of each side. This was not originally identified.”

The set has been available for torrent or download for around 12 years now, upgrading the source as technology develops or as demands insist, here the Unicorn label have selected just the Beatles tracks for the compilation, snipping out the rest of the acts that played at the BEEB in their early days. Clearly from vinyl but not excessively so – there’s the odd pop or crackle here or there- but it is obvious from start to finish that this is a vinyl rip – the set begins with a mixture of tracks from different artists – The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, The Kinks, The Cream – if your band name began with ‘the’ in the ’60’s it seemed you were de rigueur and guaranteed a spot playing live on the wireless – in a long introduction that tries to explain what the programmes would be about whilst flexing it’s muscles over the wealth of archive materials.

The CD is also spliced with the interviews that formed part of the official BBC sets when released showing the Fabs in a funny, cuddly light, obviously pandering to their fans but placating the parents of said fans too by not being too obnoxious or snotty. Speaking of the BBC sets, there’s nothing that won’t be unfamiliar here if you own the Beatles BEEB output anyway, including ‘Hard Days Night’ along with it’s blindingly obvious guitar solo cut in (Now THAT’S a raw tape I’d love to hear!)

The CD ends with a BBC interview from ‘Pop In’ in 1965 from an unknown source. The excellent Beatlesbible website recalls that; After completing the slow-motion scene in Help! at Twickenham Film Studios in the morning, The Beatles remained on site to take part in a live radio interview for the BBC show Pop Inn.

The show took place from 1-1.55pm, although The Beatles’ interview constituted only a segment of the programme. The group sat in the corporation’s radio car, positioned in the studio’s car park, and began their contribution at 1.45pm.” It’s another short, pithy interview where the Beatles treat us to a rendition of “Catch That Tiger” at the end.

Unfortunately, theres no details on the sleeve here detailing where these songs come from – A through search around the internet might bring up the details however – the artwork is rather well put together with some nice, simple period photos.

For a little composite of this set or the Beatles BBC sets, it’s nice to listen to – Maybe more of a car journey filler than a shelf stocker, I’d recommend this more for the curious who doesn’t need 4 or 12 CDs of BBC sessions or the completist who does.

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