Friday, July 9, 2010

Beat Beat Beat At The Beeb - The Rolling Stones (1963-1965)

The Rolling Stones' 1963-1965 BBC sessions 
have usually been scattered piecemeal over innumerable bootlegs. 
This two-CD, 51-track set does what should have been done a long time ago by a legitimate label, gathering every known recording they did for the radio network onto one package.

Contains all known BBC radio recordings
 in chronological order and best possible quality.

Mick Jagger - vocals, Brian Jones - guitar, Keith Richards - guitar,
Bill Wyman - bass, Charlie Watts - drums

There are things to be said against this anthology, namely the uneven sound quality, which ranges from excellent to marginal (though overall it's pretty good). But even at its worst it's listenable, and the compilers did seem to be working from the best available tapes that have escaped into circulation. Of more importance, this is the most complete picture yet of the most vital body of early Rolling Stones recordings that has yet to gain official release. As is usual for BBC compilations (authorized or otherwise) of British Invasion bands, much of it's given over to live (or at least live-in-the-studio) performances of songs also found on their official studio releases, though with a rougher and stripped-down edge. There are, however, a number of songs that never found their way onto those releases, including great covers of Chuck Berry's "Memphis, Tennessee" and "Roll Over Beethoven"; not as great, but still good, covers of Berry's "Beautiful Delilah"; and versions of Tommy Tucker's "Hi Heel Sneakers," Bo Diddley's "Cops and Robbers" and "Crackin' Up," Buster Brown's "Fannie Mae," and Howlin' Wolf's "Down in the Bottom." These alone would make this of significant importance, but there are also BBC versions of a lot of material from their early albums, EPs, and singles going back to their debut 45 "Come On," and including such standouts as "I Wanna Be Your Man," "You Better Move On," "I Just Want to Make Love to You," "Around and Around," "Carol," "It's All Over Now," "Route 66," "2120 South Michigan Avenue," "Walking the Dog," "The Last Time," and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." Alas, there are very few Stones originals on the set; the only others besides "The Last Time" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" are "Little by Little" and "The Spider and the Fly." And as with some other bands who recorded prolifically for the BBC, there are multiple versions of many of the songs, though never more than two of any of the same tune, spaced far enough apart from each other that listener enjoyment isn't diminished. On the whole these are sparkling, if occasionally raw performances that testify to the group's brilliance as an R&B-rock band in their early days. There's no reason they shouldn't be officially released with the appropriately possible sonic cleanup, especially as there are several other far less worthy Stones rarities/live releases cluttering their official discography.

The Rolling Stones time capsule to young inspired musicians working hard to "break" in the wake of The Beatles play with heart and soul on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The best opportunity to study the music and musicianship in the early days in the most pristine of environments minus unbalanced instruments and screaming fans through these sensational live performances at the BBC studios and their affiliates. Here we will start with a cross reference of all the tracks on "Beat Beat Beat at the Beeb" (BBBATB) CD release matched against the least common denominator set of previously available recordings including The Swingin' Pig's "Get Satisfaction ...

1. Come On
2. Memphis Tennesee
3. Roll Over Beethoven
4. Ain't That Loving You Baby
5. Don't Lie To Me
6. Mona
7. Walking The Dog
8. Bye Bye Johnny
9. I Wanna Be Your Man
10. You Better Move On
11. Roll Over Beethoven
12. Beautiful Delilah
13. Route 66
14. Cops And Robbers
15. You Better Move On
16. Mona
17. Hi-Heel Sneakers
18. Little By Little
19. I Just Wanna Make Love To You
20. I'm Moving On
21. Not Fade Away
22. Walking The Dog
23. I Just Wanna Make Love To You
24. Beautiful Delilah
25. Hi-Heel Sneakers
26. Carol

1. Meet Me At The Bottom
2. You Can Make It If You Try
3. Route 66
4. Confessin' The Blues
5. Down The Road Apiece
6. It's All Over Now
7. If You Need Me
8. Confessin' The Blues
9. Carol
10. Mona
11. Around And Around
12. If You Need Me
13. I Can't Be Satsfied
14. Crackin' Up
15. 2120 South Michigan Avenue
16. Down The Road Apiece
17. interview
18. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
19. The Last Time
20. Mercy Mercy
21. Oh Baby (We Got A Good Thing Goin')
22. The Spider And The Fly
23. Satisfaction
24. Cry To Me
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