On Air
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On Air

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones - On Air, a collection of rarely heard radio recordings from their formative years.


The songs, including eight the band have never recorded or released commercially, were originally broadcast on bygone UK BBC shows such as Saturday Club, Top Gear, Rhythm and Blues and The Joe Loss Pop Show between 1963 and 1965.

Released on CD, double CD deluxe edition, and heavy-weight vinyl these flashbacks offer an insight into the band as a vital and constantly surprising live unit. Such was the frequency with which they visited BBC studios in the 60’s, the group constantly set out to offer listeners something different. As well as songs that never appeared on singles or albums, there are seven tracks that were debuted over the airwaves before featuring on albums or EPs.

The group’s take on familiar R&B staples like ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘Memphis, Tennessee’ and ‘Beautiful Delilah’ (all originated by Chuck Berry) illustrate the verve and energy the Stones regularly brought to their live shows. The BBC would urge them to perform their current singles, and while happy to do so they also relished the opportunity to showcase a fuller picture of their prowess as Britain’s foremost blues outfit, packing clubs and ballrooms night after night.

Among the 32 tracks, first heard ringing out of transistor radios over a period of just under two years, is ‘Come On’, the group’s debut single and also the first number laid down for the iconic Saturday Club, hosted by the late, legendary Brian Matthew. ‘Come On’ is released as the first track from the album and is available now on digital and streaming services. Other highlights include the strutting ‘Fannie Mae’ (originally recorded by bluesman Buster Brown in 1959), Tommy Tucker’s ‘Hi Heel Sneakers’, and Bo Diddley’s ‘Cops And Robbers’.

The variety of radio shows from which the material is compiled is testament to the special relationship the Stones had with the BBC from the very beginning of their recording career. The music speaks for itself, but On Air also serves as an important historical artefact, and an essential of the group’s impressively evergreen canon.

The Rolling Stones - On Air offer a unique insight into the formative days of The Rolling Stones a few years before ‘The Greatest Rock 'n’ Roll Band in the World' became a reality this was a band playing the music they loved so much - Blues, R&B, Soul and even the odd country song. Performing these songs night after night in clubs and dancehalls meant they are all honed to perfection and performed with the genuine love and affection that The Stones have for their musical heritage.

 

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