Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Stones Roll Back the Years

The Rolling Stones' On Air
Rock ‘n’ roll legends the Rolling Stones have been kicking around since the early ‘60s, the band’s enormous and influential back catalog of music including some 30 studio albums, 23 live releases, and better than two dozen various compilations and box sets…not to mention a slew of DVDs and literally dozens of bootleg albums. The band’s early years are a sorely underrepresented part of the Stones’ milieu, an oversight that will be rectified with the December release of On Air on CD and vinyl.

On December 1st, 2017 Universal Music will release the Stones’ On Air in various formats, including single and double-CD sets and a two-disc vinyl album. The compilation collects the band’s live BBC sessions recorded between 1963 and 1965, with many of the performances previously-unreleased. The single CD and vinyl formats feature eighteen tracks that range from the band’s first single – a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On” – and include classic tunes like “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Memphis, Tennessee,” “Mercy, Mercy,” and “Down the Road Apiece” performed on various BBC programs like Saturday Club, Top Gear, and Blues In Rhythm.

For fans willing to cough up a few extra dollars for the double-CD set, you’ll get another fourteen songs like “Carol,” “Confessin’ the Blues,” “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” and “2120 South Michigan Avenue,” the performances highlighting the band’s blues and R&B roots. None of these tracks have appeared on CD before (although four songs were included on a 7” vinyl EP included with the band’s 2012 GRRR! compilation), and eight of the songs have never been recorded in the studio or even released by the band. Each recording has been restored via a process called “audio source separation” to provide a full, cleaner sound.

On Air is the audio companion to the recently-published The Rolling Stones on Air in the Sixties by author Richard Havers, who also co-wrote Bill Wyman’s book Rolling with the Stones. The book represents the first official, in-depth history of the Stones as viewed through their early television and radio performances and it includes many previously-unpublished documents and photos from the BBC archives. Copies of both the book and On Air are available direct from the Stones’ website as stand-alone or bundled purchases, or you can use the links below to order from

The Rolling StonesOn Air track listing:

Disc 1
1. Come On (Saturday Club, 10/26/1963)
2. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (Saturday Club, 9/18/1965)
3. Roll Over Beethoven (Saturday Club, 10/26/1963)
4. The Spider and The Fly (Yeah Yeah, 8/30/1965)
5. Cops and Robbers (Blues In Rhythm, 5/9/1964)
6. It’s All Over Now (The Joe Loss Pop Show, 7/17/1964)
7. Route 66 (Blues In Rhythm, 5/9/1964)
8. Memphis, Tennessee (Saturday Club, 10/26/1963)
9. Down The Road Apiece (Top Gear, 3/6/1965)
10. The Last Time (Top Gear, 3/6/1965)
11. Cry To Me (Saturday Club, 9/18/1965)
12. Mercy, Mercy (Yeah Yeah, 8/30/1965)
13. Oh! Baby (We Got a Good Thing Goin’) (Saturday Club, 9/18/1965)
14. Around and Around (Top Gear, 7/23/1964)
15. Hi Heel Sneakers (Saturday Club, 4/18/1964)
16. Fannie Mae (Saturday Club, 9/18/1965)
17. You Better Move On (Blues In Rhythm, 5/9/1964)
18. Mona (Blues In Rhythm, 5/9/1964)

Disc 2 (included with deluxe edition)
1. I Wanna Be Your Man (Saturday Club, 2/8/1964)
2.Carol (Saturday Club, 4/18/1964)
3. I’m Moving On (The Joe Loss Pop Show, 4/10/1964)
4. If You Need Me (The Joe Loss Pop Show, 7/17/1964)
5. Walking The Dog (Saturday Club, 2/8/1964)
6. Confessin’ The Blues (The Joe Loss Pop Show, 7/17/1964)
7. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (Top Gear, 3/6/1965)
8. Little By Little (The Joe Loss Pop Show, 4/10/1964)
9. Ain’t That Loving You Baby (Rhythm and Blues, 10/31/1964)
10. Beautiful Delilah (Saturday Club, 4/18/1964)
11. Crackin’ Up (Top Gear, 7/23/1964)
12. I Can’t Be Satisfied (Top Gear, 7/23/1964)
13. I Just Want to Make Love to You (Saturday Club, 4/18/1964)
14. 2120 South Michigan Avenue (Rhythm and Blues, 10/31/1964)

Buy from
The Rolling Stones’ On Air double-CD set
The Rolling Stones’ On Air double-LP vinyl set
Richard Havers’ The Rolling Stones on Air in the Sixties

The Rolling Stones
Rolling Stones photo courtesy Universal Music

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