On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2 was released in two-CD set and 180-gram vinyl versions. Both include a 48-page booklet with an introduction by Paul McCartney and liner notes by BBC producer Kevin Howlett.
There’s a lot of energy and spirit. We are going for it, not holding back at all, trying to put in the best performance of our lifetimes.
The album contains 63 tracks, including 37 previously unreleased performances, and 23 excerpts of in-studio speech featuring the group and radio presenters Brian Matthew, Alan Freeman, Lee Peters and Rodney Burke.
Three songs not officially available elsewhere were ‘I’m Talking About You’, ‘Beautiful Dreamer’, and ‘Happy Birthday Dear Saturday Club’, although the collection did contain ‘Lend Me Your Comb’, which had previously been issued on Anthology 1.
However, two other songs, ‘A Picture Of You’ and ‘Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream?)’, recorded with Pete Best on drums on 7 March 1962 and 11 June 1962 respectively, are still yet to be officially released in any form.
Versions of several of the included songs had previously been released on Live At The BBC, in an acknowledgement that The Beatles recorded certain songs multiple times. The group performed a total of 88 different songs in their BBC radio sessions.
In all The Beatles made 52 known musical performances on a variety of BBC radio shows between 7 March 1962 and 26 May 1965, in addition to many more interviews and unscheduled news appearances.
In addition to the musical performances, On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2 includes audio of The Beatles talking to DJs Brian Matthew and Alan Freeman, and Pop Go The Beatles hosts Lee Peters and Rodney Burke, as well as interviews recorded for the Pop Profile series in November 1965 and May 1966.
The album was compiled and researched by producers Kevin Howlett and Mike Heatley, and was mastered at Abbey Road Studios by engineers Guy Massey and Alex Wharton.