Saturday, 23 November 2013

"On Air" - chart action

After having taken the cover photo for "On Air", the Beatles looked around, wondering what to name their future record company. Photo: Dezo Hoffmann.

Here in Norway The Beatles' "On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2" entered at no. 9 on the official album chart, "VG-lista", while Paul McCartney's "New" has dropped out of the top 40. Over at Billboard's album list they fared slightly better and made it to no. 7 with 37 000 units sold. And the remastered "Live at the BBC" sold 9000 units, which re-entered the album at no 34.
From Great Britain, the Official Chart Company has "On Air" at 12 and "Live at the BBC" at 57. However, and this is nice, on "The Official Record Store Chart", which is compiled by Britain's independent record stores, the Beatles are number one with "On Air". The NME has a story about it. Of course, that chart is all about physical media. And the two-fer with both CD's is at number 26 on the same chart.



In Austria, there's a TV commercial for The Beatles' "On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2". 

13 comments:

Spiderjeru said...
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Michael Hockinson said...

The quantitative success (or lack thereof) of "On Air" vs. 1994's "Live at the BBC" begs the question, why did the powers that be overseeing The Beatles "brand" wait almost 19 years before issuing a follow-up? How well would a second volume have fared if it had been issued two, five, even ten years after? Speaking strictly from a marketing perspective, hype and a strong fan base will only move so many units.

"On Air" has likely peaked in the US and we're unlikely to get any more official releases of this material, which means of the 88 different songs recorded by the Beatles for the Beeb, only 81 will ever be available commercially.

For all that effort, is that good enough for the Beatles' legacy?

Brian Fried said...

To be fair, Michael, Live At The BBC's release was concurrent with the announcement Paul, George and Ringo had entered the studio to work on "Free As A Bird," due with Anthology the following year.

Anthology 2's delay forced Yellow Submarine and Let It Be's DVD releases out of 1996. Yellow Submarine got a DVD release in 1997, with a bigger campaign.

1998 saw the John Lennon Anthology and Linda retrospectives, and with sales still coming from Yellow Submarine, Let It Be was delayed.

1999 was 1 to capitalize on The Beatles.

So the earliest BBC 2 could be released was late 2000/early 2001, at which time George was focusing on his final recordings due to illness.

2002 was Let It Be… Naked, the last project George okayed. George hadn't okayed a DVD of Let It Be, so it was not released in 2003.

2004 answered the call for Capitol albums. Yoko delayed the next wave of Capitol albums for a John retrospective, which is how vol. 2 and Love both landed in 2006.

By 2007, the plan was already in place to remaster all the Beatles albums for digital. Note that all of them are deleted around this point.

Add another John Lennon retrospective and the fact Beatles movies are being pushed to BluRay and you have the reason for BBC vol. 2 being delayed so much. They don't want to overload the market with product.

2014 will see Capitol Albums vol. 3, which explains why Paul and Ringo were saying Let It Be on DVD/Blu will be 2015 when Magical Mystery Tour got released.

shekespeare said...

Given that many have mentioned the issue of delays, What happened with the release of Mono Vinyl Box Set? Supposedly this would be released in late 2013 and have not heard anything more about it.

James Peet said...

Just seen on Amazon.co.uk that the release date for the vinyl edition of "Live At The BBC Volume 1" has been put back to 9 December. Hmm.

torp it to full forward said...

In reply to Brian Fried, why do they have to release Let It Be DVD in 2015? Why is it just once a year for a release of material...going by that rate the Hollywood Bowl album will be released in 2026. In regards to the Live at the BBC- I thought they did a good job, but should have released more of the funny studio banter-some of the best material they left out.
On an unrelated matter- I was reading Billboard and they stated Meet The Beatles sold 1 million in a week...I can't find a reference to verify this anywhere. Does anyone know where I can find this info?

James Peet said...

According to Bruce Spizer's The Beatles Story On Capitol Records - Part 2, there was a Capitol press release, dated 13 January 1964 stating that Meet The Beatles! had advance orders of 240,000.

There was an affidavit from Capitol Vice President Voyle Gilmore (lovely name) dated 5 March 1964 stating that they were selling 500,000 Beatles records a week and that they had already sold 3,650,000 copies of Meet The Beatles!

I can't find anything that states what the record sold in its' first week, but can tell you that it was outselling I Want To Hold Your Hand, which was unheard of at the time and caught Capitol off-guard.

torp it to full forward said...

Thanks James. It doesn't seem like it is something one can verify as Billboard didn't put any information in this article.

http://www.billboard.com/photos/426851/albums-that-sold-1-million-in-one-week?i=13573

torp it to full forward said...

James, would you know if Meet The Beatles was the top-selling album of 1964 in the USA then? Is there any reference to this...

Sorry for going off on a tangent, but that Billboard article got me interested in the history of Meet The Beatles.

James Peet said...

No, no, it's fine. I'll have a look later on today. It wouldn't surprise me if it was! I presume you know that in April 1964 the Beatles held the top 5 places in the Billboard Hot 100. Will get back.

James Peet said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best-selling_albums_by_year_in_the_United_States#1960s

According to this it appears that the original Broadway Cast recording of Hello Dolly (owned now I think by Paul) was the biggest selling album of 1964. Interestingly the Monkees had the best selling album of 1967...!

James Peet said...

Personally, I'm happy that the mono box set has yet to appear. Need to save me pennies! It's been an expensive year.

torp it to full forward said...

James, thanks for researching, but I think those charts are based on chart action during the year ie how many weeks in top 10 etc, but not sales. If Meet The Beatles sold 1 million in a week in the USA and spent the amount of time it did on the charts I doubt in terms of sales it wasn't either the top seller or 2nd top. That year long chart states that Peter, Paul and Mary outsold the Beatles that year. I doubt it.