The Rolling Stones / On Air

In December Universal/Polydor will issue The Rolling StonesOn Air a collection of rare radio recordings from the band’s formative years.

Amongst the songs are eight the band have never recorded or released commercially, and these radio sessions would have been performed between 1963 and 1965 on BBC shows such as Saturday Club, Top Gear, Rhythm and Blues and The Joe Loss Pop Show.

On Air is available as an 18-track single CD edition which includes takes on (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, The Last Time, Come On, The Spider And The Fly, Route 66 and Hi Heel SneakersA double CD deluxe edition adds 14 further tracks to the offering. There’s also a heavyweight vinyl edition (which mirrors the single CD track listing).

These should sound good because the label says the audio has gone through a process called “audio source separation” which apparently involves “de-mixing the transcripts and allowing engineers at Abbey Road access to the original instrumentation and voices within each track, so that they could be rebuilt, rebalanced and remixed to achieve a fuller, more substantial sound.” Sounds similar to going back to the multi-tracks and remixing, although I suspect it’s not exactly that, since they’ve phrased it in a rather ambiguous way.

This release follows Richard Havers recent companion book which came out a few weeks back. The Rolling Stones On Air will be issued on 1 December 2017.

The Rolling Stones ON AIR 1963-65
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman

The Rolling Stones – On Air

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

Bonus Tracks (Deluxe)

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

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..new track available ” Satisfaction” seems promising…!

Paul Spurgeon

ordered 2 x yellow vinyls.
another good shout from SDE – thanks again Paul.


Just a little warning on this set, because from what we’ve heard so far it’s not looking good:

– this “audio source separation” (appropriately, A.S.S.) process sounds like something an amateur bootlegger uploads to youtube. It’s a terrible sounding combination of noise reduction, frequency spectrum extraction, smiley-face EQ and globs of digital reverb. So now the song sounds nothing like what was originally broadcast.

– for those hoping for new sources, prepare to be disappointed because “Come On” stays in perfect synchronization with the old 1988 “Got Satisfaction If You Want It” bootleg, which means it’s either derived from the same digital transfer or (far more likely) they just used the existing bootlegs of this stuff for their starting point before giving them the A.S.S.

Don’t waste your money on this cash grab, folks!

Charlie Waffles

I wish I knew if this was mono or stereo. I am purchasing the 2 cd deluxe set.


I pre-ordered the yellow vinyl/book bundle from the Stones’ website – shipping was an astronomical 23.25 USD!!


World of Music has the yellow vinyl version for E27.99 – I ordered it from them as they were $10 cheaper than the Stones site inc shipping to the US. I got my blue vinyl OK Computer from them recently without any problems.

The book is available now from Amazon for $9 cheaper too.

Yellow Vinyl — https://wom.de/poprock/detail/-/art/the-rolling-stones-on-air/hnum/7810970

Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062471317/


The sample of “Come On” on the Stones’ official website sounds VERY bass-heavy, worse than the new Bowie box set!


The yellow vinyl version is not only available from the official Rolling Stones store, but also from jpc.de (price: Euro 27,99)


A few months ago three great sounding and looking (however unofficial) vinyl lp’s were released, containing radio and tv UK recordings from the early 60’s https://www.discogs.com/The-Rolling-Stones-The-Complete-British-Radio-Broadcasts-Volume-3-1964-1965/release/10592590

John Fell

It looks they omitted the following songs from my Beat Beat at the Beeb bootleg.

Down In The Bottom –
Don’t Lie To Me
Bye Bye Johnny
Not Fade Away
You Can Make It If You Try


Not surprised. Amazon Canada is always the last to list anything new….
Still waiting for pricing for Spock’s Beard’s Snow Live.


This will be fun, ordering for sure.

Rough cut

That technical mumbo jumbo sounds like a lot of…

Paul Wren

The sample track available to listen to via the Stones’ website sounds very good quality indeed. £24 including postage for the yellow vinyl version which is only available from the Stones’ website.

Nass Khan

Look forward to this .

Hopefully this will counteract Bootlegs with up & down sound quality.

Stevie B

Yep Colin, I loved Brian Matthew, and love the look of this very long overdue release. Will wait to see what Swordfish (local indie store) or HMV are asking rather than go to the tax dodgers website (ok, I bought two albums from Amazon earlier this week so I’m a hypocrite). Stones are putting out lots of archive material these last five years or so. Hopefully there’s lots more to come in the years ahead

Colin Harper

Brian’s intros/outros on the (many) unreleased Georgie Fame BBC sessions from the 60s are vintage stuff – beyond parody, but so emblematic of the times! With so much 60s Fame coming out in recent years – 2 box sets and the recent RPM 2CD edition of ‘The Two Faces of Fame’ – it can surely only be a matter of time before a set of his 60s BBC recordings (many still extant on Transcription discs) appears. The caveat is that, in recent years, the license fee that BBC Worldwide charge to labels for BBC recordings has increased to the point that it’s very onerous for a lot of projects involving, for wont of a better term, ‘second division’ artists, especially when there may also be a label that said act were signed to at that time which also needs to be paid – and in some cases there may also need to be payments direct to artists. I know of one quite exciting potential 60s BBC release from a third party label currently having to deal with all three such parties. It has to be a labour of love… Universal has a special relationship with/access to the BBC and Edsel is BBC owned, which is why we see all these Edsel bonus discs of BBC sound and vision.

Re: tax dodgers – I deliberately sought out a few things in bricks and mortar stores on a trip to London last week. Amazingly, it took THREE attempts at different stores to find John McLaughlin’s brand new album ‘Live At Ronnie Scott’s’. I was surprised to find Ray’s Jazz Shop at Foyle’s didn’t have it. Fopp had a few copies inaccessibly mired in deep storage. HMV on Oxford Street had a couple racked out.


These sessions were live (meaning the mix was done as the band played) to mono recordings.

Tom M

“These sessions were live (meaning the mix was done as the band played) to mono recordings.”
Is it known whether or not these songs will remain as mono? I would hope so.

Herb Klein

It’s about time!

Colin Harper

The title ‘On Air’ is hardly new – it was often used in the early 90s on legitimately licensed releases on the Windsong/Band of Joy labels, e.g. Pentangle On Air, Incredible String Band On Air, etc.

It would be nice to see a new/definitive Peter’s Green’s Fleetwood Mac BBC set.

Re: Brian Matthew – last week I bought the 2014 Acrobat label Tubby Hayes compilation ‘Without A Song: Rare Live Recordings 1954-73’ and there’s Brian, like Viv Stanshall on Tubular Bells, exhuberantly introducing each player in turn throughout a tune from a BBC sesh in 1959 – and sounding exactly like he did for the next 55+ years. He was a one-off.

Rick Marino

Will the vinyl have a digital download as well?


Stu, they’re not very good. The sample of the new CD above sounds much better.


A few people have mentioned those slightly dodgy compilations of similar stuff on amazon at the moment – what is the quality like on those ? I’ve been interested in the Stones and Fleetwood Mac releases, so would be good to hear if they are actually worth buying ?


Sounds similar to the process ARS used in the 2016 version of Beatles’ Live at Hollywood Bowl.


Who is the single cd set aimed at? Just don’t get who would buy that. Definitely getting the “deluxe” set

Chris S

Finally, something to look forward to getting.

Dave H

I take it this doesn’t include the live stereo Rhythm and Blues tracks that were played in front of a live audience. These could be heard in stereo by using a radio and TV to receive a signal for each speaker.

Personally, I’d prefer the set in chronological order but I guess the record company have decided to spread the hits.

Geoff Kavanagh

The quality may be better than the grey market issues but I suspect that there is still plenty of material for those companies to sell as this set is not complete with regard to the recordings that are available. It seems once again a case of closing the barn door after the horse has left.


Uncle Mac loved the Rolling Stones, well ok, not really. I do hope that they have indulged us grey hairs with the odd Brian Matthew introduction.


To those doubting the quality of the audio source separation, have a listen to the new Sgt Peppers and see if you think it will still sound crap.

Dave H

What separation is that?


Unusual choice for a title as ‘On Air’ is a favoured bootleg/grey area release name for numerous bands already. When I got the SDE alert I just assumed it was one of those dodgy releases!

Rob Deighton

Third BBC release in a row with the “On Air” labelling – Beatles, Queen, Stones.


I don’t think Paul would accept bootleg releases….


The vinyls on the official store are both showing as having the deluxe tracklisting. Whether this is right or not though, I have no idea.

The deluxe edition CD (which to me is a no-brainer) is £11.99 on the official store plus p+p. On Amazon it is £19.99 (plus p+p unless you buy something else to bump it above £20). I’ve ordered from the official website.

Been waiting for a Stones at the beeb for years, so this is a very welcome treat – I was just wondering this morning what else was to come after Sticky Fingers Live – The Stones are never ones to miss out on the stocking-filler market!

Kevin S

It looks like the vinyl is the same as the deluxe CD edition, 32 tracks, as opposed to the 18 track single CD.

Kevin S

Double vinyl (either yellow or black) only £19.99 plus p&p at the Rolling Stones Store as Mauro said earlier.

Philip Cohen

No, the vinyl has the CD One material only. A limited yellow vinyl edition is available at The Rolling Stones official site.


Philip Cohen, the vinyl contains all 32 tracks

Dave H

Is the DVD a definite no?

John Barleycorn

Excited! I am definitely in for this… and long overdue.
I wonder why they didn’t do the “Live at the BBC” thing in the title like it was for The Beatles or is that just too, erm, Beatley for the Stones? I have a naff version from Amazon (cue Mrs May-style cough) but this sample here sounds good to me bearing in mind it’s 50+ years old. 2 CD version is a no brainer.


…excellent…it seems well done…a good surprise…!l


For those in the USA, the deluxe is $14.97 at http://www.bullmoose.com

Mark Story

Thanks for the tip jack, I preordered for $10.48 with my bullmoose points


Excellent, thanks Jack!


Great, just GREAT! I have it, of course, for years on bootlegs but any sound improvement is welcome.

The Ghost of Brian Jones

I`ve been waiting for this, there are lots of dubious grey area releases on the tax dodgers site with the same material but this is the release I want.
There have been more Stones releases in the past few years than in the previous 50 years! Well nearly.


It’s the same technique they used to extract stereo mixes from mono only Beach Boys tracks on 2012 reissues. It doesn’t produce very good sound.


yes you are right
i listened to 2-3 tracks on the web and therefore i will not buy On Air because i am sure i will not listen to it very often…


This will be something like Giles Martin did for the Beatles Hollywood Bowl tapes


2LP Yellow Vinyl exclusive on Official Rolling Stones Store