The Smiths - "At the Beeb" (new compilation of sessions not officially released)


New Member
With thanks for all the great music I've been given here and at smithstorrents, here's my attempt to give something in return:

The Smiths – At the Beeb
Radio and TV appearances (none officially released)
various locales & dates 1983-1987

Smiths, The - At the Beeb (unreleased) front.jpg

FM, soundboard and video-derived audio (from best available sources)

sound quality: variable (range = VG- to Ex-)

01 Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now (Ear Say 84)
02 Pretty Girls Make Graves (Jenson Session 83)
03 I Don't Owe You Anything (Jenson Session 83)
04 Reel Around the Fountain (Jenson Session 83)
05 This Night Has Opened My Eyes (Y.E.S. 84)
06 What Difference Does It Make? (Y.E.S. 84)
07 Still Ill (The Tube 84)
08 Hand In Glove (The Tube 84)
09 How Soon Is Now? (Peel Session 84)
10 Barbarism Begins at Home (The Tube 84)
11 There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (Euro-Tube 86)
12 Vicar In A Tutu (Whistle Test 86)
13 Panic (Euro-Tube 86)
14 Bigmouth Strikes Again (Whistle Test 86)
15 Half A Person (Peel Session 86)
16 London (Peel Session 86)
17 Shoplifters of the World Unite (Tube 87)
18 Sheila Take a Bow (Tube 87)

Xa Asleep (Inverness soundcheck 85)
Xb [blank]
Xc Wonderful Woman (Jenson Session 83)
Xd Shoplifters of the World Unite (Megamix 87)

Smiths, The - At the Beeb (unreleased) rear.jpg

LINKS ARE FOUND HERE AT MY MUSIC BLOG (available in high-quality lossy)

01 – early studio version with shorter ending, broadcast 31 March 1984 on “Ear Say” television programme, BBC Channel 4 in the UK
02 – live session, recorded 25 August 1983 on David “Kid” Jenson show, BBC Radio One in the UK
03 – [same as 02]
04 – [same as 02]
05 – live performance, broadcast 31 March 1984 on “Y.E.S.” television programme, BBC North West in the UK
06 – [same as 05]
07 - live performance, broadcast 16 March 1984 on “The TUBE” television programme in the UK
08 – [same as 07]
09 – live session, recorded 1 August 1984 on John Peel show, BBC Radio One in the UK (includes abrupt false ending, followed by 42 additional seconds of music)
10 – [same as 07]
11 - live performance, broadcast 5 July 1986 on “Euro-Tube” television programme, Channel 4 in the UK
12 – live performance, broadcast 20 May 1986 on “(Old Grey) Whistle Test” television programme, BBC2 in the UK
13 – [same as 11] – features unusual long intro
14 – [same as 12]
15 - live session, recorded 17 December 1986 on John Peel show, BBC Radio One in the UK
16 – [same as 15]
17 - live performance, broadcast 10 April 1987 on “The TUBE” television programme in the UK
18 – [same as 17]

Xa – audience recording, 1 October 1985, Eden Court, Inverness, Scotland (soundcheck)
Xc - live session, recorded 24 July 1983 on David “Kid” Jenson show, BBC Radio One in the UK
Xd – live performance, broadcast 13 February 1987 on “Megamix” television programme, Dublin, Ireland


I’d been intending for some time to put together an audio compilation of all the BBC radio and TV performances that have never seen official release. I did this for my own amusement, but since it turned out better than I anticipated, I decided to share it.

Be prepared for quite a lot of variety in sound quality. That said, I think most Smiths fans will find many, or even all, of these very listenable.

I used the best sources I could find from an audio standpoint. They were lossless in most instances (though I recognize that audio taken from video sources is rarely lossless, and invariably sounds lossy). Those interested are welcome to consult the comments section in the music files to discover the source I used for each track.

There were a few tracks available that I chose not to use due to poor sound quality. Trainspotter types will readily guess which ones I left off for this reason.

When necessary, I imported the source tracks into Audacity and applied modest eq’ing and/or compression when I felt such changes would enhance the listening experience. In many cases, I raised the loudness levels so all would sound more or less compatible when sequenced together.

For the running order, I picked tracks that I thought sounded good next to each other. Happily, the sequence ended up being mostly chronological. My apologies to fans of “Wonderful Woman” from the 1983 Jenson Session: I could not imagine it making a positive musical contribution to this compilation other than as a “bonus track.” The Xb blank track features 10 seconds of silence to create an audio gap before the bonus tracks.

I strayed briefly from the theme of this compilation in a few places. First is the stunning soundcheck run-through of “Asleep” from Inverness in 1985, which I thought sounded just right as an endpoint for the compilation. The second is the live performance of “Shoplifters” from the Dublin “Megamix” television programme in 1987. It’s the last of the bonus tracks. Finally, I've been notified since posting that "The TUBE" had no connection whatsoever to The BBC, so those tracks aren't really at or from The Beeb (this probably applies to the Euro-Tube selections as well).

The artwork I made is rather crude, so I also would not mind if anyone wants to improve upon it.

Above all, please enjoy.


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New Member
My ignorance explains that one. I've seen it listed as "BBC Channel 4," so will have to plead "I'm not British so I didn't know any better..."
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Junior Member
I'm just downloading now. It's always nice to hear fan compilations.

Two comments:
1. 'At The Beeb' is an odd choice of title. Firstly because there is already an official documentary called 'At the Beeb' which is is a great source for the Peel/Jenson sessions. Secondly because, as mentioned above, The Tube (and I think Y.E.S.) were never on The Beeb.
2. I'd really recommend as a place to host these files. 15GB free. These file hosting sites are fiddly and take forever to download.

Out of interest, what were the audio sources?

Apologies if that comes across as criticism. Intended as constructive. I look forward to hearing it :)


New Member
I welcome comments, including constructive criticism. I was not aware of the other "At the Beeb" comp, otherwise would have picked a different title.

Here are the titles of my sources. Most are bootleg compilations. I'm using the tracks numbers from my comp:

1, 2, 15 - Unreleased BBC Sessions
3 - BBC Sessions
4-8, 10 - Unloveable
9, 11-14, 17, 18, Xc - Reeling Around the Fountain
16 - BBC 6 re-broadcast (March 2013) of 1986 Peel Session
Xa - Asleep
Xd - YouTube audio rip (by me)
bbc sesssions compilation the smiths unofficial
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