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The Peel Sessions: A story of teenage dreams and one man's love of new music Paperback – 4 Oct 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; 1st Edition edition (4 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846072824
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846072826
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 232,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"The book that true fans...have been waiting for. A truly fascinating read...this is a book to devour and pore over at your leisure" (Metro - Non-fiction book of the week *****)

"The definitive word on Peel as champion of new music" (Q Magazine - ****)

"There is no better book about Peel available...combines rigour and precision with style and accessibility...a compelling tale about music on the airwaves" (Glasgow Herald)

"Encyclopaedic" (Sunday Express - ****)

"Top Ten Rock Books: - Number One: The Peel Sessions (24/10/07)" (The Independent)

Book Description

The first book to look at John Peel's extraordinary contribution to this country's musical landscape.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Simon F. on 11 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
Back in 1992 Ken Garner published a fascinating account of the history of the BBC
Radio One session called "In Session Tonight". Long out of print and still much
sought after, the book tied in with BBC Radio One's 25th anniversary and along with
telling the story of the station and it's commitment to live music, the book also
contained an almost complete list of sessions recorded and broadcast from when the
station opened in September 1967 to September 1992. The lion's share of these were
recorded for the legendary John Peel, and now with Radio One celebrating forty years
on air, Garner has bought the story up to date with the publication of "The Peel
Unlike his previous book, this one concentrates solely on the work of the late great
John Peel, and is without doubt one of the finest tributes to him that has yet appeared.

Using material published in the original book, but altered where necessary for
obvious reasons, Garner traces the rise of the Peel programme and it's hosts never-
ending quest to find and champion new music. The Peel Session became a mark of
respect, and there have been few bands outside of the pop mainstream that have not
recorded at least one for the programme.
The first half of the book is littered with stories and anecdotes from various classic
sessions and even a few memories supplied by listeners, not to mention some
wonderful photos of both Peel and various bands. One should also not forget the
programme's many producers from the irreplaceable John Walters (R.I.P.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Bravin on 13 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
Much, much more than a book of lists, The Peel Sessions blends forensic attention to detail with a deft lightness of touch. Ken Garner shows a genuine love of music, and much warmth towards the people who create it. Fascinating to read, with a clear narrative and a keen sense of musical trends, the layout also rewards those who wish to pick and mix at random.

It is easy to see why the "Session' remained at the heart of the Peel programme. They provided help to a myriad of new, often unrecorded, artists, and offered an enduring platform for those talents not cursed with the trappings of conventional stardom. Each session was lovingly (and in some cases grudgingly) crafted by a procession of engineers and producers, with John Peel providing a blend of fatherly advice and boyish excitement that spanned 5 decades.

Some might argue that John Peel would not have welcomed this backward looking introspection. I think not. At its heart, it is a celebration: a celebration of those who simply love to listen to new music, of musicians who love to create it, and above all those few unique individuals exemplified by Peel whose passion and skill bring the two together.

Open up the shoebox, take out a C90 at random, and spend an hour or two immersed in this book. Trust me, it will be time and money very well spent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 13 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nothing I write here could do justice to Ken's monumental effort of meticulously documenting the greatest music radio show ever made.

For me, the most refreshing thing is we now have a book that is solely dedicated to accurately representing the story of John Peel's show from start to finish - the one thing he did that really matters. Personally, as a Peel show disciple, I started to get frustrated at the misrepresentations of the show following his death (e.g. some obituaries made it sound like opportunity knocks for indie acts) along with the focus on other less important aspects of his life (yeah yeah, National Service, Home Truths, zzzz...). If you feel the same, if you treat your lovingly compiled C90 Peel tapes like the crown jewels, this is the only Peel book you'll ever need.
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By Doccox VINE VOICE on 23 Aug. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Peel Sessions A story of teenage dreams and one mans love of new music
You’ve read “ Margrave of the Marshes “ by John Peel and his family and “The Olivetti Chronicles” an collection of John Peels writings ( if not, why not ?) .
Here is an independent history of the late lamented John Peel’s attempts to bring new music and groups to our attention over some 30 years with the BBC and Radio 1 in , particular from 1967 - 1992.
The book is by Ken Garner , sometime friend of John and author of an earlier book on the history of Radio 1.
We start with the funeral and remembrance of JP in chapter 1 before moving onto the BBC back in1957 (before JP) and the Saturday Club programme and the first recordings of groups like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones moving on from Trad Jazz and sounds of the 50’s. The stories of the ancient equipment and the engineers who coaxed the best out of them provides the precursor to the programming that followed – moving from playing actual records ( “needle time” – controlled by the record companies) to live music and pre-recorded music ( Sessions) for broadcast make fascinating reading of the heyday of Bernie Andrews and his crew. Saturday night club and Top Gear took the public by storm but the BBC brass were not impressed.
Onto 1967 ,and the demise of Pirate Radio stations ( the Marine (Offences) Broadcasting Bill – or something of that ilk) and finally the creation of Radio 1 – enter one John (Ravenscroft ) Peel – recently back from the US and a short stint on the Pirate ship Radio London ( The Perfumed Garden night programme) and brought in by Bernie to do some radio 1 sessions ..All the DJ’s were on limited contracts at this stage.
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