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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Peel compilation yet
There are many compilations available which bear the legendary DJ's name but none that come anywhere close to matching this fabulous 4 disc box set. For a start, around half of the tracks are taken from Peel sessions (many of which have never been previously released) and, with the great man's voice popping up from time to time, it's about as close as you'll get to...
Published on 10 Dec 2009 by Shug McCretin

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kats Karavan
A John Peel themed compilation is always something I await with interest. This one stands out from previous ones as it has recordings of Peel himself on it.

However, like some of the others, It does not properly represent that eclectic nature of the Peel programmes (although this one does a better job than the 2005 & 2006 tributes). It seems to be too white...
Published on 1 Jan 2010 by Mr. C. R. Aylott


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Peel compilation yet, 10 Dec 2009
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This review is from: Kats Karavan - The History of John Peel on the Radio (Audio CD)
There are many compilations available which bear the legendary DJ's name but none that come anywhere close to matching this fabulous 4 disc box set. For a start, around half of the tracks are taken from Peel sessions (many of which have never been previously released) and, with the great man's voice popping up from time to time, it's about as close as you'll get to actually listening to one of his shows. The excellent booklet contains, amongst other things, several recollections from artists who appeared on his programme over the years and it's obvious that a lot of care and attention to detail has gone into the making of this collection.
And so to the music...disc 1 concentrates on the years 1966-1979, disc 2 1980-1989, disc 3 1990-1998 and disc 4 2000-2005. With only 74 tracks covering almost 4 decades, you get an indication of the scale of the problems faced when trying to select which material to include (and, indeed, omit!). Many of the bands he championed are missing e.g. Misty In Roots, Joy Division, Half Man Half Biscuit and Killing Joke to name but four and it would have been a nice touch if they could have included Grinderswitch's "Pickin' The Blues", the track which opened his show for many years, but these are all minor gripes.
As a 40 something, I felt that I might favour the first disc but was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed almost all of the tracks. I won't pretend that there weren't one or two which grated a bit but that's to be expected as his shows regularly featured stuff which made you want to switch off. However, more often than not, they also contained some absolute gems and there are a good few of those on offer here...one such track being the long-lost 1968 Peel session recording of "Walk In My Shadow" by Free.
No doubt everyone will have their own opinions about which artists should have been included or left off but the truth is that they could have made this a 20 disc set and still not come close to pleasing everyone, such was the broad spectrum of music Peelie played.
To sum up...I can honestly say that I listened to the entire box set in one sitting and never felt compelled to hit the "skip" button.

Definitely worthy of your attention!

P.S. also well worth checking out is the Fabriclive 07 CD which was mixed by John Peel.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leicester Bangs Review (2009):, 19 April 2011
By 
Leicester Bangs "words-R-us" (Leicester, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Kats Karavan - The History of John Peel on the Radio (Audio CD)
Various Artists - Kats Karavan: The History Of John Peel On The Radio (Universal)
Every now and then a release comes along which is so intrinsically right, so perfectly conceived, one cant help but smile broadly, and wish everyone involved the best of luck. Kats Karavan is one of those releases. A four-disc box, which celebrates John Peel's music radio career, chronologically, over five decades. Disc one, the `60s and `70s, features Peel's much-loved Misunderstood (the only band he ever managed), a Free track thought lost until found on an old BBC reel-to-reel tape, together with many favourites of the period; The Damned, Aswad, Medicine Head, Traffic, etc. Compared to later selections, it sounds almost mainstream, but that's possibly because, especially in the early days of his career, he had knack for discovering and playing breakthrough artists. Whatever the reason, it's a solid start and a consistently enjoyable mix, without a teenage kick to be found.

Disc 2, the '80s, features Altered Images version of Neil Diamond's "Song Sung Blue" with Peel on backing vocals, The Cure's "A Forest", Musical Youth's number one hit "Pass The Duchie", Cud's "You Sexy Thing" and Costello's "Hi Fidelity". Not necessarily natural bedfellows, you may think, but it all hangs together perfectly, in much the same way the shows used to. Although the BBC omitted to keep any tapes of the show, old cassette tapes have been plundered and cleaned, and between some songs there are clips of the old boy, and I must say, it's a pleasure to hear him again, playing music, and enjoying himself.

Disc 3, the `90s, is where he lost me as a regular listener, though revisiting the decade's alternative landscape, it's well represented in my own record collection; PJ Harvey, Hole, The Orb, Tindersticks, etc. Strange that Ivor Cutler doesn't appear `til now... and no sign of The Fall anywhere. Statistics show that single people, the majority of them men, primarily listen to late night radio. You find yourself someone to cuddle up to and you've suddenly got better things to do that stay up for the new Violent Anal Death session - though you secretly miss it.

Disc 4, the `00s, though cut short by Peel's sad death in 2004, reveals no drop in quality. Laura Cantrell, Mercury Rev, Bong Ra, Bloc Party and Yeah Yeah Yeahs are all present, and although it's a return to guitars, I'm sure he'd have been championing the new electronica - probably in early 2006.

The package is completed with rare and previously unseen photographs, personal recollections from many of the featured artists, and the whole thing looks very tidy on a bookshelf next to "Margrave Of The Marshes", Ken Garner's "The Peel Sessions" and the recent "The Olivetti Chronicles". 10/10.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kats karavan, 29 Jan 2012
This review is from: Kats Karavan - The History of John Peel on the Radio (Audio CD)
John peel always selected an eclectic mix for his shows and this collection reflects that. I can almost guarantee that you won't like every track here but that is why it's a great collection. Enjoy it, discover new music and yopu'll love the sleeve notes too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is how I remember the JP shows!, 16 Sep 2011
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Mr. Christopher Watton "chris66" (Gloucestershire) - See all my reviews
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I started listening to John Peel in the very early `80's, when I had my radio in bed with me, hoping my parents couldn't hear it. I then used to write down any song and artist I like and catch the bus to Birmingham the following weekend to buy the songs.

I think that this compilation captures the eclectic mix of genres that I remember so fondly, perfectly. I am surprised that the likes of Jah Wobble and natural-Ites and the Realistics aren't on here though - I remember them being played quite often - but that's just nit-picking. The album on the whole is great. Music is so subjective, I find some tracks to be complete dirge, and others sublime - but that was the beauty of John Peel's shows. He was a true lover of music, both old and new catered for every taste and genre (I guess he'd be on BBC 6 Music now if he were still with us)

Highly recommended for those who have an interest in music, and a true glimpse into what John Peel was all about - he certainly opened my musical horizons.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kats Karavan, 1 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Kats Karavan - The History of John Peel on the Radio (Audio CD)
A John Peel themed compilation is always something I await with interest. This one stands out from previous ones as it has recordings of Peel himself on it.

However, like some of the others, It does not properly represent that eclectic nature of the Peel programmes (although this one does a better job than the 2005 & 2006 tributes). It seems to be too white indie gutar band orientated with little room for reggae, African music & Happy harcore, all of which were staples of the Peel Programme.

That said this is some good stuff on here and it's great to have recordings of the man himself - There will never be another.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars i was looking forward to this, 20 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Kats Karavan - The History of John Peel on the Radio (Audio CD)
i grew up listening to John Peel. the Bbc would make a fortune on pay to listen reruns of his shows. evveryone i know would pay. but the cds didnt luve up to the hype. sorry a one play purchase only.
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Kats Karavan - The History of John Peel on the Radio
Kats Karavan - The History of John Peel on the Radio by Various Artists (Audio CD - 2009)
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