on 20 November 2012
'Goodnight and good riddance' - John Peel's sneery sign-off after his Road-to-Damascus conversion to all things punk, new wave and reggae. And for many of us that's the only J/Peel we knew having tuned the dial to him some time in '77. It was only years later I discovered his hippy-era (and he championed some decent stuff then too - if you want an example of his earlier laconic feel listen the intro's and interviews on Bowie at the Beeb-1968-1972). But for me 77-79 was his peak period - and the creme-de-la-creme of a Peel show was frequently the sessions. Across 2-discs here you get The Jam, Buzzcocks, Stranglers, Adverts, 999, Penetration, SLF etc - representing the various shades of punk itself but you also get some great (what we later came to know as) 'post punk' in Wire, Magazine, Joy Division and an awesome 'Poptones' by Pil, the burgeoning eye-liner brigade of Simple Minds and the Psychedelic Furs. Rounded off with the reggae and ska of the likes of Aswad, Steel Pulse, Madness, The Beat. Some curios like Adam and the Ants 'Deutscher Gilrs' from the period when the Ants were would become most of Bow Wow Wow and Adam was into S&M rather than First-Nation-American-Pirate-Highwaymen, Human League (when they were 2/3 Heaven 17) with the bonkers 'Being Boiled' - a long way from 'Love Action', J-C-Clarke's sleazy/dreamy 'Readers Wives'. And if you've got all these tracks in their record form? So what, everything here has something different and worthwhile - even if only the immediacy and live feel. And of course, in amongst it all Peel's fave-raves The Undertones turning in not 'Teenage Kicks' but a barnstorming 'Get Over You'. I was 14 to 16 in the period these tracks were recorded - teenage dreams so hard to beat indeed...
on 23 January 2013
Am absolutely loving this !41 raw,top quality,songs from artists who at the time of recording I'm guessing were striving for greater recognition but were NOT prepared to compromise . The overall feel teeters on the edge of raw demo versions / single versions . All VERY listenable ,you may find yourself UNAPOLOGETICALLY turning the volume up as the songs spread across the 2 cds slip by. ENJOY !!
on 9 November 2013
I don't like reviewing too quickly in case I change my mind. However, having owned this CD for two years, I thought I might mention that this is, by far, the best compilation CD I own, and I still play this regularly. However, there are so many other tracks that could have been on this that I keep checking for a volume 2 (hint hint).