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Great compilation but not really 'Peel' enough
on 18 October 2005
This is on the surface a rather admirable attempt to gather together a history of music that has been championed by the late great DJ over his remarkable career.
This works on one level but fails on another. As compilations go its pretty good. The proceeds will apparently go to charity which also another good reason to buy.
However it seems to have completely overlooked several of the genres that John himself loved. So whilst theres no denying the tunes here are classics there is no Grime, Death metal, Hip hop, Happy hardcore, Drum and bass, World music,etc represented here.
Surely the essence of the Peel show was the ecletic mix he provided. This was the way the listener got drawn into types of music that may otherwise have passed them by.
Perhaps the people behind this compilation have plans to follow it up and I guess to get all of the stuff that John loved across a 2 cd set is a bit of a tall order. It would have been nice to have included the session versions of these songs where possible too.
John famously said that he got fed up of his listeners festive 50's because it was filled primarily with white boys (and girls) with guitars when he was always giving airtime to such a bigger variety of artists from around the world. I think he would have said the same of this compilation (Culture and Elmore James being the exceptions here).
So by all means buy this compilation but do consider that the great man himself would have found this a somewhat safe and pedestrian collection.
Something on the lines of his own DJ set at Fabric would have been a far more fitting tribute and a box set at least.
The man may be gone but there is still music out there waiting to be found so lets try and 'Keep it Peel!' Peace and love to his family.