'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...
i used to listen to the john peel show on headphones most week nights in the late seventies because the sounds were great and it was much better than watching boring tv with my parents. many of the songs here i listened to for the first time months before they were released on vinyl, because there were no cds or downloads in those days. it is a good selection but there are a lot of big names missing including the sex pistols who were not invited because the producer did not want them spitting or throwing up in the studio! no clash they attempted a session but walked out after an argument with an engineer about the basic studio equipment? no elvis costello he recorded four peel sessions and these remain locked in the bbc vaults. no Boomtown Rats, Pentration, Gang Of Four, Ultravox, Gary Numan and did the Heartbreakers ever perform? for an overview of what important music was like in the late seventies this is essential listening. year zero surely that was 1976 when the first alternative singles were released and newspaper headlines introduced angry punks to the nation. It was all over by late 1979 when 2 tone records dominated the pop charts. john peel was up to date of course and their first recordings can be heard on this album. there is a good cd booklet with session details and a few b&w photos. i am looking forward to a second volume 1980 - 1982 new wave, new romantic and possibly some nwobhm. Movement - The Peel Sessions 1977 - 1979
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 !!
as someone who used to listen to john peel during these times it was great to rehear some of the songs long forgotten, its hard to compile this sort of comp without some average tracks but fantastic to hear these again