As a pre-pubescent Peel devotee, thanks to the inventor of the radio earpiece, and under the covers follower, I felt that this was a must have item. This man was misunderstood by many. Peers would cruelly mock the falsehood that we were being fed a diet we should like, as they happily slipped into Woolworths to purchase their latest chart favourite.
The whole point of Peel was his radar like ability to hear something different and offer it up for listener comment, approval or otherwise. Yes he had his favourites and championed them - but it was he who broke the news. From the sublime, to the obscure, to the plain ridiculous - he was not afraid to put his 'reputation' on the line.
And thats what leaves me a little cold at this compilation. A fine selection of songs. Not his favourites. Not our favourites. Commercial middle ground. Peel was around for a long time, which isnt really reflected, and we'll all have favourite tracks + bands we're surprised to see omitted. For my part, Swell Maps, Natural Ites, Television Personalities, Dodgems + possibly a recognition of the more absurd like Splodegenessabounds and Spizzenergi would have better balanced the comp. But this just emphasises my point - put 100 Peel devotees in a room and they wouldn't agree, because the wholething was about freedom to enjoy what you liked irrespective of what anyone else said.
Now one could argue that the BBC have been slow to recognise what they lost. There was nobody doing what he did then or now. I would happily see a fraction of our vast Tax dedicated to archiving shows, playlists and sessions - which I appreciate has been done in part. More volumes of this kind would be welcomed as we still come to terms with the massive void he has left in our lives