Posts Tagged ‘BBC Top Gear’


John Peel’s legendary status is defined by the vast amount of bands and artists he championed. His urge to “hear something he hadn’t heard before” led to a relentless search through demo tapes sent in to his radio show from songwriters and musicians looking for a break. His conviction in not following conventional programming formats, and offering his listeners an alternative to daytime pop pap would ensure that his relevance to broadcasting would remain vital right up to his untimely death in 2004.

His sessions would become an important outlet for new listeners to sample live selections from fledgling and established artists. Many of these recordings have been released to the public, some remain in the vaults. Here is a continuing history of all the sessions, starting in 1967 for his “Top Gear” show right up to the final recording in October 2004.

recorded 15th December 1967: Jimi Hendrix Session


Day Tripper
Spanish Castle Magic
Radio One Jingle
Wait Until Tomorrow

The Band

Jimi Hendrix (Guitar, Vocals)
Mitch Mitchell (Drums)
Noel Redding (Bass, Vocals)


The Slits

The Slits formed in 1976, when 14-year-old Ari Up recruited her friends Tessa, Viv and Palmolive to form a new all-girl punk band, with Ari on vocals.

The following year, they supported The Clash during their UK tour. Still without a record contract, The Slits then recorded two sessions for John Peel, in 1977 and 1978. Later, after their period with Island Records, they recorded one final Peel session in 1981.

The Slits’ BBC sessions have long been celebrated as favourites of John Peel’s, and it is easy to hear why. In fact, the band’s debut session was always hailed by Peel as “one of our first classic sessions”.

These first two sessions explode with vibrant punk energy, aggression and wit. The third session, recorded just months before the band split, also pulsates with colour and life, but points clearly to the direction in which they were heading and the areas they were exploring – dub, funk, free improvisation, African music and hip-hop.

Just a few months before her sad passing, Ari Up granted approval to Hux Records for the release of the complete Peel session recordings.

This compilation includes all three sessions, plus one previously unreleased bonus track, recorded by the band on a reunion tour in 2006. This limited edition digipack has a 16 page booklet featuring extensive liner notes and photos.

Track Listing:

1. Love And Romance
2. Vindictive
3. New Town
4. Shoplifting
Peel session, recorded 19th September 1977

5. So Tough
6. Instant Hit
7. FM

Peel session, recorded 17th April 1978

8. Difficult Fun
9. In The Beginning
10. Earthbeat
11. Wedding Song
Peel session, recorded 12th October 1981
12. Vindictive

Recorded live at Monsterland, Brooklyn, 29th October 2006