Posts Tagged ‘John Peel Session’

The Only Ones formed in 1976 at the dawn of the punk era although while incorporating elements of that style they also brought studied musicianship with guitarist John Perry citing Jeff Beck and Hendrix as major influences. Singer, songwriter and rhythm guitarist Peter Perrett, on the other hand, was steeped in the melancholic acid musings of Syd Barrett and his vocal phrasings often echoed the drawl of punk godfather Lou Reed. The band line-up was completed by Alan Mair on bass and ex-Spooky Tooth member Mike Kellie on drums.

Initially active in the late 1970s, they were associated with punk rock yet straddled the musical territory in between punk, power pop and rock, with noticeable influences from psychedelia (qualities they shared with contemporaries the Soft Boys).

The band’s debut album for CBS included the critically-acclaimed single ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’. Whilst it might be claimed that The Only Ones never realised their full potential, they were somewhat dogged by record label pressures, internecine wrangling and, inevitably, Peter Perrett’s drug dependency. The band split after working out their CBS contract in 1981.

Peel played the group’s self-released debut single when issued in summer 1977 and continued to support the group over the next few years, booking them for a total of four sessions. He described perennial Festive 50 favourite ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’ as an “artful little caprice” but wasn’t sure what to make of the group’s 1980 single “Fools”, a duet recorded with Pauline Murray, formerly of Penetration:

“still haven’t come to terms with the new Only Ones single featuring Pauline Murray. I see it as a sort of a bit of a jape. It’s quite an amiable record in a way but not what one expects at all. Nothing wrong with that I suppose. One looks forward to the forthcoming LP though.”

This didn’t dissuade him from playing it on at least two occasions though upon release.

In 1989 Peel was impressed with the release of a live album recorded in 1977 (“genuinely a first class LP” and a few years later mentioned that the group’s Peel sessions LP was amongst his favourite Strange Fruit releases .

Peel also played at least one track from England’s Glory, the band Perrett fronted immediately before forming the Only Ones and whose demo recordings were first issued in the late Eighties.

The complete session recorded by The Only Ones on 13th September 1977 for the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1 and broadcast on the 20th of that month.

Tracklist: 1. Lovers Of Today (0:07) 2. Oh No (3:15) 3. Telescopic Love (Special View) (5:23) 4. In Betweens (8:11)

The complete session recorded by The Only Ones on 19th December 1978 for the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1 and broadcast on 3rd January 1979.

Tracklist: 1. Miles From Nowhere (0:07) 2. Flaming Torch (3:47) 3. From Here To Eternity (6:06) 4. Prisoners (9:30)

The complete session recorded on the 5th April 1978 by The Only Ones for the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1 and broadcast on the 14th of that month.

Tracklist: 1. Another Girl, Another Planet (0:07) 2. The Beast (3:07) 3. No Peace For The Wicked (8:47) 4. Language Problem (11:24)

The complete session recorded by The Only Ones on 21 May 1980 for the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1 and broadcast on 2nd June 1980.

Tracklist: 1. The Happy Pilgrim (0:07) 2. The Big Sleep (2:49) 3. Oh Lucinda (Love Becomes A Habit) (8:03) 4. Why Don’t You Kill Yourself (11:16)



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. Chris Wood’s Flute playing is amazing on this. Their BBC Sessions deserve to be officially released! As does the Copenhagen ’67 Concert.

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.

December 11th 1967: Traffic John Peel Session Studio – 201 Piccadilly, Studio 1


Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush
Heaven Is On Your Mind
No Face No Name No Number
Hope I Never Find Me There

The Band:

Jim Capaldi – drums, acoustic guitar, lead vocals, Dave Mason – electric guitar, bass, vocals Steve Winwood – electric guitar, keyboards, vocals Chris Wood – flute. percussion ,

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The complete session recorded by Family on 28th July 1969 for John Peel on the Top Gear show on BBC Radio 1 and broadcast on 3rd August 1969. Family You absolutely could never mistake the voice of Family’s Roger Chapman for anyone else. No other singer sounded anything like him. The American press wasn’t all that keen on his distinctive vocal-chord adventure.

Tracklist: 1. Drown In Wine (0:07) 2. Wheels (4:07) 3. No Mule’s Fool (10:56) 4. The Cat And The Rat (13:51)

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

Initially broadcast in 2001, these sessions capture Jack and Meg with famed BBC DJ John Peel and are arguably the best document of the White Stripes at the time. These have been widely bootlegged since the original broadcase, but this is an official and authorized repress of the 2016 release in celebration of their 15 year anniversary. This double vinyl set includes both live White Stripes recordings – one from July 25th, 2001 and the second from November 8th, 2001.

The complete session recorded by Swell Maps on 16th October 1978 for the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1 and first broadcast on the 27th of that month. Swell Maps were an experimental DIY rock group of the 1970s from Birmingham, that foreshadowed the birth of post punk movement.

Consisting of brothers Epic Soundtracks (real name Kevin Paul Godfrey) and  Nikki Sudden (real name Adrian Nicholas Godfrey) two teenagers from Solihull, plus Biggles Books (Richard Earl), Phones Sportsman (David Barrington), John “Golden” Cockrill and  Jowe Head (Stephen Bird), the band cut the single “Read About Seymour” as their debut in 1977, soon after the brothers left Solihull school. It is widely considered  to be one of the classic punk era singles, 

After recording their first John Peel session Swell Maps went into WMRS studio to record their first album A Trip to Marineville, which was released in 1979. It featured hard rocking punk numbers like “H.S. Art” interspersed with ambient styled instrumentals and other experimental sound interludes like “Gunboats”. The album went No. 1 on the new Independent chart at the time.


1. Another Song (0:07)
2. Full Moon In My Pocket / Blam!! / Full Moon etc (1:51)
3. Harmony In Your Bathroom (8:00)
4. International Rescue (12:01)
5. Read About Seymour (14:17)