THE PEEL SESSIONS
(LP)

 



TWELVE TRACK LP ON STRANGE FRUIT. CAT NO. SFRLP105.
Side a) Sun, Moon, Everybody Is Dead, A Friend With A Big Mouth, Teddy Dogs, Before Famine, 464.

Side b) Loftholdingswood, Horse Overboard, Town To town, Bullwhip Road, Begging Bowl.

FOURTEEN TRACK CD ON STRANGE FRUIT. CAT NO. SFRCD105.
Sun, Moon, Dreaming Drains, Everybody Is Dead, A Friend With A Big Mouth, Teddy Dogs, Before Famine, Genius, Loftholdingswood, Horse Overboard, 464, Town To Town, Bullwhip Road, Begging Bowl.


This was a welcome release, which gave people a chance to own decent quality verions of session recordings previously only held on a wanky cassette tape recorded from a wanky stereo system. More importantly though, it offers an alternative to some of their more overproduced studio efforts.

Many of the recordings have much more passion than their more sterile official counterparts. That said, it still tends to be the full releases that hit my turntable, and even with the songs from the hopelessly overproduced 'Crooked Mile' there are pros and cons between the two recordings. There are still a few interesting and unique moments on the sessions, not least the tortured ending to 'Everybody Is Dead'.

Sadly the LP and CD do not include all the Peel songs and none at all from the final session. Minor tinkering to the session orders also produces minor anal-retentive irritation.

The full Peel sessions were as follows:

Peel 1- recorded 3 Aug 1983- Before Famine, Sleepless, Sun, Moon.
Peel 2- recorded 14 Jan 1984- This Liberal Love, Escalator In The Rain, Dolly, Everybody Is Dead.
Peel 3- recorded 14 Apr 1984- A Friend With A Big Mouth, Teddy Dogs, Dreaming Drains, Loftholdingswood.
Peel 4- recorded 2 Oct 1984- Genius, 464, Goodbye It's 1987, Horse Overboard.
Peel 5- recorded 3 Dec 1985- Begging Bowl, People Just Want to Dream, Bullwhip Road, Town To Town.
Peel 6- recording date unknown- Half A Day, Armadillo Man, And He Descended Into Hell, Soul Boy.

The only other known radio recording was a 'Saturday Live' feature with 'A Friend With A Big Mouth', 'Loftholdingswood' and '464'.

Not much more to say about this one except a big thank you to John Peel. One of the few people who got behind Microdisney and realised their true quality. A wonderful person, he showed independence, ethics and plain good taste where other DJ's simply followed trends or did what the pluggers told them to do. For a whole generation of 'indie' people almost everything they listened to had it's roots in the John Peel show. How many of my favourite bands would have made it without him is anyone's guess, but it sure wouldn't have been all of them. There may have been people more worthy of his high-ranking position in the '100 Great Britons' poll but he still fully deserves the acknowledgement. My life would have been much, much worse if he hadn't existed.


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