John Peel remembered


Tomorrow marks seven years since legendary DJ John Peel died.

In my opinion -and many others – the greatest radio DJ who ever lived.

The man who championed so many styles of music, who gave coverage to bands as diverse as Napalm Death, Kelis and Frankie Goes To Hollywood, would have been seventy-two. His attitude was ‘I just want to hear something I haven’t heard before’ -and one I hold myself.

So, while there will be more stuff happening tomorrow, here for tonight are a handful of cover versions recorded as sessions for his Radio 1 show. Enjoy.

Nick Cave -‘I Put A Spell On You (Screaming Jay Hawkins cover, Peel session 1984).’ mp3

Shop Assistants -‘Ace Of Spades (Motorhead cover, Peel session 1986).’ mp3

Cat Power -‘Wonderwall (Oasis cover, Peel session 2000.)’ mp3

Six By Seven -‘Heldon (David Bowie cover sung in German, Peel session 1999)’ mp3

The Sisters Of Mercy -‘Emma (Hot Chocolate cover, Peel session 1984).’ mp3

There will be John Peel-related goodness on Fresh Air tomorrow evening too…

Keepingitpeel day, part 2


I know I’ve posted this before, but I thought I’d post this again in honour of Mr. Peel

Breeders -‘Hellbound (Peel session).’ mp3

Breeders -‘When I Was A Painter (Peel session).’ mp3

Breeders -‘Iris (Peel session).’ mp3

Breeders -‘Fortunately Gone (Peel session).’ mp3

For more info on the session, please see here. And if anyone knows who played bass or drums, I’d still like to know.


Two cover versions from The Breeders.

First up, this was taken from the Breeders first album Pod, which was recorded in Edinburgh (and is actually my favourite of their four albums):

Breeders -‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun (Breeders).’ mp3

…and this is from their Safari EP, which came out in 1992:

Breeders -‘So Sad About Us (Who cover).’ mp3

Keepingitpeel day


John Peel and his wife, Sheila, affectionately known as ‘the Pig.’

OK folks, a veritable pot-pourri for you today, in honour of the great John Peel:

First up, Wire’s 2002 session for the programme

Wire -‘Spent (Peel session).’ mp3

Wire -‘I Don’t Understand (Peel session).’ mp3

Wire -‘First Fast (Peel session).’ mp3

Wire -‘99.9 (Peel session).’ mp3

…and one or two other bits and pieces that turned up in the programme.

Like Six By Seven covering Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ – in German, obviously.

Six By Seven -‘Heldon (Peel session).’ mp3

And the Shop Assistants covering Motorhead:

Shop Assistants -‘Ace Of Spades (Peel session).’ mp3

While Blur and Pulp recorded sessions for Peel, and he championed the Bluetones too, and even Suede got an entry (‘The Drowners,’ natch) the biggest stars of Britpop -Oasis, duh -only scored an entry in the hallowed Festive fifty courtesy of Cat Power:

Cat Power -‘Wonderwall (Peel session).’ mp3

Finally, two very long session tracks that I’ve posted before but I think are worth posting again:

Godspeed You Black Emperor -‘Hungover As The Queen in Maida Vale (Peel session).’ mp3

Orb -‘Loving You (Peel session).’ mp3

I would also recommend that you read my friend Steve’s blog, Teenage Kicks, which covers the Festive Fifty in awesome detail, and as well as Football and music who started this ball rolling (thank you!), my friend Jim over at The Vinyl Villain has also been flying the flag for today for some weeks past. Including posting another, earlier Wire session that they recorded for Mr. Peel.

Keeping it Peel


Tomorrow marks six years since John Peel died.

Keepingitpeel is being organised by Webbie, the guy behind the Football and Music blog, to mark six years since the legendary DJ’s untimely death.

My own radio show will be starting again soon on Fresh Air, and while it’s nowhere near as good as peelie’s were, I try and pay respect to him above all other DJs when I’m presenting it. The sessions people recorded for his show became legendary, and indeed many bands formed solely so that they could get a session -and then called it quits once they had achieved his aim.

As well as recording songs to promote the latest single or album, there were also some wonderful curios thrown up over the years, like this cover

Sisters Of Mercy -‘Emma (Peel session).’ mp3

Yes, it really IS Andrew Eldritch and co. covering the Hot Chocolate hit.

I’ll be posting something different for tomorrow…

Peel – the hard to get hold of stuff


Just like it says on the tin. This post contains tracks that made Peel’s Festive Fifty that are extremely hard to get hold of, and I couldn’t actually get on either iTunes or Emusic, and was forced to make a request for readers to ride to the rescue. Thanks as ever to Steve, JC, Adam, Dirk, Max and anyone else who helped out!

Berntholer -‘My Suitor.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.34)

Big Flame -‘All the Irish Must Go To Heaven.’ mp3 (1985 Festive Fifty no.58)

Big Flame -‘Man Of few Syllables.’ mp3 (1985 Festive Fifty no.62)

Flesh For Lulu -‘Subterraneans.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.39)

Godspeed you Black Emperor! -‘Hungover As The Queen At maida Vale (session).’ mp3 (1999 Festive Fifty no.21)

Hard Corps-‘Dirty.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.46)

New Order -‘Brutal.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.26)

Sophie and Peter Johnson -‘Television (session).’ mp3 (1983 Festive Fifty no.37)

Unknown Cases -‘Masimabele.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.26)

Working Week – ‘Venceremos.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.50)

Thanks to everyone who got in touch to say that the links were wrong, this should be right now… : ))

Am still trying to get things perfect but it really, really should be fine.

Now…(you knew this was coming didn’t you!) can anyone help with these, please?


Martyn Hare -‘Do Not Underestimate.’

Cinerama -‘It’s Not you It’s Me.’

Laura and ballboy -‘I Lost You But I Found Country Music.’ [NOW GOT IT THANK YOU!]

DJ Distance -‘Ritual.’

Melys -‘Eyeliner.’

Calvin Party -‘Northern Song.’ (Now got it, thank you, Dirk!)

Plasticman -‘Cha.’

Aphrodisaics -‘If U want Me.’ (Now got it, thank you Dirk!)

Magic Band -‘Electricity.’

Magic band -‘Big Eyes beans From Venus.’ (These last two are the session versions)

There are other wants as well…I’ll put those up another time…

Some more Peel

I received an email yesterday asking if I could repost the Special AKA’s version of Free Nelson Mandela, so I hope I picked the right one…

anyway, it gives me an opportunity to do one of my Peel posts.

First up, these were Pell sessions tracks that made the Festive Fifty in 1989, and went on to become chart hits the following year:

Inspiral Carpets -‘This Is How It Feels (session).’ mp3 (1989 Festive Fifty no.35)

Inspiral Carpets -‘She Comes In The Fall (session).’ mp3 (1989 Festive Fifty no.50)

This was a track that became remixed the follwoing year under the name ‘Move Any Mountain’ and gave the Shamen several years as a Smash Hits and Top Of the Pops freindly act.

Shamen -‘Pro-Gen .’ mp3(1990 Festive Fifty no.34)

I know little about the Flaming Stars, but they sound great still. The BBC site erroneously credits these tracks as being done by the Flaming Lips, who John Peel also championed, rightly, IMHO, but are a completely different band.

Flaming Stars -‘Face On the Bar Room Floor.’ mp3 (1996 Festive Fifty no.48)

Flaming Stars -‘Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye.’ mp3 (1995 Festive Fifty no.29)

This track took ages to find, not available on either eMusic or iTunes

Drop Nineteens -‘Winona.’ mp3 (1992 Festive Fifty no.28)

Another band I know little about…but they too sound great:

The Decoration -‘Joy Adamson.’ mp3 (2004 Festive Fifty no.39)

The Decoration -‘I Tried It, I Liked It, I Loved It.’ mp3 (2004 festive Fifty no.24)

As requested…from the last year that much ‘pop’ stuff entered the Festive Fifty:

Special AKA -‘Free Nelson Mandela.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.41)

Finally, another track (this one supplied by JC over at The Vinyl Villain that seemed very hard to get hold of, but I repost here for your delight:

Robert Wyatt -‘The Wind Of Change.’ mp3 (1985 Festive Fifty no.47)

This track credits Wyatt with the SWAPO singers.


If you want to find more about John Peel, start here.

Absolutely essential Peel-related blogs include Sexy Loser, Teenage Kicks and Fades In Slowly.