Here presented to you, an attempt to summarise an entire decade of Peel shows in one podcast. This is obviously impossible but let’s have a crack at it anyway and in three parts…
I should always begin the introductions to these pods and will do from now on with:
These snippets, these “highlights” from the John Peel broadcasts are only possible because of the dedicated people who contribute to the John Peel Wiki. If you’ve got any old recordings of anything John Peel, please drop us a line. I’ll point you in the right direction. It doesn’t matter if it’s something that might already be posted on the wiki, there might be something in there that is missing. Every tape is precious, every recording is wanted.
To the subject of this podcast edition then: the Nineteen Eighties.
Why choose this decade ? Personal bias because that’s when I (Webbie at Keeping It Peel) listened to Peel almost nightly. I could have looked at the 70’s and may do in the future, but there’s a bigger availability of recordings from the 80’s. The same with the 1990’s onwards – again, possibly another time.
As mentioned at the beginning this has been split into three sections. Please remember when listening to the pods that the audio comes from many different sources and different recording quality.
Podcast – Nineteen Eighties: 1980-83
- The Martian Schoolgirls – Life In The 1980’s (1st January 1980)- The song wasn’t recorded on the available tape, just the back announcement. This tracks is ripped from my own personal copy of the single.
- The Clash – Bank Robber (22nd May 1980) “After last night’s programme, when I found myself clambering into the racer outside Broadcasting House, I found myself humming the Clash’s ‘Bank Robber’. Not an easy thing to hum, I’ll admit, but humming it I certainly was, so here it is again.”
- Simple Minds – I Travel (1st September 1980) [YouTube] – If you want to find out where Franz Ferdinand and The Killers got their sound from…
- The Fall – Totally Wired (1st September 1980)
- (Show intro from 9th December 1980 – Peel mentions about John Lennon’s death)
- TV Smith’s Explorers – Tomahawk Cruise (9th December 1980) – followed by more comments by Peel about John Lennon
- Show intro from 12th May 1981 and Tony Blackburn – I Can’t Make Your Way
- A Flock Of Seagulls – Talking (It’s Not Me Talking) (12th May 1981)
- You’ve Got Foetus On Your Breath – Wash It All Off (30th June 1981)
- Crass – Our Wedding (30th June 1981) – Released as a spoof: read more about it here.
- Tokyo Olympics – Dance Movement (30th June 1981) – Included here because of their record label name: Nienteen Eightease
- Anomy – TVC 15 (29th July 1982)
- Amazulu – You’ll Never Walk Alone (Peel Session) (29th July 1982)
- The Higsons – John Peel’s New Sig Tune (Peel Session) – Show intro from 28th October 1982 – and then:
- Wah! – Story Of The Blues (28th October 1982) – “Chart bound sound there… Have you been playing this, Kid ?” (David Jensen in the studio with him). “I think that’s an excellent record”
- Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Genetic Engineering (Peel Session) (21st February 1983) – the band told John that the thought it might not be good enough for broadcast but Peel liked it and preferred it more that the single version.
- Misty In Roots – Oh Wicked Man (31st May 1983) – played on the show at the request and insistence of Kid Jensen sitting with him in the studio.
- Billy Bragg – A New England (Number 7 in the Festive Fifty – 29th December 1983) – “And all for the price of a mushroom biriyani…”
» Download (60 mb/1 hr 5 mins)
Podcast – Nineteen Eighties: 1984-86
- International Rescue – You Need Shoes (2nd January 1984)
- Fireball XL5 – Rockin’ Shoes (31st January 1984) and then:
- Don Spencer – Fireball (31st January 1984) – Theme tune to the Fireball XL5 TV show.
- Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Perfect Skin (15th May 1984) [Medium wave recording]
- Echo & The Bunnymen – Seven Seas (17th July 1984)[Medium wave mono recording]
- The X Men – Do The Ghost (19th July 1984)[Medium wave recording] “That’s from the X-Men on Creation Records, the best record yet put out by the label I think….”
- Everything But The Girl – Ballad Of The Times (Peel Session) (30th August 1984) “I was a bit dubious about them at first but I like that…”
- William Ravenscroft – Happy Birthday dear Daddy – followed by: The Smiths – William, It Was Really Nothing (3rd September 1984) – Sheila and the children had made a home recording of each of them wishing Peel a Happy Birthday, this was made into a disc and given to various family members.
- Lonnie Mack – Wham (7th January 1985) – Played because daughter Alexandra had come out as a Wham fan.
- Ofra Haza – Galbi (22nd April 1985) – Sent to him by Grant from Tel Aviv, Peel initially mis-pronounces her surname but compares her Elizabeth Frazer from the Cocteau Twins
- Paul Hardcastle – 19 (Extended Japanese Mix) (26th August 1985) – Brought to him from Japan by studio guest Billy Bragg, who chats with Peel.
- Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel – The Only Good Christian Is A Dead Christian (28th October 1985) – Peel introduces the song – but never mentions the title – by “Clint Ruin or whatever he’s calling himself…” This is JG Thirlwell who recorded under many variations of the band name but always with Foetus in the title. (See above podcast for You’ve Got Foetus On Your Breath)
- Half Man Half Biscuit – Seal Clubbing (27th January 1986) Peel mentions going to Bristol and seeing the band live, as well as Jegsy Dodd supporting but missed the opening act The Flatmates but they didn’t mind because they told him that they weren’t very good anyway.
- Liverpool Football Club – We’re On Top Of The World (5th May 1986) – Liverpool had beaten Chelsea two days before and had won the league title. They were due to play Everton in the FA Cup Final on the 10th (which they also won)
- We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Going To Use It – XX Sex (5th May 1986)
- Stump – Buffalo (4th June 1986) – Apparently the band were inspired to write the song after witnessing some American tourists in London the year before.
- The Fall – Entitled (3rd December 1986)
- Anhefren – Deafaid (Sheep) (22nd December 1986)
» Download (55 mb/59 mins)
Podcast – Nineteen Eighties: 1987-89
- Fini Tribe – De Testimony (3rd February 1987) – “This is a record which a lot of people write to me about and they always say, ‘can you play that record with the bells in it again’. And I keep explaining what it actually is, it’s Finitribe and it’s called ‘De Testimony’ and it’s on Cathexis Records. Somebody wrote in and told me what Cathexis means and if I can find the letter I’ll tell you what it was. I’ll read the first sentence or so… It’s very heavy duty stuff indeed.”
- Revolting Cocks – You Often Forget (12″) (9th March 1987)
- Clare Grogan – Love Bomb (3rd June 1987)
- Dead Milkmen – Going To Memphis (27th July 1987) – and then:
- Elvis Presley – My Baby Left Me (27th July 1987)
- Darling Buds – Shame On You (Peel Session) (2nd September 1987)- “People will tell you there’s a lot of that stuff about..”
- Show intro – Bomb The Bass – Beat Dis (18th January 1988) – and then:
- The Woodentops – You Make Me Feel (18th January 1988)
- Noah House Of Dread – Neighbours (17th May 1988) – Yes that’s right, a reggae version of the TV soap theme.
- The Fall – Wrong Place Right Time (5th October 1988) – “I do wish they’d come in and do another session for us, but the way things are shaping up for us they probably won’t…”
- The Flatmates – Heaven Knows (5th October 1988)
- Nirvana – Big Cheese (2nd January 1989) – “And here’s another new band on Subpop Records…” – and then:
- Nirvana (1968) – Pentecost Hotel (2nd January 1989)
- West Ham United – I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles (25th April 1989) – The track comes from a football song album with a sticker on the front saying that all profits will go to the Liverpool defence fund. After the song finished John says he got up at 4am in the morning on Sunday and drove to Anfield and saw the flowers and memorials people had left.
- The Sundays – Can’t Be Sure (Festive Fifty No.1 – 28th December 1989) – and then finally:
- Martian Schoolgirls – Life In The 1980’s (28th December 1989) – John had received a letter reminding him that he played this track at the beginning of the decade, so how about playing it again now.
» Download (54mb /59 mins)