Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
A Lark Ascending

How John Peel created our musical world

43 posts in this topic

Popular music needed a giant enema by the mid 70's (bloated prog rock & disco etc) & the response was punk - some of it I didn't like but generally it was energetic & great to listen to - Peel understood this. Also, the economic changes seen in the UK  during the 70's i.e. Thatcherism added fuel to the fire. As with any new trend punk rapidly became commodified/commercialised.

Many people from the British Pub Rock Scene of the early to mid 70's (proto punk) - Brinsley Schwartz, Drury, Costello, Graham Parker caught onto the coat-tails of this new movement - Peel championed many of these bands - he could see what was happening.

I remember Robert Fripp talking about "small units" in the mid seventies as Crimso were dissolving, referring to compact groups. He was also aware of the changes that were occurring within the music scene. I like his late 70's LP's - Exposure, League of Gentlemen etc

The "Jazz" element seems peripheral wrt Peel - I know he was a big fan of the Soft Machine (esp the earlier material with Daevid Allen, Kevin Ayers, Robert Wyatt - this was more anarchic & humorous than the later "jazzier" stuff). I've only got the first 4 Softs albums - I actually don't warm to the later post Wyatt material.

I have always been on the same page as Peel - looking forward to reading this (after I finish the new Simon Spillett Tubby Hayes text - great read BTW)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Popular music needed a giant enema by the mid 70's (bloated prog rock & disco etc) & the response was punk - some of it I didn't like but generally it was energetic & great to listen to - Peel understood this. Also, the economic changes seen in the UK  during the 70's i.e. Thatcherism added fuel to the fire. As with any new trend punk rapidly became commodified/commercialised.

I'm glad punk rose and died quickly...feel the same way about grunge...

And meanwhile just a couple weeks ago the yearly Prog Awards were held...and there are more progressive rock bands I like running around in 2015 than there was at any point since the 1970s.  I believe Steven Wilson just finished up multiple sold out nights at the Royal Albert Hall...

  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to pick on you, but I'm sure you realize now that Kind of Blue is endless playing over one or two chords and that Bitches has way more textural variety...

Not strictly so - the two tracks on KofB I did not warm to on initial acquaintance - Freddy Freeloader and All Blues - are very much like that. But 'Flamenco Sketches' has beautiful chordal contours - right from the start I was aware of the scale at the peak of the sequence with a Spanish/Arabic feel to it. I also wonder if it was Bill Evans rather than Miles/Coltrane/Adderley who I was responding too. Didn't know it at the time, but there's a lot of Chopin/Ravel/Debussy like harmony there.

I take your overall point - but I wasn't intending to analyse the records; just indicate my perception at the time. The one track on BB I did get right away was 'Spanish Key' - it's the only track on the record with a dramatic key change. The world of the type of rock I cut my teeth on was built on creating incident with sudden and unexpected key changes. So it connected. Of course later I discovered what could be done with minimal harmonic variety...but that took some listening and learning.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Popular music needed a giant enema by the mid 70's (bloated prog rock & disco etc) & the response was punk - some of it I didn't like but generally it was energetic & great to listen to - Peel understood this. Also, the economic changes seen in the UK  during the 70's i.e. Thatcherism added fuel to the fire. As with any new trend punk rapidly became commodified/commercialised.

This is the authorised version of rock history - akin to the idea that the financial collapse of the late noughties was caused by the British Labour Party. I'm not sure 'cultural' areas ever 'need' anything...but change happens.

My own memory recalls an era from 70-73 (dates chosen purely because that was when I started listening) of enormous creativity when you were constantly surprised by what was emerging. And then a period from 73-76 when the music got less and less interesting, probably because you were dealing with self-taught musicians reaching the limits of their knowledge and (in the case of the successful ones) becoming very distracted by recreational activities and squabbles amongst themselves.

I understand the appeal of punk and I think part of it was a distaste for rock music adopting some of the pretensions of classical and jazz (you can read that in Peel as early as that '71 article), a feeling that rock music was 'working class' and ought to be 'real'. 

Worth noting that punk was almost over when Thatcher came to power - I somehow doubt that it was a rebellion against the late-70s Tory opposition! The mid to late 70s were a time of financial difficulty, traditional industries closing, rising unemployment, industrial dispute, racial tension, unstable government culminating in the 'Winter of Discontent' of '78/'79. All of that was a consequence of factors much wider than any one government; but, much as it grieves me to say it, the punk discontent grew on Labour's watch. 

The really popular music of early Thatcherism was the much brighter New Wave, synth band and New Romantic styles of the early 80s. If I recall correctly the 'protest' element was continued through the Two Tone bands and the likes of The Specials who seemed to retain something of the spirit of '76. Middle class types looking for something 'alternative' to distinguish themselves opted for those emerging Indie bands, reggae or the emerging 'World Music' fashion. Or, as in my case, simply decamped to the already well established classical, jazz or folk world (though 'folk' didn't really become fashionable again until the late 90s). 

[Even though I loathed it at the time, I rather like some of those punk tunes now - Pretty Vacant, God Save the Queen etc.]

 

 

And meanwhile just a couple weeks ago the yearly Prog Awards were held...and there are more progressive rock bands I like running around in 2015 than there was at any point since the 1970s.  I believe Steven Wilson just finished up multiple sold out nights at the Royal Albert Hall...

  

The resurgence of 'Prog' (ugh...horrible term) over recent years is something I would never have predicted. I don't think this has been the case worldwide, but in Britain it became just about the most unfashionable music around. You just could not admit to liking it if you wanted 'cultural' credibility - yet more and more I read all sorts of the great and the good owning up to liking King Crimson, Yes and the like (I seem to recall Tony Blair choosing 'In The Court of The Crimson King' as a favourite album...imagine he had '21st Century Schizoid Man' on permanent rotation in 2003!].

I occasionally pick up a copy of that magazine 'Prog' which is associated with the awards. It's not very good - rather fan boy and superficial but it can be interesting reading the interviews with famous people from all walks of life who espouse their love of Gentle Giant or Hatfield and the North.  

*****************

The idea of the sweeping away of dinosaur Prog by youthful, virile Punk is interesting from another perspective - this habit of seeing music as the rise a fall of dynasties. What actually seems to happen is an enormous amount of continuity but what changes is the attention paid by the media and taste-makers. After all, Trad Jazz appeared to have died in Britain in the 60s (it still turned up on TV variety programmes well into the 70s). But I bet you could go into any British city (and many smaller towns) and find that music being played and enjoyed today.

Sometimes what is written as the 'cultural' history of specific areas of the 'arts' like music is little more than the history of when the media paid attention.   

Edited by A Lark Ascending

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the authorised version of rock history - akin to the idea that the financial collapse of the late noughties was caused by the British Labour Party. I'm not sure 'cultural' areas ever 'need' anything...but change happens.

Sometimes what is written as the 'cultural' history of specific areas of the 'arts' like music is little more than the history of when the media paid attention.

I think we're largely on the same page here in principle, as different as our responses to specific pieces of music may have been or continue to be....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to the Prog Rock Britannia documentary what changed after 1974 was the record labels were no longer letting bands do "whatever they wanted" in the studio and started pressuring them for singles, radio airplay and overt commerciality.  Many of the prog pioneers have said that there is no way that period of music could have existed without the "hands off" policy allowed them by many of the record labels in the early years of the 70s.  

By the time the mid 70s came around that had largely come to an end (except for the biggest names) and many groups who had previously been working without restrictions were suddenly being dictated terms from the record labels.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we're largely on the same page here in principle, as different as our responses to specific pieces of music may have been or continue to be....

Long may we all respond differently to different pieces of music based on our own very different musical contexts without assuming everyone else has got the wrong end of the stick. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to the Prog Rock Britannia documentary what changed after 1974 was the record labels were no longer letting bands do "whatever they wanted" in the studio and started pressuring them for singles, radio airplay and overt commerciality.  Many of the prog pioneers have said that there is no way that period of music could have existed without the "hands off" policy allowed them by many of the record labels in the early years of the 70s.  

By the time the mid 70s came around that had largely come to an end (except for the biggest names) and many groups who had previously been working without restrictions were suddenly being dictated terms from the record labels.  

 

That would seem to be part of it. 

There was also a change in the sound of the music which had a lot to do with technology. Bill Bruford has commented how playing complicated twiddly bits was a waste of time if you were playing in large arenas and stadiums as it would get lost in the cavernous acoustics. This affected the music recorded which needed to sound like the live experience up to a point. 

Multi-track technology came into its own in the mid-70s and along with it that tendency to use every space. For my ears something was lost there - there's a spareness in a lot of the music I like from the early 70s (might be tied in with the influence of The Band, something cited by so many musicians of the time, away from the wall-of-sound techniques of psychedelia) that vanishes. Even in 1973 I can remember being disappointed by a certain 'sheen' on Fairport Convention's Ninth album that got even more pronounced on their 1975 album and the last two Sandy Denny albums.

 The arrival of cheaper synths and, above all, the polyphonic synth changed textures dramatically. One of the beauties of the music of the early 70s for me (and it's worth remembering that the 'album rock' of the early 70s was much wider than what is termed 'Prog' and that even that, as popular as it was, was not what most people were listening to at the time) was the textural breadth you had using electric and acoustic instruments in all sorts of combinations. The relegation of acoustic and 12-string acoustic in Genesis, for example, created a much less interesting music for me...but one that proved to be in tune with the way tastes were changing.

I find the music of late-70s/early 80s Yes, for example, uninteresting for many of those reasons - but someone who did not hear this music at the time and place I did is going to hear it very differently. And one of the reasons that I've enjoyed some of the current bands after several decades of not listening at all is because they seem to address those issues. 

What is termed 'Prog' was just a style of music that emerged at a particular time according to particular circumstances. At the time to many of us it sounded exciting, new, full of possibilities and envelope pushing - but as with all styles it generated a number of excellent bands and musicians; and a host of not so interesting ones. There is no reason that it should be of any interest to anyone beyond those of us who enjoyed it at the time, are grateful for the doors it opened and who enjoy a nostalgic waddle as part of a broadly based diet. It's gratifying to know that 40 years on some young listeners still find things to enjoy here and some younger players want to revisit some of the approaches (hopefully without the gnomes!).    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And seeing things from a different perspective, interesting article here from a current British Member of Parliament:

Kerry McCarthy: 'David Cameron was a Phil Collins obsessive'

Even though I don't share her musical tastes her opening paragraph could describe my background:

“Music was my only exposure to leftwing ideas growing up,” says MP Kerry McCarthy. “My father was working-class Tory, he was involved in demolition. All his friends were plumbers, electricians, builders – working class but aspirational, probably what you would these days describe as ‘a bit Ukip’. We didn’t have many books in the house, so I got into music, then started reading the music papers, then started thinking about the ideas behind the music. All the books I read were from namedrops in interviews, people like Camus or Orwell. I studied Russian at university because Dostoevsky was mentioned in a Joy Division tune.”

Replace demolition with military and delete the studying Russian.

And I love this bit:

In sixth form some friends were into Crass, although I preferred the sleeve notes to the music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bought the book the other day. Very nice...one that I'm rationing myself with as I could tear through it in a couple of days. The author has a nice wry way in dealing with Peel and the shows. He obviously loves the man but gently takes the Michael out of his sillier moments and contradictions...and in the earlier shows there's lots of silliness. 

He mentions in the introduction a dedicated Peel Wiki site. Not easy to navigate but when you work it out it's extraordinary. A bunch of enthusiasts have tried to reconstruct the schedules of Peel's programmes over the years. It's dominated by post 1975 but some of the earlier playlists are there (lots of gaps).

I distinctly remember listening to this one during my A Level exam period:

  May 29th, 1973

  • Don Nix: Black Cat Moan (LP – Hobos, Heroes And Street Corner Clowns) Enterprise
  • Amon Duul II: Manana (session)
  • Boys Of The Lough: Shetland Wedding March (session)
  • Faces: Around The Plynth (LP – The First Step) Warner Bros
  • Jack The Lad: Boilermaker Blues (session) §
  • Gong: Radio Gnome Invisible (LP – Flying Teapot (Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1)) Virgin
  • Mott The Hoople: Drivin’ Sister (LP – Mott) CBS
  • Amon Duul II: Green Bubble Raincoated Man (session)
  • Country Joe & The Fish: Silver And Gold (LP – C.J. Fish) Vanguard
  • Boys Of The Lough: Wee Croppy Tailor / Boy In The Gap / McMahons’ Reel (session) §
  • Jack The Lad: One More Dance (session) §
  • Tangerine Dream: Circulation Of Events (LP – Atem) Ohr
  • Boys Of The Lough: Erin I Won’t Say Her Name / The Whinney Halls Of Leitrim / Joe Ryans Jig (session) §
  • Amon Duul II: Dem Guten, Schonen Wahren (session)
  • Jack The Lad: Rose Lee (session) §
  • (JP: '...and this being the last Tuesday in the month is the last opportunity we have to celebrate Annette Funicello together...')
  • Annette: Mister Piano Man (LP – Annette Funicello) Buena Vista
  • (JP: '...and (that) was called Mister Piano Man, which seems like an appropriate thing to play before we hear Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, at least the first part of it, on which he plays... So, this is the first part of Mike Oldfield's rather remarkable Tubular Bells.')
  • Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells (Part One) (LP – Tubular Bells) Virgin
  • (JP: 'I've been introducing Top Gear for six years now, but I think that that is certainly one of the most impressive LP's I've ever had the chance to play on the radio. Really a remarkable record from Mike Oldfield and one of the first releases on the new Virgin label. An incredible start for them certainly. It's called Tubular Bells, and that was Part One. ... a remarkable record, and we'll try to play the second side of that in a week or so.) [1]
  • Linda Jones: Your Precious Love (LP – Your Precious Love) Turbo [2]
  • Amon Duul II: The Trap (session)
  • Boys Of The Lough: Flowers Of The Forest (session) §
  • (JP: '...and the last now from Jack The Lad. It's called Draught Genius ... I said Genius')
  • Jack The Lad: Draught Genius (session) §

http://peel.wikia.com/wiki/John_Peel_Wiki

The show that launched the Branson empire!

 Amon Duul II and Boys of the Lough on the same show!!!!  

And here's the one where I first heard Genesis:

28 January 1972

Byrds: America’s Great National Anthem (LP – Farther Along) CBS 495078 2
David Bowie: Hang On To Yourself (session)
Jerry Garcia: Sugaree (LP – Garcia) Warner Bros. K 46139
If: City Is Falling (session)
Medicine Head: Kum On (single) Dandelion 2001 276
Genesis: Harold The Barrel (session)
ZZ Hill: Faithful And True (single) Mojo 2092 019
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band: Mighty Quinn (session)
Joe Bauer, Banana, Michael Kane, Kenny Gill: Noggin #1 (LP - Crab Tunes/Noggins) Warner/Raccoon WS 1944 (US release)
David Bowie: Queen Bitch (session)
Ry Cooder: Money Honey (LP - Into The Purple Valley) Reprise K 44142
Elvis Presley: Money Honey (LP - Rock 'N' Roll (Elvis Presley)) HMV CLP 1093
Genesis: The Fountain of Salmacis (session)
Van Der Graaf Generator: Theme 1 (single) Charisma CB 175
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band: Meat (session)
David Bowie: Please Mr Gravedigger (LP - David Bowie) Deram DML 1007
David Bowie: Lady Stardust (session)
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: Blabber ‘N’ Smoke (LP – The Spotlight Kid) Reprise K 44162
If: Box (session)
Faces: You’re So Rude (LP – A Nod’s As Good As A Wink … To A Blind Horse) Warner Bros K 56006
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band: Captain Bobby Stout (session)
Genesis: The Return Of The Giant Hogweed (session)
Youngbloods: That’s How Strong My Love Is (LP – Good And Dusty) Warner/Raccoon BS 2566 (US release)
If: Reachin’ Out On All Sides (session)
Slim Harpo: Wonderin’ An’ Worryin’ (LP - ?) (Original US release - single Excello 2138, 1957)
David Bowie: Waiting For The Man (session)

Spooky reading these over 40 years on.  

Edited by A Lark Ascending

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'The idea of the sweeping away of dinosaur Prog by youthful, virile Punk is interesting from another perspective - this habit of seeing music as the rise a fall of dynasties. What actually seems to happen is an enormous amount of continuity but what changes is the attention paid by the media and taste-makers. After all, Trad Jazz appeared to have died in Britain in the 60s (it still turned up on TV variety programmes well into the 70s). But I bet you could go into any British city (and many smaller towns) and find that music being played and enjoyed today.

Sometimes what is written as the 'cultural' history of specific areas of the 'arts' like music is little more than the history of when the media paid attention. '

Generally agree very much with this. The rise of punk really coincided with the decline of decent music in the charts, ie Queen and all those dreadful 'novelty' records - The Wombles, Clive Dunn's 'Grandad', 'Matchstick Men', 'Convoy' etc. I suppose Queen could be loosely described as 'prog' but it was more 'pomp'. I suggest that punk was really filling a vacuum in popular culture at the time.

The idea of continuity of different styles and cultures is very much the case. Another case in point is the 'Swinging 60s'. This 'revolution' was really bounded by an area roughly bounded by South Kensington, Notting Hill and Chelsea and there was very little evidence of it outside London. I should know. I was in the middle of it at the time. The provinces continued to be largely indistinguishable from the way they were in the late 50s/early 60s. Which is why, for most people, 'the 60s' really happened in the 70s.

One other change that impacted the music scene from the late 70s onwards was that the industry increasingly became controlled by accountants rather than people who actually cared about music.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. And the idea that 'Prog' ruled and needed 'sweeping away' seems a bit odd when you look at the album charts of 1970-7:

Top ten albums of the year in the UK:

1970

Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
Led Zeppelin II - Led Zeppelin
Easy Rider - Soundtrack
Paint Your Wagon - Soundtrack
Motown Chartbusters Vol. 3 - Various Artists
Abbey Road - The Beatles
Let It Be - The Beatles
Deep Purple in Rock - Deep Purple
McCartney - Paul McCartney
Greatest Hits - Andy Williams

1971

Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
Every Picture Tells a Story - Rod Stewart
Sticky Fingers - The Rolling Stones
Motown Chartbusters Vol.5 - Various Artists
Electric Warrior - T-Rex
Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon - James Taylor
Every Good Boy Deserves Favour - The Moody Blues
Greatest Hits - Andy Williams
Ram - Paul & Linda McCartney
Tapestry - Carole King

1972

20 Dynamic Hits - Various Artists
All Time Hits of the 50s - Various Artists
Greatest Hits - Simon & Garfunkel
Never a Dull Moment - Rod Stewart
20 Fantastic Hits - Various Artists
Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
Fog on the Tyne - Lindisfarne
Slade Alive! - Slade
25 Rockin' and Rollin' Greats - Various Artists
American Pie - Don McLean

1973

1    That'll Be the Day    Original Soundtrack
2    Aladdin Sane    David Bowie
3    Greatest Hits    Simon & Garfunkel
4    Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player    Elton John
5    We Can Make It    Peters and Lee
6    1967–1970    The Beatles
7    The Dark Side of the Moon    Pink Floyd
8    Back to Front    Gilbert O'Sullivan
9    Hunky Dory    David Bowie
10    1962–1966    The Beatles

1974

1    The Singles: 1969–1973    The Carpenters
2    Band on the Run    Paul McCartney and Wings
3    Tubular Bells    Mike Oldfield
4    40 Greatest Hits    Elvis Presley
5    The Dark Side of the Moon    Pink Floyd
6    Goodbye Yellow Brick Road    Elton John
7    And I Love You So    Perry Como
8    Rollin'    Bay City Rollers
9    Greatest Hits    Simon & Garfunkel
10    Old, New, Borrowed and Blue    Slade

1975

1    The Best of the Stylistics    The Stylistics
2    Once Upon a Star    Bay City Rollers
3    Atlantic Crossing    Rod Stewart
4    Horizon    The Carpenters
5    40 Golden Greats    Jim Reeves
6    40 Greatest Hits    Elvis Presley
7    Tubular Bells    Mike Oldfield
8    Greatest Hits    Elton John
9    Venus and Mars    Wings
10    The Singles: 1969-1973    The Carpenters

1976

1    Greatest Hits    ABBA
2    20 Golden Greats    Beach Boys
3    Forever and Ever    Demis Roussos
4    Wings at the Speed of Sound    Wings
5    A Night on the Town    Rod Stewart
6    Live in London    John Denver
7    Laughter and Tears: The Best of Neil Sedaka Today    Neil Sedaka
8    Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975)    Eagles
9    Glen Campbell's Twenty Golden Greats    Glen Campbell
10    The Very Best of Slim Whitman    Slim Whitman

Punk exploded onto the scene towards the end of 1976 (I recall reading the rumours in the NME in the summer), totally transforming the purchasing choices of the British record buyer in 1977:

1977

1    Arrival    ABBA    1
2    20 Golden Greats    The Shadows    1
3    20 Golden Greats    Diana Ross and the Supremes    1
4    Rumours    Fleetwood Mac    1
5    A Star Is Born    Barbra Streisand/Kris Kristofferson    1
6    The Sound of Bread    Bread    1
7    Disco Fever    Various Artists    1
8    Hotel California    Eagles    2
9    Greatest Hits    ABBA    2[a]
10    Endless Flight    Leo Sayer    4

Some would argue 'Ah, but punk was about singles...

 1    "Mull of Kintyre"/"Girls' School"    Wings    1
2    "Don't Give Up on Us"    David Soul    1
3    "Don't Cry for Me Argentina"    Julie Covington    1
4    "When I Need You"    Leo Sayer    1
5    "Silver Lady"    David Soul    1
6    "Knowing Me, Knowing You"    ABBA    1
7    "I Feel Love"    Donna Summer    1
8    "Way Down"    Elvis Presley    1
9    "So You Win Again"    Hot Chocolate    1
10    "Angelo"    Brotherhood of Man    1

OK, let's give it time to settle in...top ten albums sold in 1981:

 1   Kings of the Wild Frontier    Adam and the Ants    1
2    Greatest Hits    Queen    1
3    Dare    The Human League    1
4    Face Value    Phil Collins    1
5    Shaky    Shakin' Stevens    1
6    Ghost in the Machine    The Police    1
7    Love Songs    Cliff Richard    1
8    Chart Hits '81    Various Artists    1
9    Prince Charming    Adam and the Ants    2
10    Double Fantasy    John Lennon and Yoko Ono    1

Three of those can be seen to gave grown out of punk...but they are hardly the names a self-respecting hipster would want on their tee-shirt today! 

As ever with history, we select from the past the bits we want to tell the tale we want told. 

(underlined are the ones I bought around that time)

Edited by A Lark Ascending

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bought the book the other day. Very nice...one that I'm rationing myself with as I could tear through it in a couple of days. The author has a nice wry way in dealing with Peel and the shows. He obviously loves the man but gently takes the Michael out of his sillier moments and contradictions...and in the earlier shows there's lots of silliness. 

He mentions in the introduction a dedicated Peel Wiki site. Not easy to navigate but when you work it out it's extraordinary. A bunch of enthusiasts have tried to reconstruct the schedules of Peel's programmes over the years. It's dominated by post 1975 but some of the earlier playlists are there (lots of gaps).

I distinctly remember listening to this one during my A Level exam period:

  May 29th, 1973

  • Don Nix: Black Cat Moan (LP – Hobos, Heroes And Street Corner Clowns) Enterprise
  • Amon Duul II: Manana (session)
  • Boys Of The Lough: Shetland Wedding March (session)
  • Faces: Around The Plynth (LP – The First Step) Warner Bros
  • Jack The Lad: Boilermaker Blues (session) §
  • Gong: Radio Gnome Invisible (LP – Flying Teapot (Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1)) Virgin
  • Mott The Hoople: Drivin’ Sister (LP – Mott) CBS
  • Amon Duul II: Green Bubble Raincoated Man (session)
  • Country Joe & The Fish: Silver And Gold (LP – C.J. Fish) Vanguard
  • Boys Of The Lough: Wee Croppy Tailor / Boy In The Gap / McMahons’ Reel (session) §
  • Jack The Lad: One More Dance (session) §
  • Tangerine Dream: Circulation Of Events (LP – Atem) Ohr
  • Boys Of The Lough: Erin I Won’t Say Her Name / The Whinney Halls Of Leitrim / Joe Ryans Jig (session) §
  • Amon Duul II: Dem Guten, Schonen Wahren (session)
  • Jack The Lad: Rose Lee (session) §
  • (JP: '...and this being the last Tuesday in the month is the last opportunity we have to celebrate Annette Funicello together...')
  • Annette: Mister Piano Man (LP – Annette Funicello) Buena Vista
  • (JP: '...and (that) was called Mister Piano Man, which seems like an appropriate thing to play before we hear Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, at least the first part of it, on which he plays... So, this is the first part of Mike Oldfield's rather remarkable Tubular Bells.')
  • Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells (Part One) (LP – Tubular Bells) Virgin
  • (JP: 'I've been introducing Top Gear for six years now, but I think that that is certainly one of the most impressive LP's I've ever had the chance to play on the radio. Really a remarkable record from Mike Oldfield and one of the first releases on the new Virgin label. An incredible start for them certainly. It's called Tubular Bells, and that was Part One. ... a remarkable record, and we'll try to play the second side of that in a week or so.) [1]
  • Linda Jones: Your Precious Love (LP – Your Precious Love) Turbo [2]
  • Amon Duul II: The Trap (session)
  • Boys Of The Lough: Flowers Of The Forest (session) §
  • (JP: '...and the last now from Jack The Lad. It's called Draught Genius ... I said Genius')
  • Jack The Lad: Draught Genius (session) §

http://peel.wikia.com/wiki/John_Peel_Wiki

The show that launched the Branson empire!

 Amon Duul II and Boys of the Lough on the same show!!!!  

And here's the one where I first heard Genesis:

28 January 1972

Byrds: America’s Great National Anthem (LP – Farther Along) CBS 495078 2
David Bowie: Hang On To Yourself (session)
Jerry Garcia: Sugaree (LP – Garcia) Warner Bros. K 46139
If: City Is Falling (session)
Medicine Head: Kum On (single) Dandelion 2001 276
Genesis: Harold The Barrel (session)
ZZ Hill: Faithful And True (single) Mojo 2092 019
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band: Mighty Quinn (session)
Joe Bauer, Banana, Michael Kane, Kenny Gill: Noggin #1 (LP - Crab Tunes/Noggins) Warner/Raccoon WS 1944 (US release)
David Bowie: Queen Bitch (session)
Ry Cooder: Money Honey (LP - Into The Purple Valley) Reprise K 44142
Elvis Presley: Money Honey (LP - Rock 'N' Roll (Elvis Presley)) HMV CLP 1093
Genesis: The Fountain of Salmacis (session)
Van Der Graaf Generator: Theme 1 (single) Charisma CB 175
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band: Meat (session)
David Bowie: Please Mr Gravedigger (LP - David Bowie) Deram DML 1007
David Bowie: Lady Stardust (session)
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: Blabber ‘N’ Smoke (LP – The Spotlight Kid) Reprise K 44162
If: Box (session)
Faces: You’re So Rude (LP – A Nod’s As Good As A Wink … To A Blind Horse) Warner Bros K 56006
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band: Captain Bobby Stout (session)
Genesis: The Return Of The Giant Hogweed (session)
Youngbloods: That’s How Strong My Love Is (LP – Good And Dusty) Warner/Raccoon BS 2566 (US release)
If: Reachin’ Out On All Sides (session)
Slim Harpo: Wonderin’ An’ Worryin’ (LP - ?) (Original US release - single Excello 2138, 1957)
David Bowie: Waiting For The Man (session)

Spooky reading these over 40 years on.  

What I find interesting about those lists is how most of the bands and musicians on these lists are still held in a degree of high regard and/or considered influential (with the exception of Genesis :)). Now is this because Peel and producers were good at spotting music that would leave a legacy or is it because, more likely, the legacy is a product of being played on the show and the people writing about music today are doing so with a hindsight informed by their listening to Peel

Edited by mjazzg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

What I find interesting about those lists is how most of the bands and musicians on these lists are still held in a degree of high regard and/or considered influential (with the exception of Genesis :)). Now is this because Peel and producers were good at spotting music that would leave a legacy or is it because, more likely, the legacy is a product of being played on the show and the people writing about music today are doing so with a hindsight informed by their listening to Peel

Yes, interesting question. Did Peel spot the talent that was there...or did he create the reverence for it? I think the latter happens a lot in music...a lot of fuss is made about X, Y or Z, a standard narrative emerges and then that is accepted and becomes the way the tale is told. 

One of the things the early part of book makes clear is just how keen Peel was on things that were often not very good (the performers he signed to his Dandelion label have left little trace). He almost seemed to take a cussed delight in talking up the virtues of people who everyone else could see nothing in. I don't think it was always because he could see the pearls between beneath the manure. There's a hilarious bit in the book about his championing of a hippy dippy band called Principal Edwards Magic Theatre. I seem to remember them as a £ Shop Incredible String Band (though there were no Pound Shops then).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obviously John Peel was an British phenomenon , but I can't imagine that he'd have shaped my musical world if I'd heard him. Not saying that to be snarky - just an observation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obviously John Peel was an British phenomenon , but I can't imagine that he'd have shaped my musical world if I'd heard him. Not saying that to be snarky - just an observation.

As a Brit I'm not sure he shaped my world either but I think he did for a lot of people, mostly because the opportunity to listen to the music he espoused was so limited here in the UK. Radio exposure of his kind of music was pretty much limited to John Peel's shows, at least in the 70s and 80s. And in the 60s there were very few other ways to listen to imported US rock (Quicksilver Messenger Service, Spirit etc) except via his Radio London and BBC Radio One shows (unless you lived in London and were close to Soho where there were two import shops). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm 2/3rds of the way through and well into the times when I had no interest in the music on his show. What is remarkable is the number of groups and performers who he gave sessions to when they were totally unknown who went on to fame and fortune. Everyone from The Smiths to Wham! The idea of 'shaping our musical world' is clearly just an idea to hang the book on - but one of the things he does point out is the music used in the big, oddball Olympic first-night extravaganza in 2012 and how much of it could be traced back to bands first given a chance by Peel.

Peel's influence was largely lost on me from '73 onwards. But the key thing about his programmes was the sheer range of what he played and his constant willingness to play what was off-the-beaten tracks at a time when BBC Radio 1 worked to strict playlists of what was popular or what was deemed to be likely to be popular. He had little time for much of the music I liked at the time; but I got my taste for slightly left-field jazz-rock of the British variety (Soft Machine and off-shoots; Henry Cow came to public attention through winning a competition on his programme which still remember hearing) and folk music from those programmes. 

The book is no hagiography - the author points out his inconsistencies (savaging a record for its misogyny and then playing an equally unpleasant one elsewhere, giving it his praise) and cussedness. 

      

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone interested in experiencing John Peel's shows from different eras might like to have a look here :

The Perfumed Garden

It seems he was still playing live sets by Family deep into Year Zero (1977)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.