Take A Deep-Dive Into The Peel Session Archive

G'wan treat yourself...

It’s January, so why not take a journey through the John Peel sessions archive?

The broadcaster helmed a late night show on Radio 1 for almost 40 years, becoming a pivotal point of introduction for new artists to the world. A champion of the left-field, John Peel – together with producer John Walters – forged ahead, providing a platform for everything from DNB and punk through to indie pop, grime, dub reggae, extreme metal, and beyond.

Blogger Dave Strickson has assembled an exhaustive list of Peel Sessions, featuring some remarkable – often rare – recordings. Over 1000 artists are listed, with many having never been granted a full commercial release.

Find the archive in full online.

The listing makes for envious reading. Flicking through the sessions, a few immediately pop out, such as this vital, ferocious Bikini Kill recording from 1993.

Cocteau Twins evolved at an incredible rate, a process underlined by this intimate Peel Session.

Iconic Manchester group Joy Division recorded a Peel Session in 1979, testing out new material – each recording from the band is precious.

PJ Harvey’s early material remains some of her most vital, visceral work, and this Peel Session showcases that youthful bravado.

John Peel was an early champion of Sonic Youth, and this 1989 Peel session swiftly followed the release of their landmark double LP ‘Daydream Nation’.

Is any group more closely tied to the Peel name than The Fall? The broadcaster was a perennial champion of the Manchester band, platforming their various line up iterations, and aesthetic evolutions. This session was recorded in 2004, just before Peel’s death.

John Peel’s legacy remains a key part of the BBC landscape, with son – and excellent broadcaster in his own right – Tom Ravenscroft guiding Jarvis Cocker through his father’s record collection for a special programme on 6Music over the holidays.

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