For 37 years, John Peel effectively ran a pirate radio station from inside BBC Radio 1. His broadcasting technique consistently broke convention: he was the first DJ to give out titles, distribution details, and label information; he played tracks in their entirety, without talking over them; instead of a playlist, he employed an 'arbitrary, childish, and unfair' system; and he was first to play the same record twice in a row. Born John Parker Ravenscroft in Heswall near Liverpool, he was educated as a boarder at Shrewsbury School. John's life was changed by rock 'n' roll; he devoured the music throughout the fifties and, after serving National Service and moving to America, put his encyclopaedic knowledge to use by guesting on local radio. Soon after, he was to host his own shows in Oklahoma and California, and in 1967 he returned to the UK, where a brief stint on Radio London preceded his joining the BBC. In his time at the station, John became a pioneer of new genres, bands, and DJs. From 1998, he hosted Home Truths for Radio 4, and in addition syndicated a weekly show to Radio Eine in Germany.
At fabric we have the pleasure of releasing John's first-ever DJ mix CD. The compilation captures the spirit of his appearances at our nightclub, the first of which - on February 1st, 2002 - he described as 'one of the greatest nights of my life'. An eight-month-pregnant woman sat on the stairs listening, and the crowd were singing 'Teenage Kicks' and chanting his name a full fifteen minutes after his set (he was still attempting to leave the room at that point).
John won a multitude of industry awards, garnered seven honorary degrees, and was appointed an O.B.E in 1998. He is survived by his wife, Sheila, their two sons, and two daughters. fabric will donate a percentage of proceeds from every copy sold, to Médecins Sans Frontières, which was a cause close to John's heart.
"This CD isn't supposed to be mood-establishing. If anything, it's mood-demolishing. These are some of my favourite songs... there's a real risk I'll listen to nothing else ever again." John Peel 1939 - 2004
John Peel was undoubtedly Britain's most risk-taking DJ. After his spectacular soundclash at the 2000 Sonar Festival, he was invited to host a 'Peel Session' room at FABRICLIVE. This is his only mix CD and it captures his all-out approach to club DJing.
- Intro (Followed by Asa-Chang & Junray etc) Hana The Leaf Label Ltd
- The Soledad Brothers Break 'em On Down Estrus Records
- Don Carlos Late Night Blues RAS
- MC DET Hipsteppin' Times Two Records
- The Velvelettes Needle In A Haystack Universal Music
- Bad Livers Lust for Life Mark Rubin
- Trouble Funk Let's Get Small Island Records
- The Capris There's A Moon Out Tonight Sony
- The Fall Mr. Pharmacist Beggars Banquet Records
- Smith And Selway 15.5 Remake Tronic Music
- Jimmy Reed Too Much Vee Jay
- Maloko In The Midnight Hour Warners
- Derrick Morgan Moon Hop Rounder
- The Datsuns In Love V2
- The Kingswoods Purty Vacant Green Records
- Sinthetix Liar TOV Music
- Culture Lion Rock (John Peel Session) Cultral Foundation Records
- Act 1 Tom The Peeper Polydor
- Joy Division Love Will Tear Us Apart Factory Records
- Elementz Of Noise Clock Emotif Recordings
- The Cheviot Ranters Corn Rigs Tunes Topic Records
- Marc Smith vs. Safe 'n' Sound Identify The Beat Bonkers
- The Kop Choir You'll Never Walk Alone Cherry Red Records
- The Undertones Teenage Kicks Sanctuary