Thursday, 27 October 2016

Some (Random) Thoughts on John Peel

Now you know by now that the influence that this man had on my dad and his generation. Some of the stand ups and musicians have also praised this man. But on the way to work this morning I was listening to the John Peel Lecture by Billy Bragg from 2012 and it inspired me a bit so when I got in I listened to and I am still listening to what appears to be a long list of the tracks that made the festive 50 over the years. I always knew his show was eclectic but the festive 50 were chosen by the audience so is great testament to see that the audience chose music this diverse from what was probably a more obscure list that he actually played.

However this is interesting; just look below at the first few years of the FF50's.

1976
1. Led Zeppelin Stairway To Heaven
2. Derek & The Dominoes Layla
3. Bob Dylan Desolation Row

1977
1. The Motors Dancing The Night Away
2. Althea & Donna Uptown Top Ranking
3. The Motors You Beat The Hell Out Of Me

1978
1. Sex Pistols Anarchy In The UK
2. The Clash Complete Control
3. Sex Pistols God Save The Queen

1979
1. Sex Pistols Anarchy In The UK
2. The Undertones Teenage Kicks
3. The Clash White Man In Hammersmith Palais

Bragg says the shows remit was to push people, open up people to new ideas; new sounds. Pop music was played all day during that period so musical misfits had no voice on what they would hear on the radio. Yes they had records but again the limit there is how many pieces of vinyl you own and you can't hear new things listening to your worn out of Frampton Comes Alive. So from everyone who  talks about this man say that's what he did.

Note; this is not my copy nor have I heard the album. I am not mocking it's contents but know it was a popular precursor to Punk.
When I started listening to his shows from tapes posted online; I heard songs from XTC, Gang of Four, The Who, Augustus Pablo, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Clash, Ranking Trevor, Mikey Dread and even played an REO Speedwagon track (once it finished he called it bland). I'd love to know what he'd be playing now; with sterile pop music being the order of the day...every day...since the beginning of the decade...I'd hope it be something different. Something completely different.
So would this John I think
What was my point again? Anyway Good Night and Good Riddance.

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