Posts Tagged ‘John Peel’

This Mortal Coil – Meniscus (1986)

Beautiful, short, guitar and synth instrumental from the band that brought you the defining cover version of Tim Buckley’s extraordinary “Song to the Siren”.

This is taken from their second LP Filigree & Shadow which was released in 1986 on 4AD records.

As Discogs tell us:

This Mortal Coil was a 4AD “supergroup” of sorts that recorded three albums and a few other tracks between 1983 and 1991.

The only official members of the project were 4AD label head Ivo Watts-Russell and well-known producer John Fryer, but many other vocalists and musicians from 4AD (and non-4AD) groups such as Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, Dif Juz, Colourbox, The Wolfgang Press, Cindytalk, Breathless and more were involved at various points in the project’s lifespan.

Two and a half minutes of perfection. If only it were longer!



Hell – This Is For You (1998)

December 9, 2016 Leave a comment

Ah, Friday evening, time for some smart, ear-bleeding (ish) German techno ….

Listening to this tonight, Hell’s “This Is For You” sounds like the blueprint for what was perfected by LCD Soundsystem seven years later in 2005!

I’d been a fan of, ahem, “Mr” Hell since 1995 when I bought his “Original Street Techno” 12″ single after hearing a track on the much missed John Peel Show. In those days, he was trading under the moniker of DJ Hell but he apparently lost the DJ vibe sometime over the next 36 months.

No matter, this is classic German techno from the seminal Disko B label out of Munich. The spoken word vocals from Melissa Logan from Chicks On Speed elevates the song to the pantheon of the bestmusicofalltime!

What’s not to like?

The Snivelling Shits – Isgodaman? (1977)

February 7, 2015 Leave a comment

I’m having a whale of a time at the moment re-reading Erich von Däniken’s provocative piece of pseudo-science, Chariots of the Gods, first published in 1968. I can remember reading the book as a boy in the mid 1970s and I’ve always had a secret admiration for the audacity of the thesis being advanced …..

In summary, Erich’s proposition is (spoiler alert!) that: (a) creation stories are largely true, in that; (b) extra-terrestrials came to Earth thousands of years ago and, by one means or another, engineered a genetic adjustment to the emerging human race that resulted in a leap forward in intelligence and progress; (c) in doing so, they introduced a series of advanced technologies that enabled the building of pyramids, the emergence of the (pre) Mayan civilisation, the nuclear destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, etc; (d) consequently, all references to “gods” are actually references to ancient astronauts.

Given this, von Däniken’s thesis is actually that “man is part god”. I couldn’t find a song of that title but needed little excuse to post this classic piece of punk rock from 1977.

I actually first heard this record on the classic “Streets” compilation LP, originally released in 1977. However, that was apparently by a band called Arthur Comics … It turns out that The Snivelling Shits were persuaded to adopt this alternative band name when the Beggars Banquet record label decided that they really couldn’t accept the “S.H.” word on the cover of their new LP!

The Snivellers were actually Giovano Dadomo, Dave Fudger and Steve Nicol who were journalists for the British music weekly “Sounds”. Dadomo also wrote for “Zig Zag” magazine and managed to fool the NME into giving their first record the much coveted “single of the week” accolade.

It’s a piece of timeless, snotty, punk rock genius!

The Flaming Stars – Ten Feet Tall (1996)

January 4, 2015 Leave a comment

An irresistible companion piece to yesterday’s epic 96 Tears by ? and the Mysterians.

Recorded 20 years later, “Ten Feet Tall” is driven by a similarly relentless and catchy organ lead.

The Flaming Stars were another band whose pathway to some form of recognition was via the genius of the John Peel Show for whom they recorded six sessions. Among their members, the singer was ex-Gallon Drunk drummer Max Décharné.

I bought the 7 inch single of this as soon as it came out and, later, it was one of the tracks on the Flaming Stars’ singles compilation Bring Me The Rest of Alfredo Garcia – one of the finest album titles in the history of popular music.

Over to you boys. The track and then the original promo video with slightly dodgy sound levels.


Medicine Head – His Guiding Hand (1969)

December 15, 2014 Leave a comment

This song is simply mesmeric.

Strumming some chords on the guitar the other day, His Guiding Hand suddenly leapt from my memory and became a record I just needed to hear again immediately.

Formed by a couple of grammar school boys, Medicine Head started to play together around 1968.

They were seen at the Lafayette club by John Peel who then played a tape of their songs to John Lennon, Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend  and, at Lennon’s insistence, Peel signed them to his Dandelion record label.

The demo recording of “His Guiding Hand” was released as a single, Peel describing it as “the cheapest single ever made and one of the classic records of all time” and keeping the single in his box of most treasured records. The duo’s first album, New Bottles Old Medicine, was recorded in a single two-hour session, and they toured with Peel at many of his gigs, Peel paying them out of his own fee!

A perfect record.

New Order – 1963 (1987)

November 21, 2013 Leave a comment

I already have a few posts on the blog directly or indirectly referencing the assassination of JFK – check here, here and here.

This track drags the assassination into the realms of fantasy as Wikipedia notes:

In New Order Music 1981–89, the band’s lyricist Bernard Sumner writes a tongue-in-cheek account of the song’s lyrics that relate it to the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy. Sumner theorises that Kennedy arranged for Lee Harvey Oswald to shoot his wife so that “J.F. could do one with M. Monroe”. Monroe commits suicide when Oswald hits the wrong target (in reality, Marilyn Monroe died in 1962, over a year before the assassination took place) and Oswald is later shot by his boss for “doing such a bad job and causing his hit-man business to go bust.”

The producer Stephen Hague has referred to the song as “the only song about domestic violence that you can dance to.”

Irrespective of the provenance, I’ve loved this record since 1987! The original B-Side then live in 89.

Billy Bragg – A13 (Trunk Road To The Sea) (1983)

August 20, 2012 Leave a comment

A wonderful Anglicisation and update of Bobby Troup’s all-time classic Route 66 (previously posted here by The Rolling Stones and here by Nat King Cole).

Finding the names of the towns along Route 66 a little hard to relate to, Billy brings the song closer to home and to his native Essex. In the days before Sat Navs, this was how everyone used to remember the different routes across the UK ….

Featuring one of the greatest opening lines in the history of popular music:

If you ever have to go to Shoeburyness

Take the A road, the okay road, that’s the best

Go motoring on the A13

Originally recorded as part of a John Peel Session in 1983, two versions for you. The original Peel version and then a fantastic live version from Germany in 1985 with Billy explaining to the assembled the background to what they are about to hear!

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