10 May 2019


The whole idea of posting mix tapes and compilations on Fridays centered around sharing constructed personal mixes or curated compilations. While today's post is really neither, it is a collection of tracks that were recorded onto one cassette, so it still lives under the same roof, even if the motivation is slightly different. BBC's John Peel and his Sessions don't really need any kind of an introduction, but it bears mentioning that during a pre-internet age (and honestly before a tape trading network) lifelines like this were invaluable. As evidence, here's four batches of tracks presumably recorded off of the radio with little snips of Peel's voice popping in and out here and there, sometimes awkwardly cut off (hopefully by a teenage hand hurriedly fumbling for the pause button in the dark).
ALTERNATIVE TV - Four songs, recorded December 1977
This session was released on a compilation LP in the 1990s, albeit in a different order. "Action Time Vision" is one of the top UK77 tracks, period. Side note - I keep meaning to check out that ALTERNATIVE TV w/GENESIS P-ORRIDGE recording, because that just seems weird.
PENETRATION - Three songs, July 1978
BBC's site indicates that "Movement" was also recorded in this session, but it wasn't included on this tape. I feel like PENETRATION are like a life line between X-RAY SPEX and BLONDIE and I celebrate their entire catalog...so hearing this was a treat, especially this version of "Future Daze."
THE CORTINAS - Three songs, July 1977
Again, there's one track missing here (and full disclosure: the tape gets kinda warbly during "Further Education"), but Bristol's Finest (John Peel's term, not mine) are on fire in this session - check the drum roll in the chorus of "Defiant Pose" and fukkn weep.
THE RUTS - Five songs, January 1979
"Savage Circle" starts this session, and you could be about to launch into a ruthless hardcore assault until...well, until you aren't. The funk is slightly disconcerting, but not as hard to comprehend as how shit hot THE RUTS are on this recording. I feel like SUBHUMANS must have ripped "Dope For Guns" at some point, "Babylon's Burning" is another essential top track (even though it gets whacked before the two minute mark), and this session has the full John Peel intro.

The tape with these sessions also included a 1977 live set from 999, posted on Escape Is Terminal. All gratitude always to the people who made these recordings, who compiled this tape and thousands more, and who mailed them to strangers and fiends around the world for decades. 

No comments: