A brand new crop of sessions will be here on the firstday of each month, replacing the ones before them. mr. obscure can be contacted via his old pal and cowering slave stuart Jones, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Caravan are an English band from the Canterbury area, founded by former Wilde Flowers members David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, Pye Hastings and Richard Coughlan in 1968. The group have not achieved much commercial success, but are considered a key part of the Canterbury scene, blending psychedelic rock, jazz and classical influences to create a distinctive sound. They were originally based in Whitstable, Kent, near Canterbury, but moved to London when briefly signed to Verve Records. After being dropped by Verve they signed to Decca Records, where they released their most critically acclaimed album, In the Land of Grey and Pink in 1971. David Sinclair left after the album's release and the band disintegrated the following year. Hastings and Coughlan added new members, notably viola player Geoffrey Richardson and continued as Caravan before splitting in 1978. They reformed several times in the following decades, and still remain active as a live act in the 21st century, despite Coughlan's death in December 2013. here's the fifth of seven sessions for peel, immortalised on 26/06/1975.
The Scottish singer-songwriter Frankie Miller wrote for and performed with many artists and is best known for his album Full House, the single "Darlin" and his 1974 duet with Phil Lynott on the Thin Lizzy song "Still in Love with You". In 1978 Bob Seger remarked that Miller "was a huge influence" on him. In 1972 Miller signed a solo recording contract with Chrysalis Records and recorded his first LP Once in a Blue Moon with producer Dave Robinson. The album was an early example of pub rock and featured backing by Brinsley Schwarz. Miller received consistently good reviews, although his singles and albums were not chart hits Chrysalis continued to invest in him. His second album High Life was produced and partly written by Allen Toussaint and recorded in Atlanta, Georgia during 1974. Although two album tracks, "Shoorah Shoorah" and "Play Something Sweet" provided hits for Betty Wright and Three Dog Night respectively, the album was not a commercial success.
Frankie suffered a brain haemorrhage in New York on 25 August 1994 while writing material for a new band he and Joe Walsh of the Eagles had formed with Nicky Hopkins and Ian Wallace. He spent five months in a coma; when he emerged he was unable to speak or sing. He then went through rehabilitation. The BBC Television documentary Stubborn Kinda Fella (1999) featured his battle to recover. In this documentary Rod Stewart stated that Miller "was the only white singer to have brought a tear" to his eye. Miller is no longer able to perform, but a new album containing old takes by him was released in 2016. The album, Frankie Miller's Double Take, contained 19 songs remastered into duets with other artists. There were nine albums issued between 1973 and 1985; here's Frankie's third (of five) Peel sessions, recorded on 16/05/1977.
Métal Urbain (meaning urban metal) were one of the first French punk groups, formed in 1976 in Paris. They were heavily influenced by The Clash and The Sex Pistols on one hand, and on the other by an electro approach related to Metal Machine Music by Lou Reed. They relied on heavily distorted guitars and replaced the traditional rock rhythm section of bass guitar/drums with a synthesizer and drum machine, a then-unique approach that foreshadowed the experimental possibilities explored by later post-hardcore bands such as Big Black. They were also known for their radical image (the color scheme a stark black, white and red), and subversive lyrics. They were met with some enthusiasm in the UK, particularly by Peel and the Rough Trade label. (Their single "Paris Maquis" was Rough Trade's first release.). In 1977 their first single "Panik" was named "Single of the week" by the NME. They had an enthusiastic but small audience in France, receiving little exposure. The punk scene was not as popular in France as it was in the UK and they did not interest the French media as British bands like the Sex Pistols did. As a result, singer Clode Panik left in December 1978 though the band continued to gig and record with Eric Debris on vocals, and also recording with spin-off bands Metal Boys and Doctor Mix and the Remix until 1980, when Schwartz and Lüger left to form the short-lived Desperados. Métal Urbain focused their efforts on singles and only produced one album, Les hommes morts sont dangereux (1980). However, several compilation records were released, gathering their singles with additional material such as radio sessions and live recordings. Their electro approach was innovative for its time and the group are a reference point for bozos like The Jesus and Mary Chain, et al. They reunited in 2003 to tour the USA and have since played consistently in France and the rest of Europe,
recording a studio album, J'irai chier dans ton vomi, in 2006, produced by Jello Biafra in San Francisco; a follow up mini-album, Crève Salope, was issued in 2008. mr obscure is giving you their second session for peel (there were two), taped on 11/10/1978.
Jamaican singer, producer, and broadcaster Mikey Dread was one of the most influential performers and innovators in reggae music. In 1976, after he finished college, he started out as an engineer with the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation. unimpressed that their playlists consisted of bland, foreign pop music at a time when some of the most potent reggae was being recorded in Jamaica, he convinced his bosses to give him his own radio program called Dread At The Controls, where he played nothing but reggae. Before long he had the most popular program on the station. Well known for its fun and adventurous sonic style, it became a hit all over Jamaica. Inevitably, the station's conservative management and Dread clashed, and he quit. By 1979-80 he had earned a solid
reputation as a singer and producer and began recording his own material. Distinctive albums such as Dread at the Controls, Evolutionary Rockersand World War III became favorites amongst reggae fans. His collaboration with producers King Tubby and Carlton Patterson stand out as some of the best work each has done. Dread's music attracted the attention of British punk rockers The Clash, who invited him over to England to produce some of their music. Although initially suspicious of the strangers he soon became the best of friends with the band, producing their famous "Bankrobber" single and performing on several songs on their 1980 album Sandinista! He studied at the National Broadcasting School in London where he perfected his media production/radio broadcasting skills, graduating with
special commendations in 1980. During the early 80's he provided vocals with the reggae collective Singers And Players on Adrian Sherwood's On-U Sound label, produced ten dub tracks for UB40 and toured Europe and Scandinavia as their support artist. After many years working as a producer and singer Dread withdrew from the business and moved to Miami where he furthered his college education with courses in electronics and business. Disgusted with several unfair contracts with record companies he shrewdly waited until all his existing contracts expired and then regained control over his entire catalogue, re-releasing much of it on his own Dread At The Controls label. In October 2007 it was announced that he was being treated for a brain tumour. He died on 15 March 2008, surrounded by his family, at the home of his sister in Stamford, Connecticut. astonishly, he only recorded one session for the great broadcaster, for which i have no date; but i can tell you that it was broadcast on 23/08/1982.
Peter Hammill is an English singer-songwriter and a founding member of the progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator. Noted for his vocal abilities, his main instruments are guitar and piano. He also acts as a record producer for his own recordings, and occasionally for other artists.Hammill's solo career has coexisted with Van der Graaf Generator's activities. The band was offered a contract by Mercury Records in 1968 that only Hammill signed. When Van der Graaf Generator broke up in 1969 he wanted to record his first solo album. In the summer of 1969 Hammill had a residency at The Lyceum and played weekly solo concerts there. Eventually the intended solo album was released under the Van der Graaf Generator banner as their first album (The Aerosol Grey Machine). Hammill's first real solo album was Fool's Mate (1971), containing songs from the early (1967/68) Van der Graaf Generator days.
It was the first of 33 albums over four decades. here's the fourth of five sessions for our hero, taped on 13/04/1977.
Iceland's Sugarcubes formed in 1986. The members had formerly been in a variety of Icelandic bands. Björk had the longest career out of any of them — she had recorded an album when just 11 years old and in her late teens joined Icelandic post-punk band Tappi Tikarrass who released two albums before splitting in 1983. Drummer Siggi (Sigtryggur) Baldursson was a member of þeyr, and Einar Örn Benediktsson and Bragi Ólafsson formed a punk band called Purrkur Pillnikk. By 1984 Björk, Einar Örn, and Siggi had formed the supergroup KUKL with keyboardist Einar Melax, and released 2 albums on the independent British record label Crass Records. The Sugarcubes formed on June 8, 1986 with vocalist Björk, her then-husband Thor Eldon on guitar and Bragi Ólafsson on bass. The music was characterized by a psychedelic post-punk sound sometimes reminiscent of The B-52's and Talking Heads, whimsical lyrics and the girlish voice of Björk, accompanied by Einar Orn's erratic vocal performances. In late 1987 they signed to One Little Indian in the UK, Elektra Records in the US. They released their debut album, Life's Too Good, in 1988 to critical acclaim in both the UK and the US. They first came to notice in the UK when Peel played their jaw-droppingly awesome single,"Birthday". It became an indie hit in Britain, later voted single of the year, and a college radio hit in America. "Cold Sweat" and "Deus" were also released as singles and made the lower reaches of the UK charts,
while the US single "Motorcrash" went top ten. By the time they recorded the second album, Here Today, Tomorrow Next Week! (1990) Thor and Björk were divorced. After its release the group embarked on a lengthy international tour following which various members pursued their individual interests. Stick Around for Joy, the third sugarcubes album, was released in February 1992 spawned their first big hit single, the aptly titled "Hit". Further singles failed to make any impact however and The Sugarcubes disbanded. They remain friends to this day and in November 2006 had a one-off reunion concert in Reykjavík to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut single. Despite this the group has expressed no intention to play future shows or record new material. surprisingly they only taped one sesssion for mr peel, for which i have no recording date. it was broadcast on 09/12/1987. and now you can have it, free of charge! if you want to contribute anything then please come down to brighton and buy me five pints of real ale.
Ireland's Would Be's formed in early 1989 by three brothers, evolving from their earliere band, The Nobody's. Their debut single, the frankly fabulous 'I'm Hardly Ever Wrong,' was initially only available as a pressing of just 250 copies. Peel famously championed it on his show and it was reissued, selling bucketloads. A & r people from across the globe chased them but they signed to another indie label,. there was a second single, an EP (Silly Songs For Cynical people) but without financial backing the grouip failed to capitalise on their earlier success and fell apart following the release of a third EP in 1991. their one and only session for Peel was put down on 25/02/1990.
The list of band names below is purely for illustrative purposes - I don't pretend to have sessions by all these people - but I do have a frightening amount of them.