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
The Boys are an English punk rock band formed in London in 1976. They were born when singer/guitarist Matt Dangerfield left the fledgling punk band London SS in September 1975 to form a new band with ex-Hollywood Brats keyboard player Casino Steel. Dangerfield’s art college friend, guitarist Honest John Plain, was soon recruited and in June 1976, two of Plain’s co-workers at a t-shirt printing company, bassist Duncan "Kid" Reid and drummer Jack Black, successfully auditioned to complete the line-up. Steel (ex-Hollywood Brats) and Dangerfield played
in the London SS together, a group which at some point included future members of The Clash, The Damned, Chelsea and Generation X. Dangerfield had converted his rented basement apartment in Maida Vale into a home recording studio where they recorded early on. The band played their first gig at the Hope and Anchor pub in Islington, London in September 1976. Notable attendees in the crowd included; Mick Jones, Billy Idol, Tony James and Gene October. After a handful of concerts, The Boys signed to NEMS in January 1977, and were at that time the only British
punk band to have a record deal (The Sex Pistols having just been dismissed by EMI). Their first release was the single "I Don't Care", and in support of that release, they toured with John Cale of Velvet Underground. Their 16-track debut album, The Boys, was recorded in early May 1977. However, the album's commercial release was delayed until the 9th September, which the band has blamed on the record company's "incompetence". The album eventually reached No. 50 in the UK Album Charts. A second single, the oustanding First Time — universally hailed as one of the greatest punk tracks of all time - was released on 27th July 1977. As a result Peel invited The Boys to recorded a session for his show, which became 'Single Of The Week' in Sounds magazine. The single was steadily climbing the chart, until 16 August 1977 when Elvis Presley died. The Boys' records were distributed by RCA Records, who switched all their resources into satisfying the huge posthumous demand for Elvis Presley records. They released a second album on NEMS, the utterly sublime Alternative Chartbusters (1978), and toured in support of it with the Ramones. They then moved to Safari records in 1979: two albums and five singles followed before they broke up in the summer of 1981. Every Christmas, they rearranged the "B" and the "Y" in their name and became The Yobs, releasing four singles one album; 1980s Christmas Album. In this incarnation, the band members used the pseudonyms Noddy Oldfield, Ebenezer Polak, Kid Vicious and H. J. Bedwetter. On 31 July and 1 August 1999, four out of five original members, along with Steve "Vom" Ritchie (replacing Jack Black on drums, who was busy with his own band) played concerts in Japan. In September 2000, this new line-up played at the 'Holidays in the Sun Festival' in Bilbao, Spain. Original drummer Jack Black made a guest appearance and filmed the concert. It was the first time in 18 years that the five original band members had been reunited on stage. In 2006, the band again performed, including their first shows in London in 25 years. In June 2012 they went into Rock On Studios in Annecy, France to record their first brand new album since 1981's Boys Only. here's the second and final peel session, put down on 02/05/1978. it is, frankly, fantastic.
English post-punk legends the fall formed in 1976 in Prestwich, Greater Manchester. With an ever-changing line up, the group essentially consists of its founder and only constant member, Mark E. Smith. The singer is famously dismissive of musicians and when asked about the high turnover of Fall members said "if it's me and your granny on bongos, then it's the Fall". First associated with the late 1970s punk movement, the band's music has evolved through numerous stylistic changes, often concurrently with changes in the group's membership. The Fall's music is characterised by repetition and an abrasive guitar-driven sound, and is always underpinned by Smith's typically cryptic lyrics - abstract poetry filled with complicated wordplay, bone-dry wit, cutting social observations and general misanthropy. The Fall have released well over thirty studio albums and more than triple that when live albums and compilations (often against Smith's wishes) are taken into account. While the Fall have never achieved widespread success beyond minor hit singles in the late 1980s, they have a maintained a strong cult following. peel was a big, big fan and gave them vast amounts of sessions. here's their penultimate outing for peel, put down on 19/02/2003.
the late, truly great Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist Leonard Cohen's work has explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. he's one of the most fascinating and enigmatic singer/songwriters of the late '60s and has retained an audience across four decades of music-making … Second only to Bob Dylan (and perhaps Paul Simon), he commands the attention of critics and younger musicians more firmly than any other musical figure from the 1960s who is still
working at the outset of the 21st century. One of his novels, Beautiful Losers (1966) received a lot of attention from the Canadian press and stirred up controversy because of a number of sexually graphic passages. his successful blending of poetry, fiction, and music is made most clear in Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs, published in 1993, which gathered more than 200 of Cohen's poems, several novel excerpts and almost 60 song lyrics. While it may seem to some that he departed from the literary in pursuit of the musical, his fans continue to embrace him as a renaissance man who straddles the elusive artistic borderlines. Cohen's first album was Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967) followed by Songs from a Room (1969) (featuring the often-recorded "Bird on the Wire") and Songs of Love and Hate (1971). His 1977 album Death of a Ladies Man was co-written and produced by Phil Spector, which was a move away from Cohen's previous minimalist sound. In 1979, Cohen returned with the more traditional Recent Songs, which blended his acoustic style with jazz and Oriental and Mediterranean influences. "Hallelujah" was first released on Cohen's studio album Various Positions in 1984. I'm Your Man in 1988 marked Cohen's turn to synthesized productions and remains his most popular album. In 1992, Cohen released its follow-up, The Future, which had dark lyrics and references to political and social unrest. Cohen returned to music in 2001 with the release of Ten New Songs, which was a major hit in Canada and Europe. In 2006, Cohen produced and co-wrote Blue Alert, a collaboration with jazz chanteuse Anjani Thomas. After a successful string of tours between 2008 and 2010 he released three albums in the final four years of his life: Old Ideas (2012), Popular Problems (2014) and You Want It Darker (2016), the last of which was released three weeks before his death, in November. on a rare visit to the uk back in 1968 he taped his only peel session, for the great broadcaster's top gear show, on 09/07/1968. here it is, for you.
the Mad Professor (Neil Fraser) is a Guyanese dub music producer and engineer known for his original productions and remix work. He is considered one of the leading producers of dub music’s second generation and was instrumental in transitioning dub into the digital age. He has collaborated with reggae artists such as Lee "Scratch" Perry, Sly and Robbie, Pato Banton, Jah Shaka and Horace Andy,
as well as artists outside the realm of traditional reggae and dub, such as Sade, Massive Attack, The Orb, and Brazilian DJ Marcelinho da lua. His only peel session was taped on 23/09/1982. here it is. sadly, one track, a medley of two pieces called Ghetto Pace - Elastic Plastic, is missing. if you have it, please get in touch and send it to me.
Prefab Sprout are an English pop rock band from Witton Gilbert, County Durham, England who rose to fame during the 1980s. Nine of their albums have reached the Top 40 in the UK Albums Chart, and one of their singles, "The King of Rock 'n' Roll", peaked at number seven in the UK Singles Chart. The band formed in 1978 in Newcastle. They had minimal chart success in the United States; their 1985 album Steve McQueen was released in the US with the title Two Wheels Good and peaked at number 180 in the Billboard 200. Frontman Paddy McAloon has been hailed as one of the great songwriters of his era. There have been ten studio albums in all. there was just the one peel session, taped on 18/08/1985.
Tindersticks are an indie rock band from Nottingham, England that formed in 1991. They released six albums before singer Stuart A. Staples took on a solo career. The band reunited briefly in 2006, but more permanently the following year. They've recorded several film soundtracks. this is the second of three peel sessions, recorded on 18/01/1994.
T. Rex were a British rock band formed in 1967 by singer/songwriter and guitarist Marc Bolan. The group formed as Tyrannosaurus Rex, releasing four underground folk albums under the name. Tony Visconti (their producer for several albums) claimed in a documentary on the band that he had taken to using the abbreviated term "T. Rex" as a shorthand,
something that initially irritated Bolan, who gradually came around to the idea and officially shortened the band's name to "T. Rex" at roughly the same time they started having big hits (shortly after going electric). Bolan founded Tyrannosaurus Rex in August 1967. After a solitary performance as a four-piece at the Electric Garden in Covent Garden, the group immediately broke up. Bolan retained the services of percussionist Steve Peregrine Took and the duo began performing acoustic material with occasional homages to Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran. The combination of Bolan's acoustic guitar and distinctive vocal style with Took's bongos and assorted percussion—which often included children's instruments such as the Pixiephone—earned them a devoted following in the thriving hippy underground scene. Peel championed the band early in their recording career and later appeared on record with them, reading stories written by Bolan. Another key collaborator was producer Tony Visconti, who went on to produce the band's albums well into their second, glam rock phase. By 1968, Tyrannosaurus Rex had become a modest success on radio and on record, and had released three albums. While Bolan's early material was rock and roll-influenced pop music, by now he was writing dramatic and baroque songs with lush melodies and surreal lyrics filled with Greek and Persian mythology as well as creations of his own. The band became regulars on Peel Sessions on BBC radio, and toured Britain's student union halls. By 1969 there was a clear rift between the two halves of Tyrannosaurus Rex. While Bolan and his girlfriend June Child were living a quiet life, Took had fully embraced the anti-commercial/community-spirited/drug-taking ethos of the UK Underground scene centred around Ladbroke Grove. Bolan's relationship with Took ended after Unicorn, although they were contractually obliged to go through with a US tour which was doomed before it began. As soon as he returned to the UK, Bolan replaced Took with percussionist Mickey Finn and they completed A Beard of Stars, the final album under the Tyrannosaurus Rex moniker. here, for you, is the very first session for uncle john. it was taped on 10/12/1970. marc and john's friendship sadly dissolved in early 1971.
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.