John Peel Wiki

Altered Images - Peel Session 1980

Altered Images Peel Session in 1980

"Hard to imagine a band less fashionable than Altered Images. When they first appeared, people said, 'It's like a Scottish Siouxsie & The Banshees', except they were light where the Banshees were dark, really, and got lighter and eventually got darker.....people did like 'em when they first came along, had a couple of hit records, and suddenly everybody turned on them, as they do, in a strange way. I'll never understand how this process works, but it does go on all the time. They started to dislike them for the very things which they'd previously liked them for, like the fact that they were bright and a bit daft and colourful and leapt about and stuff, and suddenly these things became terribly uncool, whereas a week or so beforehand they'd been cool." ([1])

Altered Images were a Scottish indie band from Glasgow fronted by Clare Grogan. They were active from 1979-83, during which time the group issued three albums: 'Happy Birthday' (1981), 'Pinky Blue' (1982) and 'Bite' (1983). Their early style was spiky, reminiscent at times of Siouxsie & The Banshees, whom the group had supported on tour in 1980. This was soon smoothed into a more mainstream pop sound that brought them 6 Top 40 hit singles, 3 of which made the top 10.

Since the early 2000s, Grogan has periodically played live under the Altered Images name on the Eighties nostalgia circuit.

Links to Peel

Peel first encountered the group when he witnessed their appearance at the Futurama 2 festival in Leeds in September 1980. He was impressed enough to invite the outfit to record a session for his programme, an offer that was subsequently taken up the following month. The group would record a further two sessions for the John Peel show.

Peel famously contributed backing vocals and whistling to the group's cover of the Neil Diamond tune 'Song Sung Blue', issued on their second album, 'Pinky Blue' (1982). He would give this an airing every so often. 'Dead Pop Stars' was one of the selections chosen for the Peelenium of 1981. They also featured on the 1981 Christmas edition of Top of the Pops. It has to be said that the majority of his listeners failed to share his adulation of the band, which was almost entirely due to his crush on Grogan, as he admitted ([2]).


  • Three sessions, none commercially released.

1. Recorded 1980-10-07. First broadcast 16 October 1980. Repeated 10 November 1980, 02 December 1980, 22 December 1980, 21 January 1982, 31 May 1982, 14 June 1983, 15 July 1986

  • Beckoning Strings / Legionnaire (Instrumental) / Insects / Dead Pop Stars

2. Recorded 1981-03-02. First broadcast 10 March 1981. Repeated 23 March 1981, 30 August 1982.

  • A Day's Wait / Idols / Midnight / Jeepster

3. Recorded 1981-09-04. First broadcast 22 September 1981. Repeated 30 December 1981, 30 August 1982, 25 February 1985.

  • Think That It Might / Pinky Blue / Little Brown Head / Song Sung Blue

Festive 50 Entries


Other Shows Played

Later 1980s

Top Of The Pops

See Also

External Links