"It does put a bit of a spring into your step, you know, to know that they're out there somewhere." (28 August 1992)

Babes In Toyland
Babes in Toyland
were an American alternative rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1987 by Oregon native Kat Bjelland (lead vocals and guitar), with Lori Barbero (drums) and Michelle Leon (bass), who was replaced by Maureen Herman in 1992. Courtney Love — a close friend and former bandmate of Bjelland when the two lived in Portland and San Francisco — had a very brief stint in the band in 1987 as a bass player, before being kicked out and forming Hole in 1989. Between 1989 and 1995, Babes in Toyland released three studio albums — Spanking Machine (1989), the commercially successful Fontanelle (1992), and Nemesisters (1995) — before becoming inactive in 1997 and eventually disbanding in 2001 … (read more at Wikipedia)

Links To Peel

B is for..

B is for... Babes in Toyland

Peel was a huge fan of Babes In Toyland and first played their 'Dust Cake Boy' single on his show in 1989. In October 1990, he saw the group perform at a gig above a pub in Bedford, an event he later described as one of his all-time favourite gigs.[1] On 22 December 1990, he told listeners that the band's 'Spanking Machine' album was his favourite LP of the year. At the end of the century, he chose 'House' for the Peelenium 1990.

Such was his veneration of the group that he claimed, "If either of my daughters was in a band like that, I'd be well proud of it." [2] When he discovered that one of their tracks was featured on a limited edition double LP version of 'Every Band Has A Shonen Knife Who Loves Them', he wrote a begging letter to the band: Barbero gifted him her own copy as a result.[3]

When details of Peel's record collection were first released from 2012, five albums by Babes In Toyland were among the first 100 LPs by artists beginning with the letter B (see Record Collection: B). The band were also the subject of a short video, B Is For Babes In Toyland, released by the JohnPeelArchive and TheSpace websites.

Festive Fifty Entries

1990 Festive Fifty
  • House #38
1991 Festive Fifty
  • Handsome & Gretel #18
  • Catatonic #30
  • Laugh My Head Off #31
  • Primus #39
  • Ripe #42
1992 Festive Fifty
  • Bruise Violet FF#9
  • Handsome And Gretel #22



Five sessions. Official releases:
- The BBC John Peel Sessions 1990-92 (Cherry Red, CD, 2001).
- The Peel Sessions (10” / CD, Strange Fruit / Dutch East India Trading, 1992).
- ’Ripe’ on Various Artists: New Season: The Peel Sessions (Strange Fruit, CD, 1991).
- ’Catatonic’ on Various Artists: Radio Daze - The John Peel Sessions (Vox magazine, cassette, 1992).

1. Recorded: 1990-09-09. First broadcast: 29 September 1990. Repeated: 09 December 1990, 30 December 1990.

  • Catatonic / Ripe / Primus / Spit To See The Shine

2. Recorded: 1991-06-11. First broadcast: 30 June 1991. Repeated: 06 October 1991

  • Pearl / Dogg / Laugh My Head Off / Mad Pilot

3. Recorded: 1991-08-18. First broadcast: 22 December 1991. Repeated: ?

  • Handsome And Gretel / Blood / Mother / Dirty

4. Recorded: 1992-07-11. First broadcast: 25 July 1992. Repeated: 12 September 1992, 01 January 1993.

  • Jungle Train / Right Now / Sometimes / Magic Flute

5. Recorded: 1995-05-07. First broadcast: 16 June 1995. Repeated: 27 August 1995

  • The Girl Can't Help It / Cauter Eyes / Deep Song / Oh Yeah


  1. Oh Yeah
  2. Ariel
  3. Memory
  4. Sweet 69
  5. We Are Family

Other Shows Played

B is for..

B is for... Babes in Toyland-1

Lori Barbero of Babes In Toyland interviewed by the John Peel Centre

(The list below was compiled only from the database of this site and Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive and is certainly incomplete. Please add more information if known.)
  1. Bruise Violet (LP: Fontanelle) (Reprise)
  2. Won’t Tell (LP: Fontanelle) (Reprise)
  3. Gone (LP: Fontanelle) (Reprise)
  4. Magic Flute (LP: Fontanelle) (Reprise)
  • Best Of Peel Vol 4: Fleshcrawl (7 inch-Teriyaki Asthma Volume III) C/Z
  • Best Of Peel Vol 4: Swamp Pussy (LP-Spanking Machine) Twin Tone
  • Best Of Peel Vol 5: Boto(w)rap (LP-Spanking Machine) Twin Tone
  • Best Of Peel Vol 5: He's My Thing (LP-Spanking Machine) Twin Tone
  • Best Of Peel Vol 5: Dust Cake Boy (LP-Spanking Machine) Twin Tone
  • Best Of Peel Vol 5: House (7 inch) Sub Pop
  • Best Of Peel Vol 13: Arriba (7 inch-B side of House) Sub Pop (John raves about Babes In Toyland, having seen them live recently.)
  • Best Of Peel Vol 14: #1 debut session (Probably first broadcast, 29 September 1990. Also, telephone conversation with Kat Bjelland live from Germany in which she swears twice 'accidentally'.)
  • Best Of Peel Vol 15: Vomit Heart (LP-Spanking Machine) Twin Tone
  • Best Of Peel Vol 22: (JP: "I was moaning a couple of months ago about the LP 'Every Band Has A Shonen Knife Who Loves Them', and pointing out that in America there was a limited edition double LP which had an extra track on it from Babes In Toyland. I eventually wrote to them and said, "Hey! How do you get hold of a copy of that?", and they sent me one. So, this is their contribution.")
Watching Girl (2xLP-Every Band Has A Shonen Knife Who Loves Them) Giant

See Also

External Links

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